Salar de Uyuni
The Promised Land

October 6 & 7, 2017

We continued along the salt flats and through some dirt flats to meet out with our Canadian friend Chuck again.

What happened…

Andrew writes: A highlight of the trip for me this morning…teaching English on my phone from the middle of a desert. I have one student, named Jerry, whom I have been tutoring for about 6 months now. It was really cool to be able to share video of the salt flats with him. It amazes me the level to which technology has ascended that I was able to teach from the middle of nowhere like this!

We reached Isla Incahuasi in short order today, and I was a little disappointed with it. Maybe because it was sort of touristy? I’m not sure. I thought it would be cooler. We didn’t spend a lot of time, but rather cycled on, with a tailwind, stopping to take photos, and even a nap. There were some German cyclists who we caught up with and would criss-cross paths with for the next two days also.

Once we left the Salar we were on a road, and here was the part that I had been dreading. It was horrible, just ankle-deep sand that was impossible to ride through. So we pushed ahead, until we found a spot to get out of the wind and setup our camp.

The next day was more of the same, as the road would appear and disappear at random, and we found ourselves pushing through the sand quite often, sometimes with the Germans and sometimes not. At one point I looked to my right and a few hundred metres away saw the four guys pushing their bikes, while I was on a more firm part of the track and able to ride…at about the same speed. We all arrived in San Juan de Rosario at the same time and while Amanda and I decided to call it a night, they pushed on towards the border with Chile. We had pre-arranged with Charles that we would all meet up in this town and cycle on together, and sure enough, he showed up later in the afternoon. So we all enjoyed the afternoon and evening together as the Canucks. It was great!

Amanda writes: As Andrew mentioned the latter part of these couple of days included some pushing but still for some reason I was having fun. Maybe because we weren’t having to climb many thousands of meters. Before the hard stuff though Andrew was patient with me wanting to enjoy more time on the quiet salt desert. I was able to practice some more yoga and meditation and Andrew had some fun with the camera. And we did take a nap although I think the sun reflecting off the white salt flats may have burned us a bit. We applied sun screen multiple times, but when it’s reflecting up, there’s not much you can do aside from hide and when you’re cycling that’s not possible. We’ll see how the burns turn out.

I was still amazed at the utter peace I felt while on the desert. It’s incredible that such a large place (10,000 square kilometres) of peace exists on the planet. We were lucky to experience no wind, no people, no vehicles, no buzzing power lines, no insects, no animals, no life; just us. You can yell as loud as you want and there are no mountains for the sound to bounce off. But I had no desire to yell, but instead to just enjoy the quiet.

Once we left the salt flats and started toward the small town I was excited to see Charles again. The friendships we have made along this journey will remain with us forever. It seems wherever we go, we nourish these connections with like minded people. Our circle of friends grows as we continue around this great planet of ours. So many people from difference countries, different backgrounds, different languages; yet we all share one thing in common. And with Charles we just happen to share the same country and that in itself is rare. So we enjoyed a lovely dinner together, listened to some music and shared some digital files. Andrew and I carry a hard drive with lots of books, movies and TV shows and we were able to transfer this to Charles for his lonesome nights as he continues South.

The aerial view of our rides:

Today’s Photographs

Salar de Uyuni
The Promised Land