|The Salar de Uyuni in Southwest Bolivia|
The Salar de Uyuni is the remains of prehistoric Lake Minchin, which lost all its water via absorption and evaporation over 40,000 years ago. As the water disappeared, it left a perfectly-flat layer of salt covering 4.085 square miles, roughly 25 times the size of the Bonneville Salt Flats in the U.S. state of Utah. As the Andean altiplano was pushed up by the forces of plate tectonics, the Salar reached its present-day elevation.
|My legs form a very long shadow at sunrise|
Any land of coexisting extremes like this one -- hot, dry, swampy, steamy, salty, windy, cold -- is bound to raise questions. Our 4-day jeep safari through the Salar answered some of them for us.