Bolivia, with five neighbour countries and no coastline well hidden somewhere deep in South America. Like many other places on this trip we where really looking forward to visit this country. This because of the world famous huge salt flats. These salt flats cover an area of 10,582 km2, the largest salt flats in the world. This all at an altitude of 3660 meters on the Bolivia Highlands, in the Andes near the town of Uyuni.
Wikipedia learned us;
About 40,000 years ago, this plains was part of a huge prehistoric lake. When the lake dried up, two lakes remained (Poopo Lake and Uru Lake), and two large salt flats (Salar de Uyuni and Salar de Coipasa). It is estimated that it contains more than 10 billion tonnes of salt, of which around 25,000 tonnes are removed annually.
The flats are covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average elevation variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50% to 70% of the world's known lithium reserves. The large area, clear skies, and exceptional flatness of the surface make the Salar ideal for calibrating the altimeters of Earth observation satellites. Following rain, a thin layer of dead calm water transforms the flat into the world's largest mirror, 129 kilometres across.
From the border from Peru we will head for La Paz, one of the highest cities in the world from were we will go south to Oruro, on to route 12 to Sabaya. At this small town close to the Chile border we gonna hit Salar de Coipasa first, meet the flamingos and move on to Salar de Uyuni.
After Uyuni will cycle south to the border with Argentina. On this part we expected a boring route but cycled an unexpected beautiful part of Bolivia, a bit similar to the National Parks in the United States but without the thousands of tourists.