In a jeep from Tupiza to Uyuni. Flamingos at the Laguna Colorada and lots of other animals. Dessert and the “Arbol de piedra”. Volcans and lava landscapes.

Travelogue Bolivia 2003
Tupiza to Uyuni – Part 2

Once again day three started fantastic, as each of the days kind of replaced the last one’s impressions with new and even better ones. This is one of the reasons why I can’t describe every detail of this route and rather than excerpts.

desert landscape with mountains between Tupiza and Uyuni with undershot moon at sunrise
moonset at sunrise

As we were going from Tupiza to Uyuni we were most of the time travelling alone and only passing the lots of tourist doing the route the other way round. And we started with the smallest sensation the tour offered and they got better all the way rather than starting with the best (Salar de Uyuni) and then becoming more “boring”. First thing to see was the Laguna Colorada and we were the first tourists there at this day. We saw hundreds of flamingos standing in the water and got closer to them as anybody else as they fled from our approach and settled down some hundred meters farer from the shore. Experience increase by binoculars approx. 300%. (One of the things I can’t describe in detail is all the animals we saw. Anyway, if you want to get an impression of our trip then visit where you find maps of the routes and some amazing photos.)

flamingos in the Laguna Colorada
flamingos in the Laguna Colorada

Then we went through another amazing desert with astonishing rock formations, the most famous is the arbol de piedra, the tree of stone that looks as if it and the background with colourful mountains had been taken from one of Salvador Dali’s paintings.

Arbol de Piedra between Tupiza and Uyuni
Arbol de Piedra (some five meters high)

Finally we reached one of the region’s few active volcanos. We did not visit the small smoking crater but a landscape of lava from an eruption some centuries ago. It looked as there had been a sea of lava in five to ten meter high turbulent waves which solidified in parts of a second. I have no idea how this landscape did form itself.

landscape with frozen waves of lava between Tupiza and the Salar de Uyuni
The lava landscape. I am still looking for an explanation how these waves have formed. So far Nicole B. came up with the explanation that sounded best to me: She said they might have formed under water.

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