We arrived to Uyuni from Potosi at midnight. The second we got off the bus, a lady bombarded us, asking us if we wanted to do the Salt Flats tour with her company. We were warned of this lady and kindly told her we were waiting for the morning to book our tour. (She apparently is really nice, and then takes a 180 turn after you give her your money, and the tour is absolutely horrible! Luckily we were warned of this ahead of time!!) After getting away from that lady, we walked a couple blocks to where all the hostels are located. There we met Leza, who was also searching for a hostel. We ended up all sleeping at the same place and booking a tour together the next morning.
We had to meet at the tour office at 10:30, so in the morning, we shopped a bit for goodies for our trip and then got a huge pizza for breakfast… Yes, we got pizza for breakfast!! It was amazing, and to top off the pizza we also each got a soda before it was even 9:30 am!! We loaded up the tour jeep and were off by 11:00. Our tour agency was great and the group of people on the tour was even better! We had such a remarkable time!
The first day of the tour we stopped at the Train Cemetery, where we saw loads of trains on and off tracks that were just abandoned in the middle of nowhere. From there, we got into the salar, and were astonished by the amount of salt there was in the middle of this place. We drove for hours and hours just on salt, and salt was all that was there as far as the eye could see. It was like looking out at the ocean and seeing water forever, but instead it was just salt forever. We had lunch at the first ever Salt Hotel, and then went to a random island that had cacti all over it. We were confused at first at why this was called an island, but then our guide explained that the layer of salt we were driving on was actually a layer of salt anywhere from a couple meters to over thirty meters thick that was just on the top of water. So fair enough, it actually was an island!! From there, we drove miles and miles more to where we would sleep for the night.
We arrived to our own Salt Hotel where the walls, beds, tables, and benches were all made of salt. It was a really cool place. We hung out and played cards, star gazed, and waited till 9:30 for our dinner to be ready. After dinner everyone was exhausted, so we called it a night.
The next morning we were up and eating around 8:00, then out the door for our second day in the jeep together. This day consisted of lots and lots of driving, with gorgeous views, lots of beautiful lakes with flamingos, and a song on repeat for like three hours!! The six of us in decided we needed some kind of road trip game to play. Heather suggested “My dad owns a grocery store” (family game!!) but everyone was more fond of Jason’s idea of the alphabet celebrity game. This is a game where you say a famous person’s name, and then the next person has to say another celebrity’s name that begins with the last letter of the previous name given. For example, one could say Chris Tomlin, and then the next person has to say a name that starts with the letter T. This game lasted us for hours, but eventually we got bored and wanted a new game. So we grabbed Jason’s phone and began playing Heads Up, a charade game where the phone decides what people are going to act out, and then it records everyone while they are acting it out. Obviously there wasn’t much acting out since the six of us were jammed in the jeep, but the game was great anyways.
We pulled in to the place we were supposed to stay for the evening, but there were no rooms available. We drove to two more places with the same thing happening before we found a place with vacancy. We all found this a bit weird, but understood that they can’t book the hostels because there is no reception that far out in the boonies. Once we got settled in, we got out Heads Up again and played with the other group at the hostel. We ended up playing games until dinner was ready. We enjoyed our spaghetti all hung out for a bit longer, then called it a night because we had to be up at 4:15 the next morning to fit everything in before hopping on the bus at 9:30 to Chile.
We were up and moving a bit later than we were supposed to be, our car was having car problems, and half our group was feeling sick from the night before, but we eventually made it out and on the “road”. We marveled at the huge geysers, relaxed in hot springs, and were amazed by the reflections of the volcanoes in different lakes. We got dropped off just before 9:30 to get bused to San Pedro de Atacama to start our time in Chile.
…Our Plans From Here…
As you know from our last post, we were unable to go to Santiago from San Pedro, so we caught a bus up to Iquique. We have been in Iquique now for about a week, and will be taking off later today to suffer a 24-hour bus ride down to Santiago. While we were here in Iquique, we enjoyed every minute of relaxing on the beach and we had an amazing Christmas. We knew the Lord directed us here for a reason, and it didn’t take us long to figure out why. First, we know He wanted us here to slow us down a bit and to focus on Him. Secondly, He wanted us here for Heather to trade in the book that she just finished reading for a book about blessings and curses. That book has pinpointed so many different things that are going on in our life and the lives of some of our friends, that we know the Lord brought us here just to get our hands on that book for a clearer understanding of those things. It’s amazing what He can do and does do when you allow Him to work in your life and guide the direction of where you are going.
So like we said, we leave later today to head to Santiago for a few days where we will be couch surfing until we head to Valparaiso for New Years. Our next post won’t be until after New Years, where we will fill you in about our time here in Iquique along with everything through the end of the year!! Have a great New Years everyone!!
*Pray that we continue to seek the Lord and allow Him to guide and direct our trip.
*Pray for our health. Jason has been doing well with the effects of having Crohn’s, but we know that is something that we need to be thanking the Lord for healing everyday, as well as praying that He keeps it out of Jason’s body.
*Pray for safe travels for our friend Alex, who flies down here January 6th.
*Pray for Jason’s grad school acceptance. As some of you know, he applied for school in Scotland, and his application will be reviewed in January, so pray, pray, pray till your knees get sore that God’s will will be done.