The Uyuni Salar, this is quite a story.
We almost did not go there. Worried (especially Sara) by the stories of travelers telling their woes: altitude sickness, 4WD cars broken down or bogged down, drunk driver , get up at 4am, cold night in a salt hotel , thousands of tourists present, we had almost thrown in the towel. Until we found that a tour for only one day was possible (instead of the famous 3 or 4 day tour).
So we planned a “normal” bus trip to leave San Pedro De Atacama, enter Bolivia and arrive to the city of Uyuni. This is what we did despite a change of mind and a last minute cancellation!
And for the Salar? We rushed into a 4WD with 4 other tourists for a day tour … Apart from the incredible size and immaculate color of the salar, there was not much to see. We start with a train cemetery. Hundreds of tourists are there to climb …. and take a picture. We played the game since the driver left us 30 minutes to enjoy the site …
Then we are dropped 50 minutes in front of a mini-museum and local craft stores (often made in China ..) Apart from shaking us on the tracks, the guide did not explain anything.
The lunch was rudimentary in a building made of salt filled with tourists who came to taste llama and quinoa. For us it was chicken and rice. Fortunately, we talked with the young people shaken with us and we made the famous photos with perspective effect.
There is normally a sort of island covered with cacti and small animals that can be visited. But that day it was closed: inaccessible because of the water. Yes the salar is wet, wet, flooded even part of the year. So we drove a long time, slowly to save time, in the water. And then we waited. All this for the sunset shared with hundreds of others, cameras and phones in hand. There was nowhere to sit and nowhere to walk quietly (or so you need boots and be careful.) Natacha tested: sunken to the ankles in salt / brine wet).