Driving with the dust devils

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Driving into the desert

Whilst Day 1 of the Uyuni tour had given us vast salt landscapes with little in the sense of navigation markers, Day 2 started the journey into dust, desert flats and gentle, sandy hills that rolled away into a far distance of snow capped mountains.

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Desert dust and moodiness

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Cloud and snow cover

As with the infinite whiteness of the salt flats, drivers steered a confident course through a drifting landscape. In sheltered places, tracks from earlier jeeps showed us the way.

We stopped briefly in what has been dubbed the Salvador Dali desert due to its surreal make-up and surroundings. A calm, settled desertscape, on this day the sunshine mimicked visual expectations of warmth that one would typically expect in such sandy, desert settings.

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Surreal Dali-esque desertscapes

But these Bolivian deserts were cold.Day and night. Each trip out of the car required us to wrap up, scarf up, hat up.

On Day 3 we arrived at yet another lake amidst flat dusty ground, mountain chains and a heavily pregnant sky. Clothes hugged in closely to our bodies, the wind sought out gaps, licking us with an icy tongue.

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The sky about to give birth

I ran away from the lake and my group, out into the emptiness of a drawn out desert: I wanted to feel the impact of this place, to momentarily measure my human insignificance against the magnificence of nature. The wind joined me in my desert dance, and we spun around together. But eventually, Wind drove me back to the crew, blasting sand in my face and forcing the clouds to drop a hailstorm bomb.

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Dancing in the desert

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Sandstorm and hailstone pain

Driving, dancing and a bit of drama in the desert. Why would you want it any other way?

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Ghost town for food before the home run

And then after a last lunch in the ghost town of San Cristobel, a dust storm kicked up. Inside the vehicle the air became stale and temperatures rose as the sun cooked the car. But opening a window and inviting in the dust devils for a goodbye drive? That would have just been silly.

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Last stretch dust storm

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7 Comments

Filed under activity & sport, bolivia, desert, nature, south america, tours

7 responses to “Driving with the dust devils

  1. Wow those skies look SO peaceful!!! Although cold, it looks beautiful 🙂

  2. Pingback: Rock my world | travelola

  3. Like your photos. Salivating on the Dali-esque vista I would love to capture.

  4. Mmm, that second shot from the top is gorgeous! The dust gives such an interesting mood here.

  5. Pingback: Desert-Ed | the republic of less

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