From Antofagasta I headed off to San Pedro de Attacama. There I found out that I could not go directly into Bolivia unless it was with a tour. As I was not sure if I wanted to do a tour of the salt flats of Uyuni I ended up taking a bus from a town an hour away named Calama. However since I was already in San Pedro I decided to make the most of it. I went mountain biking for 4 hours through some amazing valleys then rode back to town to pick up a sandboard to head out to the Valley of Death. Amazing day and I was able to leave for Uyuni from Calama the next morning.
After the horrible 11 hour bus ride into Bolivia I met a group of Chilean travellers to share a hostel with. We booked a 3 day salt flat tour which ended up being one of the coolest adventures of the trip. The salt flats are truely stunning and you will just have to wait for me to find internet fast enough to load the pictures. Infinite salt flats, high volcanoes, lagoons full of flamingos, and thermal baths!
A group of travellers that were in the same tour company decided to stick together and head to Potosi and then to La Paz. Unfortunately, we were a little to helpful with the locals whilst loading the bus which was undoubtly several of their plans. We lost sight of one of the girl in our groups pack for about 30 seconds as we loaded a full oven onto the bus roof and in that time her small backpack was stolen. Liza is from Australia and had just about everything important for travel in that bag including passport, iphone, ipod, SLR cannon, nikon coolpix, and about 2500 pictures from her entire trip. We unloaded our bags from the roof then proceeded to fill out police reports. It was to be expected but the police in Bolivia were far from helpful to Liza. We stayed in Uyuni for a further 2 days in hopes of at least have the passport turn up. We then decided that we needed to get Liza to her embassy in La Paz as quick as possible.
Another terrible 12 hour bus ride later...
La Paz is a crazy city and we are staying at a pretty crazy hostel where not many actually speak spanish. Liza, Nick (a friend from BC Canada), and I went and biked the worlds most dangerous road yesterday which started at 4600 M in the snow and sleet and finished at 1200 M in a tropical rainforest. Amazing is all I have to say.
It is Australia Day today and about half of this gigantic hostel is Australian so Im done on the internet for now and off to join the celebrations!
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!