But there are also other photos that remind me of fun times, amusing moments, and odd sites that I encountered on this tour from Tupiza to Uyuni.
8 Fun, Amusing, and Odd Things
#1 – Mmm… llama is better than chicken.
I took the photo above during our lunch stop on the first day. I am holding a humita filled with llama meat…
And I am in a field of llamas.
I had eaten one of these on the horseback riding tour, so I already knew they were made with llama. That means I also knew that llama is delicious, so there was no hesitation to eat these again.
(Note: These may actually be alpacas. I cannot tell the difference. Either way it is still amusing.)
#2 – Music and games with the local children.
I was actually just the photographer and chose not to play. We were at over 4,800 meters, and I did not feel like moving very much.
Two Isreali guys from another tour asked to play with these locals. At first they said No because the Isrealis had such a huge height advantage. Eventually, they convinced the kids to let them join in the fun.
I loved that the Bolivian girl taking this long shot was wearing a traditional dress, and she was also nailing 3-pointers like she was going for a Nike contract.
Later that evening, younger kids came to our home after dinner and played and sang traditional songs.
After the music show, these Bolivian children became obsessed with this game that the Frenchman was traveling with. He was actually sponsored by a European company. He got paid to have locals play with this toy, take a photo, and send it to the company.
I want that job!
#3 – The dangerous wonders of South America.
I saw geysers for the first time in my life.
In addition to being an incredible natural wonder to see, I was also amazed you could just walk around anywhere and very easily fall into a bubbling, steaming pit.
There are no roped off areas. There is no one in charge monitoring our actions.
There IS a warning sign that says,
Stop. Danger. Do not go near.
Which everyone ignored.
#4 – Enjoying a natural hot spring in my wool hat.
We stripped down to our bathing suits in the freezing cold to enjoy this natural hot spring.
It was wonderful and relaxing, mainly because we beat the crowds there. I did take off the hat in order to get my hair wet. I figured the minerals might help out the greasy hair situation. It kind of worked.
#5 – Driving through streams in this rugged land.
I don’t really know why this was so exciting for me.
Maybe it was because the driver told me they have to go a different route during the rainy season.
Maybe it was because navigating the water crossings seemed extra adventurous.
#6 – Staying in a hotel made of salt.
I knew this was part of the itinerary for night three, but this salt hotel really did exceed my expectations.
It is much cooler than it sounds.
#7 – Bathroom breaks in the middle of nowhere.
Because you drink a lot of water to combat the effects of the altitude, you have to go a lot, and you learn to go wherever you can.
There are even a few real bathrooms to use in the middle of nowhere (for a few Bolivianos of course).
Apparently, some people have been going in places they shouldn’t.
This sign still cracks me up.
#8 – A little creativity.
Did a worker get bored one day?
Did the worker drink all these bottles of wine?
The last stop on the tour is the Train Cemetery in Uyuni.
I am not certain if they planned it this way, but this looks like public art to me.
Which of these travel moments do you think is the most surprising?
This is part of a series of photo essays from my tour through the Bolivian Altiplano starting in Tupiza and ending in Uyuni. If you enjoyed these photos, check out these galleries.
- On the Road: Day 1 – Includes the stunning Quebrada de Pilala and El Sillar just outside of Tupiza and the tiny village of San Antonio de Lipez where we interacted with local children.
- On the Road: Day 2 – This was one of my favorite photography days with sights like Laguna Verde, Licancabur Volcano, a natural hot spring, the Sol de Mañana geysers, flamingos, and the gorgeous red waters of Laguna Colorada.
- On the Road: Day 3 – The wonder continued with the Siloli Desert and its famous Piedra de Arbol (Rock Tree), the active Ollague Volcano, the Camino de las Joyas (Path of the Jewels) with multiple lakes and lots more flamingos, and the salt hotel.
- On the Road: Day 4 – We watched a beautiful sunrise over Isla del Pescado, took our crazy photos in the Salar de Uyuni, and then visited the train cemetery in Uyuni.