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Salt. Lots of Salt.

flat-worker.jpgbusted-train-line.jpgme-salty-flats.jpgtruck-flats-people.jpgThe southwest corner of Bolivia is one of those extraordinary places I hadn´t heard of until I got there with a little gentle pressure from other travelers. Salt wasn´t something I was particularly keen on--after all, where there is salt, you can´t grow vegetables. There is, however, something undeniably amazing about a patch of the planet stretching as white as ice and snow out into the horizon. For four hours I wandered ankle deep in cold water, toes curling around crystals as the sunshine blazing down, the wind thick with the brisk taste of the sea. When we broke for lunch, the air was so thick with flavor that it made salting our food redundant. The salt ruins cars, destroyed many of the old trains that ran through Uyuni, and has turned the nearby towns into dry patches of red earth. I learned that Bolivians from the nearby town of Uyuni drive out in battered trucks, mound the salt into pyramids to dry, and harvest it to sell locally.

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