13 June 2011

the long road to uyuni, bolivia

One of Bolivia's most visited destinations are the famous salt flats outside of Uyuni, but the area is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  So, we took a bus from Tiwanaku (above) back to La Paz:

Back down into the crater of La Paz:

We finally got to see that picturesque snow-covered mountain in the distance:

We went to the bus station, which looks beautiful from the front:

And has bus murals on the back:

On the inside, there was a great view up the hillside:

Then, we took a bus from La Paz back to Oruro:

Then, we took a train from Oruro to Uyuni:

As soon as we left the train station, it felt like we were gliding over water.  Looking out the window, you'd think we were in a boat.

There were red flamingos relaxing in the water-- and as the train came rumbling over, they lifted up like someone spreading a sheet on a bed, red wings fluttering in the sun.  It was amazing.

We passed some perfectly still bodies of water that had lovely cloud reflections.

And then we passed all kinds of scenery, from llamas to desert to lush green hillsides.

The dining car was decorated for Carnaval:

Even the poles were decorated:

We got in to Uyuni (elevation: 12,000+ feet) somewhere around 1am, and we made our way bleary-eyed to a nearby hotel.

Next up: Bolivia's incredible salt flats, colored lakes and crazy rock formations...

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