Sunday 29 June 2014

Day 48: The Salt Flats

Abandoned steam train graveyard in Uyuni
Guy spent the day huddled in a ball in the jeep.  The rest of us visited the salt flats - miles and miles of tesselated white hexagons and heptagons and octagons stretching into a haze on the horizon.  Patches of higher land surrounding the flats levitated and blurred in a mirage.  We tried spreading out and taking whimsical photographs with a tiny distant person standing on the hand of a large close-up person to get a sense of the scale but it was hard to capture.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was a short hike up a cactus island.  From the top, the eye followed the trails of jeeps across the salt flats as the only relief from the whiteness - a bit like looking at the wispy signature of planes across the sky.

In the late afternoon we reached the Cemetery of the Trains, where retired steam locomotives and wagons rust in the sunshine - an incongruous site in the middle of the desert.  The huddled ball in the jeep stirred and turned into Guy and decided to go for a wander around the Cemetery.  After a few minutes, it became a ball again and we drove to the town of Uyuni where the jeep trip ended.  The world of salt had given way to buildings and roads once more.

Cactus Island in the middle of the salt flats
Dead Thomas

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