Road Trip Day 2 – From Colchane to Tahua

Wednesday 7th October 2015

Here was the view from the hostel in Colchane from my window in the morning.

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Eduardo gave us a couple of papers to fill that we would need to cross the Chili – Bolivia border. Jeez that was the most paper heavy border I had seen so far!

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Off we went to the border. It was a short 20-30 minutes ride. The number of trucks waiting to cross it was huge. Poor truck drivers, it must be a real pain to wait for hours like this.

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Exiting Chile first. Giving our exit paper. Phew, this time I had not lost it! Getting an exit stamp.

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Entering Bolivia next. Getting a new paper to not loose and an entry stamp.

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On the Bolivian side, the number of trucks also queuing to get to Chile was huge too.

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Eduardo, our Chilean driver met with Antonio, our to-be Bolivian driver and exchanged about the program and the cash money the agency had given him to handle to Antonio for all the expenses covering the trip, hostels, food, petrol.

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We said good-bye to Eduardo. He was an awsome driver and guide, I would highly recommend him. I think if you have the possibility or willingness, there is no need to go through an agency to organise a road-trip like this. Cut down on the intermediary commisions, organise directly with the guides instead when possible.

Here is his email if you are ever coming to this incredibly stunning landscapes area of the world and went to organise a customised road-trip with him somewhere between Putre and Colchane, there is soooo much to see, much more than what we just saw. He speaks a little bit of English, but prefers Spanish.
Eduardo Cortes Briones – phone number 82815384 and email is:

Off we went on the Bolivian road in direction of Tahua with Antonio.

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Here is a map to show you where Colchane and Tahua are. Direction south-east-east-east! So funny that Google doesn`t write down “Salar de Uyuni” below Tahua and on the left of Uyuni city name.

Colchane to Tahua

We arrived again at the Salar de Surire.

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At the entrance, the salar is mostly dirt.

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Then we started driving on the plain white salt.

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In the distance we could see some trucks collecting the salt, which seemed like a mirage.

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View of the salar and the little hills in the background.

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Cracked salty layer.

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Went threw this village

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Saw these little girls in uniforms coming back from school for lunch.

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Saw these cactus on the hills.

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And off to more salar

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Another hill in the background which reflection gives us the feeling that it is floating.

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I took hundreds of photos of views like this. So fascinating.

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When looking really closely, the salt pieces seem to form some small rectangles.

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We had lunch here.

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Snack lunch time.

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We continued the road-trip, got out of the salar and went in the direction of Tauca.

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The road ahead of us.

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Some tornado in the distance

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View to the left

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Up we drove on this road.

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Cactus flower

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Pretty landscape

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In the distance we could see the Salar de Uyuni, whoo hoo. It would still be a long time before we would reach it though.

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We went to this village to refuel.

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There was this tree in the middle of the road. It is so nice to see a tree that high when what you have been seeing around you for a few days is only bushes!

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On the walls of the village was written that they wanted Victor Hugo for governor.

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Off we continued, we saw the Monte Thunupa in the distance

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In the distance, the salar again.

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We passed this couple cycling.

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Monte Thurupa seen from the other side

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Arriving closer to the Salar de Uyuni.

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Almost there

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Monte Thunupa on our left.

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We arrived at the Hotel del Sal in Tahua.

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They had a good map showing where Tahua is on the map of the Salar de Uyuni.

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Another map. Tomorrow we would be off to San Pedro de Quemez.

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My mum came to my room and told me: “Hey you should get out there, the sunset has beautiful colours!” Usually, I don`t really listen to my mum, right. 🙂 But for once, I did. I grabbed a jumper and my camera and in flip-flops off I rushed out of the room to go see that. It was pretty cold but who cares, the colours of that sunset were really stunning. What I really appreciated was the fact that the salar de uyuni which we imagine as a plain white surface of white salt can take so many different colours in the evening light. Here one part already in shade was purple while the one in the soft light of the sunset sun was kind of pinkish.

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Monte Thurupa was very pretty too in the golden light with the village of Tahua at its feet.

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All the salt surface turning purple.

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Behind me, the clouds were like a stroke of a painter in the sky just above the dark line of the mountain.

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More photos of the sunset here (tap or click on one and tap or click on the right arrow to look at the next one.)

Dinner was nice with some wine.

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And there was desert called “postre” in Spanish. Now that`s rare. In Colombia and Peru, never any desert!!

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Tomorrow, off to San Pedro de Quemez through Isla Incahuasi, Bahia Mala-Mala, Cueva Galaxia and much more!