Article
Challenge
Thanks!
Challenge us!
1


Excursion in the South Lipez
From 21 to 25 November 2014

Tupiza, a city in the south of Bolivia is famous for its "Tupiza-Uyuni tour". It's a 4-5 days excursion in the jeep with 4 people, plus one driver and one cook, including the visit of the beautiful South-Lipez region and the Salt flat of Uyuni. We found two comrades, Roy from Bombay and Tom from Marseille, and started a 5 days adventure including ascending the Licancabur, a 5950m high volcano. « Los Salares », the only agency that proposed us a fair price, has provided all the logistics, the driver Victor and his wife Magali for cooking. Are you ready for a long photo report? Let's go in the jeep!

2


The Sillar


Canyons at will!

3


Aguanapampa


Rare fertile steppes, full of lamas and donkeys (which were keen to be ridden this day, according to the picture...)

4


Cerillos


Traditionnal village of the South Lipez

5


Muyu Kaka


Admire its rough vegetation in the foreground. The hill contains here a copper deposit.

6


La Cuidad Encantada (the enchanted valley)


A mystic rock sculpture erected by waters.

7


Ruinas Pueblo Fantasma


Remains of a mining city of 30.000 souls in its glorious times that had been lost when a priest declared the devil was living in the city and he would stay for 1000 years. Why? Massive enslavement, children working in the mines, inhuman exploitation targeted by money. And to prove his prophecy, a severe epidemy killed a major part of the population.

8


Laguna Morejon


The final step of our day.

9


Vicuña


In Spanish, vicuña. Close to the lama, it lives only in wild state and entertains us running along our route.

10


Lamas wool shaving


The following morning, we attended the shave of lamas by 3 women. The animal was groaning, while it had stretched eyes and was tied down on the floor. The women were holing their ears with a knitting needle and decorating it with colored wooled pompom. The pompom helps to recognise the ownership of the animal that lives most of its time in open fields.

11


Laguna Hedionda


Where Benoît discovered it is hard to make ricochets on a frozen lake.

12


Laguna Kollpa


Full of fearful flamengos. But they didn't escape our photograph Tom!

13


Chalviri Salt flat (Salar)


Our first Salar, that impressed us. And it is ridiculous compared to the Uyuni one...

14


Aquas Termales


Thermal waters at 36°C, heated by the neighbouring volcano. In front, the view offers a salted lake, rich of colours. This hot bath was really enjoyable.

15


Walking on the island


The jumping picture!

16


Dali desert


Enormous rocks (10 to 40m) appearing in the middle of a desert which holds the name of the famous painter for its similarity to his paintings.

17


Laguna Bianca


And its whitish flamengos... The color of the lake is due to minerals present in the depths, in addition to the salt.

18


Laguna Verde


This lake contains minerals from the volcan Licancabur that towers it. Cooper gives the green color whereas arsenic poisons it. That's why no life can be in and around the lake.

19


Ascension of the Licancabur


After ascending the volcano Licancabur, we had a rest in the Aquas Termales. Discover the story of the ascent in the article 22.

20


Geysers of Huyalla Jara


You can almost smell the sulfur that gets out of the geysers!

21


Jumping, not dumping


We have to be watchful: falling in a geyser is synonymous of death by boiling. Sulfur pools are dangerous too.
The huge variety of shapes of the geysers surprised me the most:
- chimney of ashes.
- ochre and viscous mud pools
- whistling holes from where gaz gets out of.
- grey and boiling liquid pools.

and the ground around geysers: a mixture of red, yellow, orange earth. A real master piece with piercing whistle and smelly sulfur.

22


Laguna Colorada


The very famous lake known for its different colors: red from the microorganisms, blue on the rest of the lake and white salted icebergs on a whole side.

23





And the fauna: we could count more than 3.000 pink flamengos. Their pink color comes from the microorganisms they eat.
Speaking about pink, we had the delicious chance to sleep in Barbie covers (we loved it). Our exhausted bodies didn't actually care.

24


La Copa del Mundo


Between the 2 proposed roads, we chose to spend our 4th day on the way to the Laguna Negra (Black Lake).
First stop: this rock with the shape of a world cup. The unique they would ever own ?

25


Italiano Perdido


The name of this valley (the lost Italian) is a joke from the guides because of an old misadventure. Surely it's the best place to get rid of annoying Italians... Unhappily we had only an Indian and a French, so we continued with them.

