Years ago when I saw photos of the Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt flats) I dreamed of riding on the someday. It’s really the main reason for me coming here. With so much rain in Bolivia lately I heard most of the Salar was flooded with 10 inches of water. So when I checked the weather and saw there was about 3-4 days of sunny skies forecasted I decided I would skip the other places in Bolivia as head straight there.
From Potosi I rode with Ian and Paul to Uyuni. It’s a 2 1/2 hour ride on the newly paved highway 5 and it’s beautiful. Lots of twisty roads in canons, over mountains, and through valleys.
The fields and hills by the roadside were covered with llamas. They were everywhere. There was one on hill overlooking the road and when Ian rode by first this llama started freaking out jumping and stomping it’s hoofs. When Paul rode by it started charging down the hill right towards the road. Just as I was approaching I’m thinking this llama is about to charge full speed at me. It got to the edge of the pavement and stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief and watched the llama continue to freak out in my mirror.
When we arrived in the town of Uyuni we stopped at the gas station to fill up. When we asked about the price they said the new foreign price hadn’t arrived yet so we could pay the lock price. We filled up every spare bottle we could find!
The guys at the gas station told us the salt flats were flooded for the first 10km with water 8 inches deep. We rode all the way to Uyuni so we weren’t going to give up that easy. Riding on the road to the salt flats we came to a massively flooded road. We waited for a truck to go through to see how deep it was. It looked doable. By the time we got to the next flooded section no trucks were in sight. I found a metal bar nearby and used that as a measuring stick.
We rode out to the salt flats and were happy to see it wasn’t as flooded as we were told. It was only about 4 inches deep and for maybe 1km then was almost completely dry. We rode like crazy. I was loving life.
With the endless horizon we played around with the perspective and took some photos.
We went back and immediately found a car wash to thoroughly wash all the salt off the bikes. They charged $5 which seemed expensive for Bolivia but we didn’t really have a choice.
Here’s a video Paul made of our day on the Salar de Uyuni