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Heaven on Earth Salar de Uyuni in Potosi, Bolivia
Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:31 AM
It’s almost impossible to distinguish in these dream-like landscapes where the sky ends and the ground begins.And with the addition of a few figures praying and dancing, even a few cars rumbling through, they take on an outer-worldly feel.But they are of course taken here on Earth, in Bolivia's Uyuni salt flats to be precise.The flats, located in Southern Bolivia near the country's Tunupa volcano make up the world's largest salt desert, around 11,000 km sq. That makes it even larger than Lake Titicaca, the vast stretch of water shared by Bolivia and neighbouring Peru.
For just $15 a day, tourists can lodge with peasant families in homes without running water or electricity - and outhouses used as bathrooms. But despite the loss of home comforts, they can join in with local activities - such as the annual llama-shearing season in August, or joining llama caravans that deliver salt blocks to remote villages in exchange for food and other goods. Although tourists have long been visiting the area, it wasn't until around five years ago that interest grew in extracting the 5.4m tons of lithium which is found just below the surface of the salt.
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