More story & photos after the jump...
Anyway, A has a whole pile of photos of the Bolivia trip, and me sans camera & sans phone w/camera, produced next to zero. It pains me because not only were the lakes extraordinary colors, all 165 of them, and the Solar was cool and different this time because of the rain (when it rains, it fills with pools of water and the reflection of the sky is ceratinly something to behold), but also because the road to Uyuni, the city that connects to the Solar, is littered with bags and rubbish. Fields upon fields were utterly filled with trash. For a city that is the jump spot for the biggest tourist attraction in the country, I still cannot fathom why this is the case.
Bolivia is by far the poorest country of the countries I've visited in LatAm, my second time clearly not an exception in that observation. It shows from the moment you set foot across the border. Part of Bolivia's descent has been due to the fact that it has become a land-locked country, destroying ocean ties to other parts of the world. Another part is due to the decline of silver mining, once a big source of income. What are left now are some mines in Potosi where workers as young as 19 look well into their 30s due to overexposure to the elements of the mines and a cemetery of trains, a free tourist attraction, that is just outside of Uyuni that used to transport silver and other precious metals across the continent daily. I have not gone to Potosi nor do I know much else about Bolivia and its economy and politics, but what I have seen are natural resources which have the potential for a country to become more than just a poor country in South America. Anyway, a photo blob since my anger at not having a camera slowed me down from having the full "tourist" experience:
|Bolivia immigration afer the Chilean border|
|Our home for 3 days and our bags being secured to the top|
|The first of the awesome lakes|
|Copper: The colored bit is the lake water and the white bits are solid salt.|
The lakes only got cooler-looking after this. See why I was angry?