Mirror mirror, in the desert
Voted into the 7 New Wonders of the World in 2007 many would choose to liken the Salar de Uyuni as scenery that is most probably lunar in type as if something lifted from the lines of a TS Elliot poem blended with a hefty dose of Dali, certainly not of this World in any case.
Located in the southwestern corner of Bolivia and measuring up to 12,000 squared kilometers, the Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the World and can be visited in three to four day 4×4 trips easily organised out of the towns of Uyuni, Potosí and La Paz.
Formerly a vast lake, the water has since receded and descended leaving this vast swathe of salt that measures up to 10 meters in depth at some points. In the dry season here at almost 4000m above sea level the vista is one that is breathtaking and terrifying for this is not a place to get lost or break down. But it is after a rainfall that one should really endeavour to make the journey since there is usually a thin film of water left on the salt’s surface ensuring that this already incredible view becomes even more astonishing.
With the eye being unable to measure any depth perceptions and distances given the brightness, altitude and lack of landmarks the Andes and snowcapped volcanoes that harshly interrupt the endless views beome perfectly reflected into the salt creating an expansive natural mirror.
And as you focus and are knocked back in awe it becomes clear that the sky and the salar have become one as the sodium chloride crystals merge perfectly in the azure blue of the sky and allow the visitor to snap some otherworldly photographs. – Richard McColl