26


The camel


Not so easy to climb, despite appearences.

27


Rheas


Rheas are cousin of ostriches and can run at 25 km/h according to the speedometer of our jeep, that won easily the race with these so fearful birds.

28


Valle de las Rocas


Canyon, again !!

29


Lunch with lamas


The real plus of this tour was that each break was enjoyable. Magali has prepared a picnic and we feasted in a green valley, where lamas were grazing.

30


Laguna Negra


This black lake surrounded by rocks, is also toxic, containing small traces of arsenic. However we found there an fleet of black duck, fighting. The lake provides water to the village Alota after being filtered by vegetation on the stream.
We liked:
- the quality of the stone for ricochets
- the calm around the lake
- the crazy ducks that animated our visit

31


The railway on the Chiguana Salt Flat


And Roy, meditating... or not.
Meanwhile Tom is waiting for his last hour, lying on the rails. He could have waited for a long time: the unique daily train already passed.
And us ? We are gently training on stick/knife planting in the Salar, with more or less success.

32


San Juan and its mummies cemetery


During the Aymaras era, between 1250 and 1450, this place welcomed the mummified bodies of the lords of Lipez and their belongings. The bodies were installed inside old dry coral squelettons, that had been dug. These corals come from the era when the sea was covering this place. When the Andes were created, this location dried and now suffers severelly from global warming.

33


Tornado


5 kms away, we could observ dust tornadoes. They usually disappears within 30 secondes.

34


One night at the "Hotel de Sal" in Chuvica


We arrived to an hotel whose principal material is... the salt! Walls, chairs, tables, beds, lusters, floor exactions, the salt is used everywhere.

35


La ultima scena


We were enjoying our last dinner when our guide Victor proposed us to ascent the volcano Tunupa that surpasses the Salar de Uyuni. After many discussions (in Spanish), we accepted this new challenge.

36


Starry night in Uyuni
by Pierre

My insomnia got me up around midnight. Going out of the hostel, I enjoyed the starry sky of Uyuni, magnified by the altitude and not spoiled by any light. The sky takes enormous proportions. Surprisingly, the stars were looking a bit green to me and I'm still looking forward an explanation. Far away - at dozen of kms - an electric storm was illuminating a tiny part of the sky. The more I was moving on, the more stars I was able to distinguish. Admiring the immensity of this majestic sky, I surprised myself meditating and dreaming.  Then Morpheus called me into her arms. How lucky I was to be then there!

37


The Salar sunrise


Alarm at 4:30 to admire the sunrise. It was more than worthy.

38


Shapes on the Salar


The salt deposit are shaping alveolars. The explanation is that the Salar equalises itself and leave it impurities on the alveolar banks.

39


Mandatory sunglasses!


And do not forget lipsticks... to have a maximum of ideas of pictures and because the sun reflection is very strong!

40


Isla Incahuasi / Isla del Pescador


We hit the road and... in the middle of the Salar: an island full of cacti!

41


Ascending the volcano Tunupa


Ready for a new challenge, we first convinced our cooker Magali to follow us for half of the ascent despite her unkle problems. Here she is with her husband Victor that will come along with me till the top (Tom and Benoît will climb more easily and quickly.)

42


A special volcano


A slope of the extinct cratere has collapsed. We climbed on the South face. The multicolored rocks come from lava remains and other pebbles rejected by the volcano. We had a wonderful time there, facing this magnificent view and experimenting adrenaline. Going down was easier: we surfed on the rocks!

43


And we did it


Here, the 3 guys photographed by Victor and in the background, you can distinguish the volcano Sajama and its eternal snow: the highest pick in Bolivia.

44


From the top


We can finally see the edge of the Salar!

45


And our reward...


Of course we don't forget to give a slug to Pachamama before drinking.

46


Cool lunch (both sense)


Menu: Lama cooked "milanese" in the middle of well living lamas.

47


Salt Hotel


A hotel made of salt has been built ON the Salar. It's very similar to our last accommodation however no tourists can lie there for security issues.

48


The train cemetery of Uyuni


Many locomotives has been used to bring ore from Potosi to Europe or US. Today they are useless and have been gathered in a desert, rebaptised train cemetery.

49


That's all!


