STORY BY BREE KESSLER
In guidebooks they tell you that the Salar de Uyuni, the salt flats in Bolivia, is a beautiful landscape filled with unique natural wonders. What the authors fail to say is that it’s natures freak show, that you will freeze your butt off, and that your tour is a jeep commercial meets the Oregon Trail Atari video game. The tour consists of four days of tourists filled caravans visiting the rock formation that looks like rocks, the pink colored lake filled with flamingos, and the thermal waters with geyser that is just asking for a mini-golf course to be built around it.
Our first stop on the tour was to a hotel entirely made out of salt. It was like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of the Russian gulag. Literally, the building itself and all the interior furniture are made of salt. I walked in, looked around at the beds and nightstands made of salt, resisted the urge to lick the walls, and took a seat on a chair made of salt. I turned to pose for a picture when I felt the chair come apart from under me and then I heard a crash. I looked back in sheer awe. The back of the salt chair had come apart from the base of the chair and fallen onto the salt floor. The stranger sitting to my left turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you broke the chair, it’s not like salt chairs just break by themselves.”