Salar De Uyuni Tour – Part 11 – Atacama Desert (The Driest Place On Earth) and Arbol De Piedra (Higher Than Europe) *


Jumping for joy somewhere on the Salar De Uyuni Tour – in the deserts of South Western Bolivia. A moment to savour and freedom. This tour was one of the most spectacular I have been on, scenery wise. After lunch by Lake Hedionda, we headed into deep desert country and to the peak of our adventures before stopping at Arbol De Piedra. Peter’s tree.

This was another lake on the tour. We had already seen Laguna Canapa, Laguna Hedionda and Laguna Verde. The terrain was desert roads, mountains, lakes and sand.

The heat was unbearable hence my hat and jeans – also tried to cover up my arms but it just got too hot. Thanks to my foresight, I didn’t pick up any sunburn on my legs! A good tip is always to wear longs in deserts.

Typical photo of Bolivian desert wilderness.

The desert we drove through in our jeep.

Bolivia – Irlanda Del Norte (Northern Ireland).

Our driver Cristian made a smoke and water stop somewhere on this immense desert road.

Incredible desert.

Mountains in the background – these are actually miles away. But deserts play tricks and it looked like we could touch them. You’d be walking for hours…

You can see the windows got dirty and sandy – we decorated them with writing. Not just my Irlanda del Norte. It’s Cristian’s Coche.

Many travellers enjoy the random idea of a traveller carrying their country’s flag. Guillaume and Cristian put it up on the jeep in the desert.

I forgot to tell them it was the wrong way wrong. But anyway!

My Northern Ireland flag does Bolivian Deserts.

Relaxing in the desert. The name of the desert is either the Salar De Uyuni or The Atacama Desert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atacama_Desert ) The problem being the Atacama is mostly all in Chile now. It is commonly regarded as the driest place in the world. Take water. You’ll need it.

Our entire group in the Atacama Desert.

Flying the flag with Cristian and Wilma, driver and chef for the 3 day trip.

With Cristian and Wilma.

More wild vicunas. Them and Llamas are everywhere!

We stopped at these rocks next and were lucky to catch sight of a chinchilla.

Look closely and you’ll see the chinchilla.

Interesting rocks in the Atacama.

The Atacama desert on the Bolivian side.

Natural rocks in the Atacama.

A few more photos of these rocks, we were at a high elevation at this point. Around 4,500 metres above sea level. This was to be the peak of our tour, we are higher than almost ALL of Europe.

These rock formations were not actually Arbol De Piedra, but other natural rocks. The next stop of the rollercoaster day would be at Arbol De Piedra. They are all volcanic rocks.

I found a seat in the middle of the Atacama desert.

Flying the Northern Ireland flag in the world’s driest region.

And shortly after this, we arrived at Arbol De Piedra!

It’s nothing more than a load of volcanic rocks on sand, located high in the desert in Bolivia.

Arbol De Piedra.

I needed a toilet and they have a combustible one there. the waste just goes deep down into the desert.

Various volcanic rocks at Arbol De Piedra.

This is Arbol De Piedra itself, meant to resemble a tree.

These rocks side by side are meant to resemble two people’s heads.

Benoit and I posed as the two people standing back to back.

Making random patterns with Benoit, to be honest you just get a bit bored looking for different photo chances given that the normal ones have all been taken.
The flag at Arbol De Piedra. Benoit and Guillaume decided to climb on the top of it, so I agreed to take the photos of them. We also learnt that for almost all of this part of the tour we are higher than most of Europe, as one of the highest mountains there, The Matterhorn in The Alps is 4,480 metres above sea level. We are slightly higher at this point.

Benoit and Guillaume got naked on top of the Arbol De Piedra. And on that note, we got back into the jeep and headed for Laguna Colorada, we would need to enter a national park to get there.

From – Laguna Hedionda

Towards – Laguna Colorada

Via – Atacama Deserts, More Lakes, Volcanic Rocks, Arbol De Piedra

Elevation – 4,500 metres above sea level


Key Songs –

JOHN LEGEND – SO HIGH:

ARBOL DE PIEDRA PART 1 –

ARBOL DE PIEDRA PART 2 –

ON THE JEEP IN THE DESERT:

BOLIVIAN DESERT WILDERNESS:

DRIVING TO LAGUNA COLORADA:

LAGUNA COLORADA:



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