November 18, 2009

Day 224 : Laguna Colorada

This morning I woke up early to catch the sunrise over the salt flats. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen...

Last night I slept in one of the Salar de Uyuni's 'Salt Hotels'. From the outside it looked like nothing to write home about, but inside, it was an entirely different story. Note to self: Don't judge a book by its cover!
They're not joking when they say that everything is made of salt! The flooring, the walls, the tables, the beds, you name it, it's salty (well, except the toilets of course)! Below is a photo of the litter box-like floor surface. The salt crystals were glistening beautifully in the early morning sun.
Honestly, I was somewhat surprised with how serene and special this salt space is. Part of me expected a dark, damp, dilapidated shack, but this was nothing but bright, warm, and comfortable. I imagine it was more or less relatively affordable as well. As I said, everything was made of salt, a natural resource at the local's disposal. The roofs were made of corrugated metal and clear sheets in a way that allows an abundance of natural light to flood the space. Needless to say, I was impressed...
Tables and chairs...made of salt blocks!
The ceilings were nicely constructed by simply using a white tarp to cover the mess of structure and corrugated sheets that create the roofing system. The electrical network pokes through indiscretely when needed.
A pile of salt blocks sits in the corner of the room, waiting to be used.
After thoroughly examining the salt hotel I headed out the door, ready for another day of transversing the landscape between Bolivia and Chile.
For a minute I thought I was daydreaming about being on the moon, or some crazy planet. But then a big cloud of dust filled my mouth and I realized, no, this is real! Even the Pink Flamingos are real!

Even Salvador Dali's Desert was real!
Even the Laguna Colorada was real!

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