We kept some awesome pictures for the end:
- Roy found shoes for his feet

50





Tom and his pliers

51





Roy supporting Pierre and Benoît

52





Pierre proud to jump higher than the horizon

53





Thanks for reading this whole article and for your comments that we appreciate a lot. See you soon for next adventures!

1


Excursion in the South Lipez
From 21 to 25 November 2014

Tupiza, a city in the south of Bolivia is famous for its "Tupiza-Uyuni tour". It's a 4-5 days excursion in the jeep with 4 people, plus one driver and one cook, including the visit of the beautiful South-Lipez region and the Salt flat of Uyuni. We found two comrades, Roy from Bombay and Tom from Marseille, and started a 5 days adventure including ascending the Licancabur, a 5950m high volcano. « Los Salares », the only agency that proposed us a fair price, has provided all the logistics, the driver Victor and his wife Magali for cooking. Are you ready for a long photo report? Let's go in the jeep!


The Sillar


Canyons at will!


Aguanapampa


Rare fertile steppes, full of lamas and donkeys (which were keen to be ridden this day, according to the picture...)


Cerillos


Traditionnal village of the South Lipez


Muyu Kaka


Admire its rough vegetation in the foreground. The hill contains here a copper deposit.


La Cuidad Encantada (the enchanted valley)


A mystic rock sculpture erected by waters.


Ruinas Pueblo Fantasma


Remains of a mining city of 30.000 souls in its glorious times that had been lost when a priest declared the devil was living in the city and he would stay for 1000 years. Why? Massive enslavement, children working in the mines, inhuman exploitation targeted by money. And to prove his prophecy, a severe epidemy killed a major part of the population.


Laguna Morejon


The final step of our day.


Vicuña


In Spanish, vicuña. Close to the lama, it lives only in wild state and entertains us running along our route.


Lamas wool shaving


The following morning, we attended the shave of lamas by 3 women. The animal was groaning, while it had stretched eyes and was tied down on the floor. The women were holing their ears with a knitting needle and decorating it with colored wooled pompom. The pompom helps to recognise the ownership of the animal that lives most of its time in open fields.


Laguna Hedionda


Where Benoît discovered it is hard to make ricochets on a frozen lake.


Laguna Kollpa


Full of fearful flamengos. But they didn't escape our photograph Tom!


Chalviri Salt flat (Salar)


Our first Salar, that impressed us. And it is ridiculous compared to the Uyuni one...


Aquas Termales


Thermal waters at 36°C, heated by the neighbouring volcano. In front, the view offers a salted lake, rich of colours. This hot bath was really enjoyable.


Walking on the island


The jumping picture!


Dali desert


Enormous rocks (10 to 40m) appearing in the middle of a desert which holds the name of the famous painter for its similarity to his paintings.


Laguna Bianca


And its whitish flamengos... The color of the lake is due to minerals present in the depths, in addition to the salt.


Laguna Verde


This lake contains minerals from the volcan Licancabur that towers it. Cooper gives the green color whereas arsenic poisons it. That's why no life can be in and around the lake.


Ascension of the Licancabur


After ascending the volcano Licancabur, we had a rest in the Aquas Termales. Discover the story of the ascent in the article 22.


Geysers of Huyalla Jara


You can almost smell the sulfur that gets out of the geysers!


Jumping, not dumping


We have to be watchful: falling in a geyser is synonymous of death by boiling. Sulfur pools are dangerous too.
The huge variety of shapes of the geysers surprised me the most:
- chimney of ashes.
- ochre and viscous mud pools
- whistling holes from where gaz gets out of.
- grey and boiling liquid pools.

and the ground around geysers: a mixture of red, yellow, orange earth. A real master piece with piercing whistle and smelly sulfur.


Laguna Colorada


The very famous lake known for its different colors: red from the microorganisms, blue on the rest of the lake and white salted icebergs on a whole side.





And the fauna: we could count more than 3.000 pink flamengos. Their pink color comes from the microorganisms they eat.
Speaking about pink, we had the delicious chance to sleep in Barbie covers (we loved it). Our exhausted bodies didn't actually care.


La Copa del Mundo


Between the 2 proposed roads, we chose to spend our 4th day on the way to the Laguna Negra (Black Lake).
First stop: this rock with the shape of a world cup. The unique they would ever own ?


Italiano Perdido


The name of this valley (the lost Italian) is a joke from the guides because of an old misadventure. Surely it's the best place to get rid of annoying Italians... Unhappily we had only an Indian and a French, so we continued with them.


