Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Adventures in Uyuni (Part 2)

Our second day out found us heading south into the land of endless miles of volcanic mountains, plains, and amazing rock formations.

Look closely at this picture and you should see the steam coming out of this volcano (to the left of the big mountain in back).

                                                                        We paused for awhile to enjoy climbing in and on the various gigantic rocks!
Paula posing for the camera!

On top of the world!

Elyssa, Lydia, and Paula
Lauren modeling the interesting rock for us!

If you look closely you can see the volcano again behind Lauren's head. This rock that Lauren is standing behind is covered with what seems like moss. It is actually something that the people who live in this area (of which there are few) use to burn as fuel for their cooking and heating fires. We thought it was super interesting!

Then it was on the road again. The picture below is what most of the roads were like. If you liked the Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland, this trip is for you! Bumpiness for 600 miles!!


Another part of the trip that I found incredibly interesting was all of the natural mineral resources that we saw. This "mine" is where they "harvest" Lime. There are train tracks close by where they take it to the city to sell. I believe it goes to both Chili and Bolivia from this location.

We also saw some of the wildlife that lives out in this barren place. Can you spot the Zorro (Fox) in the picture below? Our car saw only this one, but the car behind saw three! It blended in so well with its environment.
Desert Fox
Our next stop was the first lagoon of the four we were to see that day. The white at the far side of the picture is Borax. The boys walked out on it to bring some home with them. The lagoon is about a foot deep at the deepest part. The flamingos were so beautiful and graceful  to watch. It amazed me that they live in water that is FULL of minerals. Whether it be salt, borax, sulfur, etc they thrive in these very odd waters were you would think nothing could survive. 
Flamingos at the Borax Lagoon (My own name for this lagoon!)

Prettier than the Flamingos
Victoria, Lauren, Emily, Lydia, and Elyssa
Another lagoon
The next lagoon we just drove by and took pictures, so that we could get on to our lunch spot before the afternoon winds kicked in. Our drivers knew exactly how to time things so that we arrived in the right place at the right time!

 At this lagoon we enjoyed taking pictures and eating lunch! The girls also had fun collecting the beautiful grasses that grew along the edge of this lagoon and the boys got yet another mineral, Sulfur, for their collection.

The Rudi Boohers 

And our Adorable Children!

Emily and Lauren in front of the Flamingos 

WiFi in "Nowhereville"!
 Emily our resident computer expert was happy to see WiFi in the middle of "Nowhereville"! This particular place was very up to date also with "composting" toilets. While I did not use them, I heard from those that did, that you even had a tour guide to explain how to use them!!
While we took in the lagoon and the beautiful flamingos, our drivers put together a delicious lunch for us of Milenesa de Pollo (Fried Chicken), pasta, cooked carrots and green beans, raw tomatoes and cucumbers, and apples! Super yummy food prepared that morning at the Salt Hotel for them to bring with us.
Drivers a la Chefs
 Once again dining on "real stuff". They had these really neat food carriers that kept the food warm and safe while we traveled.

Check out the view from our lunch spot. It is hard to capture the breathtaking beauty with a camera!
Lunchtime in Style

Beautiful Flamingos
And then it was on the road again this time our destination was to the "Rock Tree".
All roads lead to the same place!
On the way there we stopped to take a picture of this chain of volcanoes that were just spectacular. Once again my camera did not do it justice. The lava that comes out of these volcanoes is very different then the volcanoes back home. The "rivers" you see flowing down from these mountains is of lava that is quite silt like.
Myles with miles of volcanoes behind him!

The Rock Tree 
 This area where the Rock Tree is, is like a Giant's playground. The rock formations were incredible and some looked like a giant chainsaw had cut pieces off. Some parts looked like Medieval Castle ruins. It was beautiful! The Master Builder did a incredible job sculpting this area! The dirt in this area seemed more like sand then dirt.
Not just rocks... Works of Art!

