After a five-month study abroad stint in Buenos Aires, my friend Ashley and I packed one school-sized backpack each and set off on a three-week tour of northern Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil in December, 2008. This excursion to the salt flats was part of that South American route.
The Bolivian salt flat, also known as Salar de Uyuni, extends for 4,086 sq. miles, making it the world’s largest. In a large pool under the salt, over 50 percent of the world’s lithium supply is waiting to be harvested, and on the hour-long ride into what felt like the middle of a white ocean, we saw several lithium- and salt-extracting sites (which basically consisted of one crane and a couple guys hauling blocks of salt).
Besides the condiments and battery power, the Salar de Uyuni provides a trippy photo op. Behind a camera lens, the white appears as though it will never end, distorting your field of vision. Read: If I run really far away, it looks like a mini-me is sitting in Ashley’s hand. Now that’s a true backpacker’s souvenir.
–Tara for TKGO
Powered by Facebook Comments