16 June 2011

bolivia's uyuni and the antique train cemetery

Uyuni doesn't have all that much to brag about, but it is the gateway to some of the world's most impressive attractions, including the world's largest salt flats.  Otherwise, it's pretty much just a train stop, evidenced by the train art on the main street.

The town has some ornate and lovely buildings and structures, too.

We stayed in a little hotel that had some nice art and a sign that told us to stay still while the national anthem was playing:

There were also still some Carnaval festivies going on:

But basically, this is what the town looks like:

On the way to the salt flats, we stopped to see an antique train cemetery (or old train graveyard, depending on the translation/who you ask).  

It's a beautiful and odd juxtaposition to see these old train cars just sitting there in the middle of nowhere.  And train tracks that seem to go on into infinity:

My partner and I (and the four other people in our group) had fun running around, climbing in and around and on top of the old trains.

We especially liked this round piece.

This photo gives you a better sense of one of the lines of train cars, sitting pretty much in a desert over 12,000 feet above sea level, wheels in the dirt, getting rained on, with sand blowing in and around and the powerful sun shining...

Ever wondered what it would be like to be in a movie where you jump from train car to train car?

It was fun. :-)

We had an awesome group-- three Argentinian siblings (two brothers and a sister) and a Brazilian guy.  We spoke a combination of broken Spanish and broken English, but we more or less understood each other and had a great time.  Here is how we first got acquainted:

Next up: the world's largest salt flats!

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