Perfectly cut piece of rock

The part that was "cut" out

Emily, Victoria, Elyssa, and Lauren
Wave Hello

Emily and Myles

Paula, Ruth, Clara, and Clancy
 Clancy brought home a piece of the rock as a souvenir. I think he wants to paint a picture on it! You can see from the picture below that our car got a little dirty. The wind was blowing like crazy at this point, as we headed to our final destination for the day The Colorada Lagoon.

The Colorada Lagoon was for me the most spectacular sight of the day. It is a red lagoon that is gigantic, with three different species of flamingos. It is fed on one side by hot springs. The wind and the micro-organisms in the lagoon create this red color. On the edge of this lagoon is where the flamingos nest and lay their eggs. They lay only once a year. The white surrounding this lake is also Borax and it is in the Borax that the flamingos nest! 
First sight of the Red Lagoon

Clancy and Myles
"Cool Mom"
Our Family in front of the Colorada Lagoon 
This lagoon is located at 14,000+ ft. and the wind was blowing furiously, but Rudi and most of the kids went out to hike around the lagoon and explore a little before dinner. They hiked to where the hot springs enter the lagoon. It was the first place where they actually enforced staying away from the lagoon, so we did not get any pictures of the many flamingos that were there.

At the Hot Springs

Braving the cold and wind!

Our nights lodgings at a distance

Our nights lodgings were primitive, but we did have bathrooms, electricity and running water. I read that some of the lodgings on this tour did not have those things, so I was pleasantly surprised to find things a step above what I was expecting! Not a five star hotel, but adequate for sure! 

Lodging up close!

Clara with her Alpaca friend
 There was a most adorable Alpaca mommy that we had fun visiting. She was very friendly! She had her baby with her and her baby was even more adorable!
Super Cute Alpaca Baby!

The Elegant Alpaca!

All bundled up for dinner!
 I did mention that it was very cold at the hostel where we were to spend the night, and of course, there was no heat! We all bundled up in our coats for dinner and for sleeping. We had come prepared with winter clothes because we knew it was going to be cold, so we were actually quite comfortable! Throughout the journey everyone had great attitudes about everything. It was a great group to be doing this adventure with for sure!!
Lauren all ready for bed!
 I loved this picture of Lauren all bundled up for sleeping! It was a bit difficult sleeping at 14,000+ ft. and we all had to wake up at different points during the night and remind ourselves to breath! All twelve of us had our own beds this night. They were varying degrees of quality... Some we affectionately named "The Canoe", and others "The Plank".

Paula all ready for bed too!
We all turned in early because we were supposed to be up and out by 5:30 in the morning to see the geysers at sunrise!


  1. Loving these posts Carla! Looking at the pictures reminds me just a little bit of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO. Definitely not as cool but the same type of amazing rock formations! Eric and I enjoyed it on our honeymoon!

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures...except the Milanesa de Pollo I'm hungry for Bolivian food!

    Much love

  2. I love your pictures!!! Thanks so much for taking volunteers with your family! A trip to Uyuni is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  3. These Uyuni travelogues are very interesting, fun, educational, funny, and quite amazing (the scenery, logistics, accommodations, meals, roads, mode of travel, mirages, minerals, etc.)! You have done an excellent job of making us feel a part of the adventure, Carla. Thank you!

  4. I like all of your photos--very much--but the elegant Alpaca is a prize winner! The one of the alpaca looking at Clara is another--such an expression on that alpaca's face! :)

    Also, I was so impressed with the beautiful sweater Clara is wearing in one of the photos, and then to hear that you made it, Carla, made it all the more impressive!

    Love and hugs all around...

  5. One more photo comment: Carla, in the picture of your family--the same one that has Clara in the beautiful sweater, you look like an actress from a '50's movie, ready to drive away in her convertible car--probably a Corvette! :)

  6. nice to see some other boohers made it thought me and my family was it,we been here for 8 months and love it. we came out of ohio! would love to hear more about u guys if your interested were on face book under Keyin Jeremiah