Salar de Uyuni

Since I’m already into visiting great things here in South America I thought I kind a had to visit the biggest salt desert on earth, Salar de Uyuni. However I am getting tired of travel around in minibuses so I decided to hire a motorbike instead and since all the backpackers are scrimp and counts every single cent it ends up that I was alone with the guide, perfect!

The desert is enormous, bigger than 10 000 km² and on my single day tour I only visited a small part of it of course. The most popular 3-day tour may be a bit to much but I think a 2-day tour would be perfect. With that you also have time to visit the surrounding volcanoes.

Desert is a strange word for this though, sure the surface is for sure a desert but below the 15-20 cm thick surface you actually got a 20m deep lake. The surface is really flat, containing salt and minerals and reminds me as a Swede a lot of ice. I must admit I did brake one or two times extra just because my brain thought I was driving on snowy ice roads which are slippery, but this time, no ice and no slippery surface but all the salt takes it tolls on the bikes for sure.

We drove around and checked out the classics though, the cemetery for trains for example. Normally you don’t use trains in South America however here they do since they need to transport all ore from close by mining’s and of course, salt to the ocean for further transport. We also visited the cactus island. This rocky island located pretty much in the middle of of the salt desert is an old volcano and its really cool to see both old lava, volcano rock and corals which clearly confirms that all this was once, many many years ago was under water, then global warming came. The whole island is covered in cacti and they grow roughly 1cm per year, that means that that 8m high cactus are close to 800 years old!

We finished the day doing some classic enduro riding. It so fun to just play around with the bike in deep sand, avoiding bushes and of course the wild lamas, guanacos. Using the railway embankment as a jump you could easily jump over the railroad tracks. In other words, this was a really, really good day!

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