The camel


Not so easy to climb, despite appearences.


Rheas


Rheas are cousin of ostriches and can run at 25 km/h according to the speedometer of our jeep, that won easily the race with these so fearful birds.


Valle de las Rocas


Canyon, again !!


Lunch with lamas


The real plus of this tour was that each break was enjoyable. Magali has prepared a picnic and we feasted in a green valley, where lamas were grazing.


Laguna Negra


This black lake surrounded by rocks, is also toxic, containing small traces of arsenic. However we found there an fleet of black duck, fighting. The lake provides water to the village Alota after being filtered by vegetation on the stream.
We liked:
- the quality of the stone for ricochets
- the calm around the lake
- the crazy ducks that animated our visit


The railway on the Chiguana Salt Flat


And Roy, meditating... or not.
Meanwhile Tom is waiting for his last hour, lying on the rails. He could have waited for a long time: the unique daily train already passed.
And us ? We are gently training on stick/knife planting in the Salar, with more or less success.


San Juan and its mummies cemetery


During the Aymaras era, between 1250 and 1450, this place welcomed the mummified bodies of the lords of Lipez and their belongings. The bodies were installed inside old dry coral squelettons, that had been dug. These corals come from the era when the sea was covering this place. When the Andes were created, this location dried and now suffers severelly from global warming.


Tornado


5 kms away, we could observ dust tornadoes. They usually disappears within 30 secondes.


One night at the "Hotel de Sal" in Chuvica


We arrived to an hotel whose principal material is... the salt! Walls, chairs, tables, beds, lusters, floor exactions, the salt is used everywhere.


La ultima scena


We were enjoying our last dinner when our guide Victor proposed us to ascent the volcano Tunupa that surpasses the Salar de Uyuni. After many discussions (in Spanish), we accepted this new challenge.


Starry night in Uyuni
by Pierre

My insomnia got me up around midnight. Going out of the hostel, I enjoyed the starry sky of Uyuni, magnified by the altitude and not spoiled by any light. The sky takes enormous proportions. Surprisingly, the stars were looking a bit green to me and I'm still looking forward an explanation. Far away - at dozen of kms - an electric storm was illuminating a tiny part of the sky. The more I was moving on, the more stars I was able to distinguish. Admiring the immensity of this majestic sky, I surprised myself meditating and dreaming.  Then Morpheus called me into her arms. How lucky I was to be then there!


The Salar sunrise


Alarm at 4:30 to admire the sunrise. It was more than worthy.


Shapes on the Salar


The salt deposit are shaping alveolars. The explanation is that the Salar equalises itself and leave it impurities on the alveolar banks.


Mandatory sunglasses!


And do not forget lipsticks... to have a maximum of ideas of pictures and because the sun reflection is very strong!


Isla Incahuasi / Isla del Pescador


We hit the road and... in the middle of the Salar: an island full of cacti!


Ascending the volcano Tunupa


Ready for a new challenge, we first convinced our cooker Magali to follow us for half of the ascent despite her unkle problems. Here she is with her husband Victor that will come along with me till the top (Tom and Benoît will climb more easily and quickly.)


A special volcano


A slope of the extinct cratere has collapsed. We climbed on the South face. The multicolored rocks come from lava remains and other pebbles rejected by the volcano. We had a wonderful time there, facing this magnificent view and experimenting adrenaline. Going down was easier: we surfed on the rocks!


And we did it


Here, the 3 guys photographed by Victor and in the background, you can distinguish the volcano Sajama and its eternal snow: the highest pick in Bolivia.


From the top


We can finally see the edge of the Salar!


And our reward...


Of course we don't forget to give a slug to Pachamama before drinking.


Cool lunch (both sense)


Menu: Lama cooked "milanese" in the middle of well living lamas.


Salt Hotel


A hotel made of salt has been built ON the Salar. It's very similar to our last accommodation however no tourists can lie there for security issues.


The train cemetery of Uyuni


Many locomotives has been used to bring ore from Potosi to Europe or US. Today they are useless and have been gathered in a desert, rebaptised train cemetery.


That's all!


We kept some awesome pictures for the end:
- Roy found shoes for his feet





Tom and his pliers





Roy supporting Pierre and Benoît





Pierre proud to jump higher than the horizon





Thanks for reading this whole article and for your comments that we appreciate a lot. See you soon for next adventures!

.