La Paz acted as a base and a much needed rest stop while we planned our trip to Uyuni, where we would spend three days traveling across the salt flats and desert landscape. After my previous experience of the dreaded night bus we looked for alternative transport options, but flights were infrequent and expensive and all coaches departed at night. I would just have to face it again and hope for the best!
We ended up having to take a local bus rather than the more touristy ones and with a 10 hour journey ahead of us I was filled with dread. Surprisingly, the bus was extremely comfortable with fully reclining armchair like seats, I couldn’t believe our luck! The added comfort along with a number of coping strategies meant we were actually able to get some sleep before arriving into Uyuni. As we arrived before 5am it was like pulling into a ghost town. Still groggy from the sleepiness, we were hounded by locals selling tours as we got off the bus. Somehow in our tired and confused state we agreed to go to a nearby cafe for some breakfast which we were led to by a local teen. After walking in silence for over 10 minutes down the abandoned streets (not so nearby it seems) with only packs of stray dogs around, we started to wonder where we were being led and if we had been careless in blindly following this stranger. As we were finally led into a building through a side entrance and winding stairs, we knew this was the point where either we had made it, or it was time to run. Our relief was palpable once the door opened and we were greeted by groups of tourists tucking into big fluffy pancakes and hot drinks by a heater. Now it was our turn to get warm and fed before starting out on our slat flats adventure!