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Old 06-08-2014, 07:28 PM   #631
Saralou
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Location: July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
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Uyuni


Uyuni 45


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Uyuni 50
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:30 PM   #632
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Uyuni

Uyuni 52


Uyuni 53


Uyuni 55


Uyuni 57
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:24 AM   #633
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flat tire

The road after this got quite a bit worse, but the views were still stunning. The gravel got deeper in spots and there was a fair number of sand pits up to 20 meters and some mud pits too. There are a few ruins of towns also. We met this young guy who was planning to take 4 days to get to Uyuni with all this gear. Google says it’s a 10- hour drive from Yavi.



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Shortly after this Dan noticed his front tire was flat. We pumped it up and drove a few more km to where we could get off the road to change the tire.



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Old 06-09-2014, 08:26 AM   #634
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the last 50 is always the worst

After this the “road” was full of sand pits into which I did take a nap. Daniel will admit my bike with the 19-inch wheels is a lot harder to ride in sand and mud.


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The last 50 km was even tougher since we were so tired after an 11-hour day and there was more sand and the deepest corrugation we have seen on the trip so far. I thought it would shake out teeth out. Driving directly into the sun as we approached Uyuni it was blinding especially with trucks causing tons of dust.


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We arrived into Uyuni mentally and physically done, but still had to drive around to find a hotel. This is the worst part of any day on the road actually. Pulling up in front of the Hotel Julia we parked and just then Charlie McCormack pulled up and said “ this is the hotel with the best wifi and hot water and I know a good parking lot 1 block away”. Another Moto Concierge I’m going to get used to this. He was right and he also knew an amazing pizza place.


salar de Uyuni 105



Uyuni 81
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Saralou screwed with this post 06-11-2014 at 03:59 PM
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:51 AM   #635
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Train Cemetary

The next day we all went out to the train cemetery to check out the metal. This is a major attraction here and is about 3 km outside of the town of Uyuni along the old tracks. In 1892 the tracks were completed and this town was a major hub for trains carrying minerals to the coast. The local Aymara indigenous people constantly sabotaged the route. In the 1940’s the mining industry collapsed partly from mineral depletion and many trains were abandoned here producing the train cemetery. Interestingly these same people blocked all road access in and out of Uyuni for 5 days last week to protest the mayors plan to build a “tourist only” bus station. The military finally came in to break up the blockade.


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Old 06-10-2014, 08:08 AM   #636
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market day

Walking back thru town it was market day. The traditional costumes of the Bolivian women are really colorful.


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Old 06-10-2014, 08:09 AM   #637
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Salar de Uyuni

The plan for the rest of the day was to head out onto “the Salar” and camp out.


Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 3.52.07 PM



Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 3.51.22 PM


The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat (10,582 square km) and is at 3700 m elevation. It formed from several prehistoric lakes and is covered by a few meters of salt crust. It is known for its extraordinary flatness with only a 1- meter change over the entire area. The salt crust covers a brine pool rich in lithium and contains 50-70% of the world’s lithium reserves. The flatness makes it ideal for calibrating altimeters of satellites and taking funny perspective photos.


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Old 06-10-2014, 08:10 AM   #638
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Salar de Uyuni

We bought our first Bolivian gas at twice the price the locals pay, but at least they sold it to us. Actually we pay the real price for gas and the locals are heavily subsidized/placated by their populist government with cheap gas.


salar de Uyuni 3


There is a 20 km dirt road out of Uyuni to access the Salar of which several sections are very sandy. When you arrive at the town at the edge of the Salar there is a hard packed dirt road with tons potholes. Once you get to the salt you will see piles of salt for photo ops.


salar de Uyuni 4



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About 2 km farther there is the Dakar sign. The salt is very smooth and not slippery at all. We drove basically along the jeep tracks the 70 km to and around the Isla Incahuasi. On the way out we stopped for some pictures and a snack.


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Saralou screwed with this post 06-11-2014 at 04:08 PM
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:11 AM   #639
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Salar de Uyuni

Driving back about 30 km we took a right turn about 4 km out into the salar and pitched our tent, made some dinner, and set up the time lapse for the sunset. The night was not that cold at only minus 5.



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Sara was still fighting the flue and unfortunately had some trouble with the 3700m altitude with a severe headache (brain swelling). Dan got up at 6 to set up the time lapse for the sunrise. Dan said, “ Sara if you can get up to see this you should”. She did and then promptly barfed out the tent door. Luckily some Tylenol and hyperventilation helped a lot with her oxygen level. We packed up and then set up some perspective shots. The most important task for the morning was to get the bikes washed of salt.


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Old 06-10-2014, 08:27 AM   #640
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Salar de Uyuni Video

Check out our Salar video. If you watch very carefully during the sunrise timelapse you might see Sara lean out of the tent to




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Old 06-10-2014, 02:06 PM   #641
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Great update!
Love the sunrise and sunset time lapse on the Salar.

Sorry to hear about Sara's altitude sickness... It sucks!

Small detail:
Solar comes from the word "sol" (sun)
Salar comes from the word "sal" (salt)
Hence it's sAlar de Uyuni.

Buen viaje!
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:34 PM   #642
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Great update!
Love the sunrise and sunset time lapse on the Salar.

Sorry to hear about Sara's altitude sickness... It sucks!

Small detail:
Solar comes from the word "sol" (sun)
Salar comes from the word "sal" (salt)
Hence it's sAlar de Uyuni.

Buen viaje!
Thanks! I noted my typo on the video banner and the flicker photo label after the upload to the net. Sorry for the mistake. I must stop doing blog reports late at night! Hope to see you in Venezuela when we come up the other side of SA in spring 2015.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:12 AM   #643
SS in Vzla.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saralou View Post
Hope to see you in Venezuela when we come up the other side of SA in spring 2015.
Will be glad to help you with whatever you need and hopefully we can meet for a ride together or at least a get together with some more local riders.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:50 PM   #644
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Venezuela

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Will be glad to help you with whatever you need and hopefully we can meet for a ride together or at least a get together with some more local riders.
That will be great!!

S&D
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:51 PM   #645
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Potosi Bolivia

The good news for today was that the 210 km out of Uyuni to the north and Potosi was paved! There is a 5 Bs toll here too. Leaving the salt we had 20 km of the dirt and then smooth pavement. We were again lucky here as we met a couple later, who were trapped in Uyuni for 5 days because of blockades sometime after we left.



Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 3.32.44 PM



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The drive is amazing with ups and downs between 4200m and 3700m.



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Potosi at 4000 m is one of the highest cities in the world.



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It was founded in 1546 after huge silver deposits were discovered in Cerro Rico. Estimates of between 2 and 8 million indigenous laborers and African slaves perished in the mines in the 300 years of colonial rule. Despite the fact that it is a collective the working conditions in the mine are still terrible and most miners die of silicosis in their 40’s. About 10,000 people still work in the mine every day. Silver was depleted in the 1800, but other rare metals are now mined.



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Driving in this city is crazy. The roads are very narrow and some are extremely steep. It is a bit of a rabbit warren. We finally did locate a hotel not to far from the square with very hot water and a heater. We did a small tour of the area on foot and then retreated for a rare evening of English TV!



sucre 1
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