Friday, 26 November 2010

The world´s largest salt lake - Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

MJC on the thick crust of salt of the Salar de Uyuni - a salt lake covering the 900 square kilometres.  This is in southwest Bolivia where we are about 3700 metres above sea level.  Hot in the day, bitter at night.

MJC at the train cemetery outside the town of Uyuni.  Not much here to intrigue but these rusting shells of steam engines.  Uyuni is the place to come however to get out onto the Salar.

 MJC proves this vast plain of salt is a lake of sorts.  There is a layer of highly salt-saturated water under the crystallised stuff.  12 000 years ago, the Salar de Uyuni was a lake 70 metres deep but it evaporated to leave this incredible landscape.

People living around the edge of Salar make a little money by excavating the salt and bagging it up for sale in Bolivia.  They don't make much but there's very little else to do.

It's obligatory to behave oddly in front of cameras on the Salar, to mess around with the strange perspective of this wierd white world.  Almost did myself a mischief.

 There are a few isolated islands in the salt crust, which have been colonised by huge cacti.

Some of the plants are about 10 metres tall and estimated to be 900 years old.  For cacti lovers...

Our hotel after a day's exploration of the Salar de Uyuni.

A hotel made entirely of salt.  Not the curtain and bedspreads obviously.

These poor little blighters were on the reception desk. 

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