Welcome to Bolivia, host of some of the highest spots in the Americas such as the Nevado Sajama, with an altitude of 6,542 meters. The western part, which we travelled, is located at an altitude of about 4000m above sea level. We are fortunate that we do not feel the effects of altitude sickness, at least at this level. We entered Bolivia from the side of Lake Titicaca. Heading towards La Paz, we had to cross the lake on an unusual barge. It looked shaky and not trustworthy, but took us safely to the other shore.
Without any mishaps, we reach El Alto, the second-largest city in Bolivia, located adjacent to La Paz on the Altiplano highlands. The city, the highest major metropolis in the world, is connected to La Paz by a Gondola Lift. It is the best means of transport in the city, referred to as a hanging metro. Eleven lines, thirty stations and a total length of about 34 km, was considered to be the longest aerial cable car system in the world. We spent the whole day traveling up and down admiring the city from above. A very nice experience. Back with our feet on the ground we spent a lovely evening with our friends from Lima – Justyna and Johan. Thanks for the meeting, see you back in Europe!
Now a straight road through the Altiplano, to an amazing place, Salar de Uyuni.
Located at an altitude of 3653 m, the largest salt flat, or salt pan, in the world. Salt stretching till the horizon. One of the most fantastic places we’ve been to. We set camp in the bay of the Isla Incahuasi. All alone! No one as far as the eye can see. The sunset was magical, the temperature dropped drastically and stars appeared by the thousands. Then, unfortunately, appeared the moon, almost full, ruining the plans for night pictures. It was so bright, almost like in the daytime.
The next day we went exploring the area. It was the end of the rainy season, but we hoped that we would still find some areas with water. Why? The water with the salt underneath acts like a large mirror and creates magical illusions. UMM is not as it was in the beginning of our trip and we should have limited ourselves to less challenging routes. A small puddle became pond. Although being Portuguese, therefore master in the art of sailing, doing it in on car, without reference point is not an easy task. To make things worse the crystal clear waters combined with a salt bottom prevents you to determine the true depth. We managed to spot the shore and set sail directly towards it. Everything was ok, but the salt in the pond banks was too soft and … we sunk!
Pity that the sky was pure blue, without any clouds. We were hoping to take some pictures looking like this.
After freeing ourselves from the salt claws, we drove south towards Chile, at an incredible pace. A snail would have been faster than us! We drove the Lagunas Route, crossing the Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa. So bumpy that the milk in the fridge turned into butter. And dust? Dust every were. All three of us resembled sand creatures. Throughout our journey, the car has never been so dusty, inside and outside. Perhaps that is why the usually very meticulous sanitary control on the border with Chile, gave us no problems. They did not want to get dirty.