The picture above here perfectly symbolizes my life at the moment. Getting perspective to near and far, challenging myself and having loads of fun seeing the world at the same time. Truly a dream coming true! It’s also a symbol for crossing the Uyuni desert in Bolivia in order to get to Chile. This took 3 days and is one of the absolute highlights so far! Who could ever imagine a desert being this fascinating?
After catching the morning flight from La Paz to the city of Uyuni we set off in a fully prepped Toyota Landcruiser at around 10.30 AM. The whole first day was spent in the salt flats of Uyuni – the worlds biggest salt desert with 10 850 square kilometers and 4 meters deep salt. All over, a symmetric pattern created by something chemical and magnetism. Even though the views were only endless white, it was fantastic. Beautiful is not the right word; fascinating is! The day was sunny and warm but as soon as the sun had set it went blistering cold. After all, it’s 3800 meters above sea level with nothing to keep the warmth and humidity. We spent the first night in a hostel in a small desert village.
Starting driving at 06.50 AM on day number two the landscape was totally different. No more salt, only sand, rocks, gravel, mountains, lakes and volcanoes. Rare but true we came across some lamas on a little meadow out in the middle of nowhere. Strange that a place like this actually can have any animals living there. We saw one other animal through the desert and that was flamingos in a beautiful lake.
All in all I think we drove around 700 kilometers in three days. Not very fast of course, due to the demanding terrain and this would never have been possible without the special edition of the Toyota Landcruiser. BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and other SUV’s can just go to bed in comparison. Road tripping is my favorite way of traveling. A car gives you so much freedom to go where you want and stop where you want without any stress. I think this goes for me as a person to; some birds are just not meant to be caged, their wings are to wild.
The second night we stayed in an other small desert village on 4330 meters above sea level – this is high! In other words; it was freezing cold! We started driving already 5 AM in the morning the day after in order to reach the Chilean border on time. From here we took a bus to the small town of San Pedro de Atacama for a quick lunch before catching the bus to Calama from where we flew to Santiago.
The days in the desert was some of the best so far. I think the combination of good company, fascinating landscapes and the fact that we were without internet and cellphones for 3 days makes something with the level of relaxation. For example; when was the last time you were without internet for 3 days?