October 11, 2013
After yet another crappy night (Saige up many times, town dogs howling), we were packed up in the car and ready to go at 5 am. It was freezing cold but we were all excited for sunrise at the salar. And it did not disappoint! It was spectacular, to use my new favorite word once again! And very, very cold! Poor Saige, our 3 year old, was freezing despite the many layers she was wearing.
After sunrise, we had breakfast near Cactus Island and took turns climbing to the top of the island to get amazing views of the salt flats, the sea of white all around us. It was spectacular and I wanted to linger a little but I felt a lot of pressure from the driver to get going to our next destination.
Our next destination was to another part of the salt flats to take some photos. Due to the vast white expanse of the salt flats, perspective changes and you can get some pretty neat shots here. We spent about an hour here having fun with the kids taking photos. (I will upload more of these in a few days.)
We left the salar before 11 am stopping to see the salt being mined. I have to confess that once again, I felt really rushed. It seems to be the theme for this trip. I don’t know if it’s me (I haven’t been able to meditate all week) or the packed schedule but I keep feeling unfulfilled on this trip. I keep wanting more time everywhere we go to just slow down and enjoy it. We had to schedule the trip this way, only 12 days in between Esteban’s business trips and the kids only had a week off from school, but if I could do it over, I would somehow find a way to build in more time to explore and savor.
We were dropped off at the airport at 1:30 pm for a 6 pm flight. I had to rush in as soon as we got to the airport because Saige had a potty emergency. I came back out 5 minutes later to find out our driver and cook had already left. I know that I ran off and that they had a long drive back to Tupiza but it was strange not to say goodbye to people with whom I had just spent four days. There are clearly cultural barriers here that I can’t seem to bridge.
We made it back to La Paz and had to quickly take showers, put the younger kids to bed, and leave them under our oldest care as we had a dinner to attend. Yep! We have been up since 3 am and we were going to a dinner at the house of the president of the microfinance bank. It was the only time we could do it so we had to muster the energy. And I am glad we did! It was a lovely dinner, interesting conversation, very gracious hosts and a view into the life of the privileged.