Yunui & Siloli Desert

September 03, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

Forty minutes flying time from La Paz brings you to Yunui. The gateway to Bolivia’s famous Salt Flat and the spectacular Siloli Desert.

Yunui is a bit like a hell hole, a small town that sits on a vast plain and is subjected to wind and freezing temperatures. Traditionally a mining town it now caters for tourism. In true form it provided us with a minus 15 degree welcome.

After a quick visit to the train cemetery, we head toward the Siloli Desert, passing through the odd mining town and the world’s largest silver mine.

The Siloli Desert is one of the most inhospitable areas you can imagine, at 4,500m above sea level you really start gasping for air, temperatures below freezing and a chilling wind that puts 5 layers of Icebreaker clothing to the test.

To make matters more interesting and challenging, there are virtually no roads. For the next 2 days we are in rough off-road 4 wheel drive conditions.

However the scenery is awesome. This is no flat desert but the home of endless gigantic mountains that rise up like stately kings, proudly holding their heads up to 6,200 meters.

The pictures speak for themselves. Wind shaped rocks, multi coloured lakes and breathtaking scenery.

After a testing day we finally come to our lodge Tayka del Desierto. Located at the base of a huge mountain it looked a welcome sight, built entirely of rock, inside and out. But enthusiasm disappeared rapidly when we discovered there was no heating in the public areas till 6pm and no heating in the bedrooms. The worst part was the fact that we were to spend 2 nights in this freezing chamber.

The editing of pictures has been a challenge with only a sprinkling being posted. See Travel > Bolivia.


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