Today I’m sharing a very special picture from Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia featuring lovely couple behind Two Scots Abroad Blog.
Gemma Armit – feisty small – fry from Scotland. Fresh off the plane from a 17-month career break to travel the Americas and Europe.
Photo Story: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Ever since I saw those silly photos of people falling into tubs of Pringles and being chased by dinosaurs, I wanted to go to Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia aka Bolivia’s Salt Flats!
I first saw them through the camera display screen of a fellow backpacker on a sailing boat in Australia’s Whitsundays (I know, life is hard) and thought – hilarious, I have to get there.
Fast forward three years, I meet Craig. I warn him that I am planning to take a career break but he’s invited, I like this guy!
Three years later again – we are on a flight to the Americas. Bolivia was the third country on our itinerary and at that point.
We were still keen beans with a serious dose of the travel bug (travel burnout kicked in the next month).
After two nights in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, we take a long and uncomfortable bus journey south to Uyuni.
Straight off the bus, we find our tour company. These guys specialise in tours for Japanese tourists, therefore you can be sure to get spectacular photos.
So we squeeze into a 4×4 with 5 Japanese tourists and a grumpy Bolivian tour guide who only speaks Spanish.
In the morning through to the afternoon, we take the humorous pictures – human giants squashing us, tiny humans stranded in an abandoned shoe – God bless the lack of horizon for outrageously funny photos!
We hop back into the car and drive into the sunset and this is where the magic truly happens.
Our bossy fellow travellers instruct the guide to take images of us spelling out the word UYUNI in the reflections. Creating spectacular shots with our bodies all contorted into shapes.
My favourite of the day is this image. Craig and I in a vintage style kissing pose, my leg kicked back as the sunset colours dance around us.
I loved this image so much that we reincarnated it for one of our wedding elopement pictures in Austin.
This time in front of Austin’s Congress. Colours of the dusk were replaced with the bright blue and yellow of a sunny Texas day.
Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world’s largest salt flat, at 10,582 square kilometers.
It is in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes and is at an elevation of 3,656 meters above sea level.
Salar is salt flat in Spanish. Uyuni originates from the Aymara language and means a pen (enclosure); Uyuni is a surname and the name of a town that serves as a gateway for tourists visiting the Salar.
Thus Salar de Uyuni can be loosely translated as a salt flat with enclosures, the latter possibly referring to the “islands” of the Salar; or as “salt-flat at Uyuni (the town named ‘pen for animals’)”.
Aymara legend tells that the mountains Tunupa, Kusku, and Kusina, which surround the Salar, were giant people.
Tunupa married Kusku, but Kusku ran away from her with Kusina.
Grieving Tunupa started to cry while breastfeeding her son. Her tears mixed with milk and formed the Salar.
Many locals consider the Tunupa an important deity and say that the place should be called Salar de Tunupa rather than Salar de Uyuni.
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