One of my favorite things about camping is waking up with the sun. For some reason in this situation, I am immune to my usual resistance to waking up early. Despite the intensely noisy wind all night, I felt pretty well rested. It was so nice to wake up next to the river! We had a simple breakfast of coffee and bread with peanut butter. My stomach had woken me up a few times in the night and it still felt pretty bad. I had pills to help stop me up, but I think this made the cramping worse. Our plan was to drive a few hours down the road to Uyuni, get a hostel for a few nights so that we could have a few days to relax and plan for the three day trek through the desert to a remote border crossing into Chile. This would also give me some time to sort out my stomach issues, and we would get to visit the infamous salt flats without being loaded down by all of our gear.
The stream crossing out of the camp site and the sandy roads back to the highway went much smoother than the day before. It was a windy but beautiful ride to Uyuni. It really reminded me of the desert landscapes of central and eastern Utah.
Very similar, except for the llamas. We stopped for a quick breakfast in a tiny and dusty little town. Just as we had pulled over another motorcyclist pulled up from the opposite direction. When the helmet came off, I was so happy to see it was a woman riding solo! She was Italian and full of life!
We had great if not confusing conversation. We were speaking spanish and she would answer in Italian. We did decipher that the salt flats were doable by bike. Just a few kilometers of shallow water at the beginning and then all clear. We said our goodbyes, the guys ate their breakfast (yogurt for me..) and we headed on down towards Uyuni.
We arrived in Uyuni before lunch time, got settled in the hostal and wandered the main street in search of a lunch that was affordable and agreeable to my stomach. We found something nice and simple. I had a big bowl of soup and a little salad (all veggies peeled) and it sat very well. I felt great! After lunch we walked around in search of new stickers for our panniers. Linus even bought a Dakar ball cap, first cap he has owned! Ha! We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a big tire changing fest. I put on a new front tire, Sam put on a whole new set, and Rich changed his front.
Right before sunset the guys decided to ride a few kilometers to a train graveyard outside of town. I decided to stay and enjoy some alone time but not long after they left, here came Rich pushing his bike back to the Hostal! Luckily, he had just run out of gas again. He had forgotten that he had given gas to Sam two days before, so his mileage count was off. After a forgettable dinner that took a really long time to prepare we settled in for an early night of reading, blogging and sleep. We’ll be up early for a much anticipated day trip to the Salar de Uyuni, or Bolivian Salt Flats!