Hi there this is Tiahna and Max, we are meant to be writing the blog this week so here we go.
After a great weekend we were eased back into school life with a trip to elmercado de brujas, or the witch’s market. it was a strange place, many lama foetus’, toucans beaks and the skin of a very large kitty cat sadly. Unfortunately disaster struck as Matt had his wallet stolen from a zipped pocket, so that was a downer on the trip. He took it very well though. Monday afternoon we had time to do what we wanted, so everybody did their own thing. In the evening emily took us out for a supprise supper, it probably was the best meal of the trip so far, loved it. apparantly the steak was orgasmic, so all enjoyed it hugely.
Tuesday was the last day of lessons, so in our break the school organised a presentation, there were medals, certificates and even salteñas. Again the afternoon was off, this time we split into two groups, one created a poster to give to the school to remember us, and the others went to go shopping for the goodbye party, which had a neon theme. We bought neon paint to compliment our outfits however after half an hour it started to burn our skin. other than that everyone ejoyed themselves, it was nice to spend our last night with the teachers. All in all it was great night again.
Wednesday we were able to lie in, which was much needed but every one still woke up with paint on their clothes and in their hair. We got our team shirts, which were awesome. Then we took the bus to the highest city in the world as it is just below 5000ft, Potosi. Our first meal there was four courses for £3.50.
On Thursday we went to the mine, Tiahna and Jess were a tad worried about the lack of space, but they handled it well, even when we were crawling on our bellies. whilst down there the miners worship El Diablo, their god. They give him coca leaves and other gifts, in return for good luck. Once out of the mine our guide sol showed us the true power of dynamite, by blowing up a small section of dirt. After this we went to a hot spring, where we swam and had a delicious llama bbq. On the way back we stopped at the mint museum whcih was riveting.
On Friday we left at 6:30 on a 6 hour bus journey to Uyuni. We saw our first llamas, alpacas and flamingos. The road was being re-built when we arrived so we had to wait for four hours for a bridge to be reconstruscted, due to heavy rain. We all had a little stroll around in the hills by thew bridge. Matt aquired some serious sunburn. Once the bridge was fixed we crossed and got out of the bus and squashed 10 people into another car, plus all our bags. Once we arrived in Uyuni we got straight into 2 toyota land cruisers and headed out to our first accomodation. On the way, the girls car got stuck in a rather large puddle. That night we were in a rain storm which happened to be the first rain on the Atacama desert for 30 years.
The next day we set off to La Laguna Colorada, aka, the Red Lake. There were many flamingoes and Vicunas, which are a type of wild llama. Next we visited the old geysers; they were hot and smelt like egg. We the proceeded to our third destination, a hot spring where we bathed and had lunch, cooked by our amazing chef, Natividad. After this, we went to el Lago Verde, the green lake. From here we were able to see Chile, which excited Ciara a lot. On our return journey we passed the Dali rocks, so named as they look very similar to rocks from one of his paintings. We then returned to camp, back at the red lake.
We took a walk around the red lake on Sunday and were able to truely admire its redness. From here we went and saw some giant rocks, one of which was shapped like a tree and is so-named the tree rock. Here we spent a bit of time climbing and taking pictures from the highest of the rocks. We then went on to the black lagoon but did not stay long as it was freezing, we did try to huddle together like penguins with Gen and Emily in the centre. Our final stop was the valley of the rocks, where there were literally thousands and thousands of huge rocks. Here we climbed again and had a nice sing song across the valley. That night we stayed in a town just outside Uyuni, it had an internet cafe with no internet!
Our last day was the highlight of the salt flats trip. We finally got to go an see the salt flats. We had been told the night before that the flats were flooded due to the rain so weren´t quite sure what to expect. When we got there we were amazed by the view. The water on the flats was so clear that you could not tell where the ground ended and the sky begun. We did the typical tourist photo taking, which caused much amusement. After the salt flats we went to the train graveyard it was quite eary seeing all the rusty, dismembered trains. After returning to Uyuni, we boarded the night bus to La Paz, only to be delayed by another flooded river, this time only for 2 hours.