Day 8 – Sucre to La Uyuni

 

Well, we’re back in business! I just can’t get rid of this job no matter what I do and I was planning a nice nap instead of writing and posting this. Fortunately, Lloyd had a camera which we immediately pressed into service hoping that we would be able to import the pictures and compress them for the blog. Ah, the marvels of modern computers and software – some actually work.

Today had one Test – only 8 km which is incredibly short. Originally, they had allowed 23 minutes to complete the run which many people might be able to do walking (well almost – maybe a good distance runner going flat out). Unfortunately, this overly generous gesture was discovered and the time reduced to 5 minutes – not an easy task over a gravel road at 11,000 feet from a standing start. The real bad news was that we arrived at the start 2 minutes late (we had to stop for gas – can’t go far without that) and then Lloyd had a difficult time getting going at the start – altitude problems. Yes, we did bring another carburetor with us set up for high altitude which we planned to install last night, but not arriving until after 11:30 left us with the choice of carburetion or food – the food won.

Once the Test was completed, we had a distance of 215 km to cover to get to our destination. The roads today were nothing like those of yesterday (good thing as we would still be out there). Today’s problem was ALTITUDE! This provided some spectacular scenery but the car did struggle on incredibly long upgrades, especially when we topped out at 13,900 feet – we do go higher later in the trip. Hmmm …

After two consecutive days of not getting to sleep until the wee hours and having to be up and off early, I can’t imagine how Lloyd was able to stay awake and do a great job of talking the trusty Caddy over those mountains. The pictures speak for themselves and I’ll leave them full size for your enjoyment.

Amazing vistas …


They do have a lot of rock here …


And some beautiful valleys …


People actually live here at this altitude in small villages – must be a long trip to the store …


And sometimes in even smaller collections of houses – maybe they refer to them as “villagets” – sorry, it’s getting late …


Those fuzzy (sorry, we were moving right along when I took this one) looking things toward the bottom of the picture are actually mud and stone houses. These appeared to be occupied although there was no satellite dish to confirm that but many others have been abandoned and are falling down – wonder what happened to the people who had lived there?


Local inhabitants included llamas, everywhere. Guess they heard Lloyd was passing through as they all scattered as we approached or perhaps they are just a lot smarter than sheep …


Just one last picture of the mountains – yes that is snow atop them and it is the end of summer here – says something about the altitude …


We arrived early in Uyuni to our great relief. We came to a stop and I just had to take this picture of one of hundreds of small shops right on the sidewalk …

It took a bit of doing to find our hotel – fortunately we ran into one of the organizational vehicles looking for the hotel also so we just joined the line of cars they had in tow. The hotel is small but has great character and the people couldn’t be nicer …


Thought a nice nap would be wonderful but a short one was all that was in the offering. There was a trip planned for us to visit the great salt flats of Uyuni, supposedly the largest salt flats in the world …

Like all attractions of this nature, this too had the prerequsit souviner shops …

Our guide Juan was just teriffic, a Bolivian who spoke excellent English and knew his subject matter thoroughly which made for a very interesting visit. I don’t think I’ll have another opportunity to see them again in the near future …

Some form of monument with lots of flags, none of which I recognized …

Someone offered to take a picture – this was the result. Everything here seems to be made of salt, table, chairs, walls, etc. Lloyd is busy explaining which direction his navigator (me) told him to turn …

And a great way to end a good day, a beautiful sunset across the salt flats and yes, there is standing water on them …

 

A couple of notes before I post: it is good although tiring to be back in the blog business, I’ll try to catch up yesterday’s story if I can get to the pictures and if I can remember what happened back that far; next, we have just learned that the road we were to have traveled tomorrow has been washed out and we could not pass so a new route is being put together, unfortunately it adds another 200 km to an already busy day bringing the total distance for tomorrow to 750 km – nothing you can do about that one other than to get an early start.

Time for some sleep …

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2 Responses to Day 8 – Sucre to La Uyuni

  1. Spencer Merz says:

    Hooray for blogs ills! Fear not for loss of sleep, as we are maintaining our schedule here.

  2. John Layzell says:

    As always, thanks for the updates! Much appreciated! We understand that just keeping up, or not, with your own schedule is a full time job, and ask if at all possible could you include any brief update on the critical activities of the rest of the group? We see the Itala has withdrawn and they talk of the 56 Healey and 68 Volvo succumbing to a similar fate, and some other Yellowbricks haven’t moved or are not working. Nothing on the official H&H site since Day 3! rally On & Keep Calm! https://www.facebook.com/PekingToParis2013LittleRed

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