Monday, April 21, 2008

Day Four - The Salar de Uyuni

The alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and instantly we are out of bed. We are up before the guides, frantically packing and are out the door by 6:07 a.m. We all have chapped lips from the salt dust that was in our salt hotel but no one complains. Today is the big day we´ve been waiting for. The Salar de Uyuni, the worlds largest salt spread. The area is so flat that you can see the early morning haze of the sun´s rays spreading out across the curvature of the earth. We drive watching the horizon as the Morning Star escorts the sun into the new day. The light comes quick here and we are in a dead race to beat it. It starts faint and light then digs deep into the horizon for the final rise into gold. We are the first group out. We are speeding but the dashboard gives no indication of speed. All the gauges in the Landcruiser have been inoperable since the beginning of the trip. It is so flat that our driver Lozano leans over the stearing wheel to rest his head on his arms not looking as to where he is going, arguing about the best places to go with Margarita. I am surrounded by chaos, conversations and excitement. Eric and I are in the middle seat. Infront of us we hear rapid spanish and behind we have our two friends Sanne and Arjan discussing the best ideas to photograph once the sun rises in dutch. I focus on the ever approaching daylight hoping that we get to a good spot on time. All of a sudden we turn and stop. The sun is about to rise...

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