Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1393, Salar de Uyuni – Tahua: Island without Water

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jul - 14 - 2014

Distance: 84.96 km
Ride time: 5:22:47
Average: 15.83 km/h
Altitude: 3707 m
Total: 27744 km

In the evening I had heard one Jeep making it’s way across the Salar, but apart from that it had been all silence. Of course most of my wild camping spots are like this… yet sleeping in the middle of the Salar de Uyuni was still something special.

I knew this place is also one of the best in the world to watch stars, but as the temperature dropped to below -10°C I didn’t feel like leaving my sleeping bag. In fact I haven’t done any star gazing at all since arriving in Bolivia – the nights are really cold here!

As the sun hit the tent things did warm up, and it was time to hit the “road”. I was following a track that goes all across the Salar.

I was aiming for the famous Isla Incahuasi, right in the middle of the salt lake. From my map I knew there would be a small community living on the island out there – and even a shop and a restaurant. What a strange place!

As I got closer I could see the island in front of me. With bays, beaches, a mountain, all the island lacked was some water around it. I made a hike to the top of the hill, enjoying some truly breathtaking views of the Salar.

Back on the bike I was now following another track heading straight north towards the Volcan Tunupa – the one and only landmark around here. As I got to the end of the salar, the salt got darker, and suddenly I could see a small village in front.

When I left Uyuni yesterday I had expected an interesting ride through the salt flats, but just how different the whole world feels out here I couldn’t have imagined. A true highlight of the trip.

In the tiny village of Tahua my map suggested there would be guesthouse. After the cold night at the Salar I was looking forward to a night indoors, but at the small square I couldn’t find a single person to ask. It was as if the whole village was deserted. Finally a single person walked by and could point me to the hotel.

The hotel, situated on top of a hill, looked a bit expensive, and it truly was. The friendly guy in the reception wanted 85 dollars for a night. I was preparing for another night in the tent when he said I might as well check out there “local” place in town. There were no signs or anything indicating a guest house there, but the mama welcomed me with open arms, showing me a nice and clean room with soft beds. The price, 35 bolivianos or 5 dollars, was certainly more fit for my budget.

Categories: Bolivia
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One Response so far.

  1. Marie says:

    Wow wow wow!