12. April, 2017.
Hotel de Sal Luna Salada, Uyuni, Bolivia.
A luxury hotel built almost entirely out of salt cubes. The floor is a salt grovel. Impressive and stylistic place. An oasis truly in the middle of nowhere.
We had taken the night bus from La Paz to Uyuni and arrived at 5 AM in Uyuni. We found a taxi and started our allegedly 20 minutes journey to the hotel. We exited the town and drove along a newly built road out into the moon lit night. Compared to Icelandic roads, this one was of high quality. From the main road we exited at Colchane and followed a very rough dirt path through that village until it disappeared into the salt desert. It was a wonder to me how the taxi driver managed to find his way but when we drove past a sign with the name of the hotel, I was convinced we were on the right path. My wife and daughter had silently started to prepare for a possible robbery.
Finally close to 6 AM we spotted in the still darkness some houses on a low hill. A few lights were on and more came on when I walked up the steps towards the main door. Me and the taxi driver managed to get someone to respond to the speaker phone, who directed us to a side door that was unlocked. It took a while until a staff member appeared. While I was waiting I had time to look around. Impressive, tasteful and stylistic interior design caught my eyes. Originality in the usage of salt cubes was evident not only in the walls and floor, but also in the furniture. Unlike many places in Bolivia, I encountered a smiling person, good humored and speaking good English. Could it really be that the fact that we were now in Quechua-speaking area contributed to this change? Whatever the answer was, I was glad that communication was now smooth and effortless.
In the morning after a good lunch, we started exploring the surroundings. It was a sunny day with clear skies. As the hotel itself, the surroundings were breathtakingly beautiful. In the distance we could see in all directions a white mist from the salt flats. The hill that the hotel was built on, had once been a tiny island in an ancient ocean. Sea waves had formed the near surroundings. Walking down the hill towards the flats, we came across mineralized corals. The salt flats were astounding to walk on. This must truly be a dream for geologically minded people to be in this place.
It must be very exciting to be driving a motorcycle in this area. Driving here is however a well thought out affair, as the nature is sensitive to any abuse. A well beaten path or officially sanctioned road must be installed to avoid a long time damage to this amazingly beautiful place.
As this is a luxury hotel, the prices are accordingly. A helicopter pad and out of the way hotel in this range tells a story of a playground for the rich and/or famous. The prices are however not too overwhelming for dedicated travelers. Therefore, the conclusion is, highly recommended!
Heilt lúxuxhótel byggt úr saltkubbum, gólfið er saltmulningur. Glæsilega og smekklega innréttaður staður. Að hótelinu er varla einu sinni vegslóði, hvað þá meira. Staðsett á hól en við rætur hans steingerðir kórallar. Draumastaður fyrir jarðfræðinga og áhugamenn á því sviði. Jarðsagan í hnotskurn.
Reyndar er hér steyptur þyrlupallur. Samt finnst enginn íslenskur Panamaprins hér, ennþá alla vega.