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The first of our four days to Uyuni was relatively short, with a couple of decent climbs thrown in, mainly because of the scarcity of communities along the way. We saw our first llamas, looking quite camel-like, a definite Andean icon. Being up above 4000m really wasn’t causing any issues with the only symptom from the altitude that I was feeling seemed to be blocked-up sinuses during the night – very annoying as it meant that I’d breath through my mouth which given the low humidity lead to me waking up several times a night with a very dry mouth, seemingly irrespective of how hydrated I was.

We stayed in the town of Agua de Castilla, a small community just below the mining town of Porco. The few people in town, who all seemed sure we’d have to go up to Porco to find anything, warmly met us. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case as the police welcomed us in and let us sleep in a room there. They even gave HJ a mattress to sleep on, as the one she found in Peru resembles the thing you put on your car windscreen when it’s too sunny. My NeoAir XLite on the other hand, which Gaz brought over to replace my failed Big Agnes mat, is doing a fine job, other than being a little noisy when I roll on it. It, combined with my overly warm sleeping bag that I’ve been lugging around all this time, seem to do a fine job of keeping me warm during cold nights. Good thing really, considering for months on end it didn’t get touched and was just 3lbs that I got to carry along.

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