Recovering in Uyuni, Bolivia

Our Salt Flats Tour finished in Uyuni with a visit to the Train Graveyard.  Because we got up so early to visit the Salt Flats and watch the sunrise, our tour ended after lunch, around 1pm.  As we were scheduled to take a bus at 8pm, we rented a room for the afternoon.  We were in need of clean clothes, a hot shower and a bed.

We found a decent hostel where we could clean up and rest.  I washed our clothes in a tub outside and hung them out to dry.  It didn’t take very long for everything to dry in the heat.  After bouncing around in a jeep for 4 days, it was great to be able to have some privacy and chill out for awhile.

There really isn’t much to see and do in Uyuni.  We didn’t take any photos of the town.  There were a few touristy statues about the place, but really, there isn’t much to Uyuni.  Uyuni is the gateway to the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world.  The salt flats are more interesting than the town.  I don’t want to talk the town down, but sometimes towns are not all that they are cracked up to be and I am not going to big this place up, no matter how hard the guide books try to.

Once we were all cleaned up and rested, our clothes dry, and we were all packed up for the next leg of our journey, we had some dinner in what was supposedly one of the best restaurants in town.  It wasn’t.  Our food on our tour was a lot better.  However, the beer was cold.

We were supposed to catch an 8:30pm bus and so we went to the bus station at 7:50pm.  The lady sorting out the tickets told us she never got paid for our tickets and that we had to pay for new tickets.  Bearing in mind that our travel was arranged in Sucre a week or so before, this was unacceptable and was the first problem we had encountered since leaving Sucre.  After doing my best, in Spanish, to explain the situation, the lady wasn’t having any of it and insisted we pay.  I have to say that I got to a point where I was able, in no uncertain terms, in Spanish, to let her know that we were not happy with the situation and that we weren’t going to pay any more money.  Then after all of that, she had the nerve to tell us that the bus left at 8pm and there was no 8:30 bus.  The next bus was at 6am the following morning.  There was another company across the road that offered the same morning bus service, so we booked it with them instead.

Afterwards, there was a mad panic about being able to see if we could get our room back.  Fortunately, the rate we paid was for the whole day/night, so we were able to stay in our room for the rest of the night after explaining what happened at the bus station.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the hostel, but I know where it is. They were very nice. 🙂

Once we resettled in our room, I took Bob out for a beer to calm down, and to get some snacks for the bus journey to Villazon.  We had to get up at the crack of dawn for the bus.  It was pitch dark, and a good thing too, because if we could really see the state of the bus, we probably never would have gotten on it.

Usually, our bus journeys were at night, where we couldn’t see what was happening on the roads.  This was different and interesting to say the least.  Sometimes it is better to be ignorant about what the road situation is like.  Nonetheless, the scenery was interesting and stunning at times.  We passed through Tupiza, where we started our journey, and then onwards to Villazon and the border to Argentina.  Our time schedule was out of whack since we missed our first bus.  It was going to be interesting once we got to the border.


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