Day 120 - November 30th

This morning at breakky we met some other Canadian travellers who were doing a month in Bolivia. Turns out, back in 1972, they drove a truck down from Canada to Chile and all the way back. They're way more hardcore than us. Pretty cool to hear some of their stories!

Next, we left the hostel to find the motorcycle tour company in town to ask some advice. After a bit of messing around, we found his place. He had converted an old abandoned church into his tour company, with rental motorbikes and gear as well as a small shop. He immediately invited us in for coffee and told us some of his stories. Seemed like a super down to earth guy and was more than willing to give us some tips. Thanks Robin!

After we left there, we headed towards the Salar de Uyuni (aka Bolivian salt flats.) The road out there was under construction, so there was a bit of a bypass with a bunch of sand. Sand sucks. We made it through unscathed, though.

We made it to Colchani, which is the standard entrance onto the flats. From there we followed a gravel road until we came upon a group of 5 SUVs decked out with adventure gear. Cool! One of them took off toward our main goal for the day - Isla Incahuasi - so we tagged along behind.

It was about then that we actually got onto the salt part. It was absolutely incredible. I never would have thought I could have so much fun driving in a straight line, for 78km, at 110km/h. The "road" was just a darker section of the salt from tires of previous SUVs, but you could drive literally anywhere and in any direction. It was cool being able to look behind you, while travelling full speed, for more than 20 seconds, without looking forward. There was nothing that you could possibly hit, and if you drifted off course, it didn't actually matter. It was crazy! Such a unique and thrilling experience.

After about an hour, we arrived at Isla Incahuasi. It was cool how it started as a blank space between the two "coasts" of the salt flats, and slowly emerged as we rounded the curve of the earth. The island had a small cafeteria, a museum, a gift shop or two, and a couple pieces of furniture made entirely from salt. Neat! For lunch we had llama, which was pretty darn good. The llamas are raised in the fields just off the south part of the flats... I would say this falls into the 100 mile diet, but the flats might be too big for that!

After lunch, we did a quick hike to the top of the island. Pretty crazy view being able to see nothing but salt in all directions. Once we got back to the bikes, we headed a bit away from the island to do some goofy perspective photos and fun gopro videos. So much fun!

On the hour or so ride back, we had a lot more fun goofing around with the gopros and stuff. Because we could drive literally anywhere, we could take our hands off the bars and mess around, doing stupid poses or fun camera angles. Such a rush.

Back near the edge, we found the Dakar monument and the visitor flag area. First, we had to hang the Canadian flag. Trev found a ladder behind a nearby building, and climbed up the flagpole. Success! Next we went in front of the monument to do more photos. Again, success!

A bit further along we found a salt hotel. We wandered around inside and checked it out... Super cool! All the beds, tables, chairs etc were all salt. Dave even tested a bench - yep, it's salt.

On the way home, we were allowed to drive through the construction site. No sand! Awesome! We tried to find Robin to get pizza and beer, but he wasn't home. Too bad... He seemed awesome. Nothing left for us to do except buy gas, which is an experience in itself. The guy at the station wouldn't sell us gas for a discounted rate (only double what Bolivians pay) while his manager was around. He wanted us to pay triple. Then, lucky for us, his manager left for a minute and he gave us a deal. He likely pocketed the difference. Man, of all places to expect corruption, a gas station attendant wasn't what I expected. With full bikes, we headed to dinner to fill our stomachs, then we called it a day.


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