I cross the line. A border that is.
The bus that is supposed to drive me from Peru straight to Bolivia’s capital (La Paz) doesn’t. At 5 in the morning I get dropped off at a random village in Peru.
Eventually I find my way to Bolivia’s border. After two 2,5 hour bus rides, which includes a scenic drive alongside the renowned Lake Titicaca, I end up in La Paz.
La Paz makes me want to start a war. I leave this city to never return and head out to the desert.
Another nine hours in buses before I switch vehicles once more. I add painkillers and drive four hours in a jeep to reach my destination. Halfway through the journey the tires disappear, the vehicle reshapes, becomes round and starts floating.
I elevate and seemingly burst through the space-time continuum. The UFO tears apart the air and lands on a different planet - switching time zones and galaxies simultaneously.
I disembark the UFO and look around: a deserted desert with red brown sand and similar coloured mountains in the distance. I’m surrounded by endless space. This is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed before in my life. One step forward and gravity will let me go.
The mountains indicate the border with Chile and its Atacama desert. This I don’t believe. I’m fairly sure that behind these mountains there’s a booth with a Bolivian security guard in it. His face will tell me he’s permanently unimpressed, his voice will tell me that this is where the earth ends.
All I’m able to do is stare. The scenery is unreal. The water actually has a different colour. My mind might be drifting, but I’m far from dreaming. Yet somehow someway the lakes are green, black and red over here. I check the amount of painkillers in my pocket. “That’s not it either.”
I ascend again and view the unequalled landscape: green lake, mountain, rock formation, red lake, mountain, rock formation, green lake, mountain... I’m flying in circles. A vicious cycle of utter bliss. I’m everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Lost in nature’s gorgeousness, not wanting to be found.
The sun’s fierce sun rays dissolve all ominous thoughts before they have a chance to manifest. Goosebumps persevere over pain. With my arms wide open I take in all that surrounds me. I fall head over heels with the universe. My feet high in the sky, my head god knows where.
All alone in a place that defies reality, yet the furthest away from loneliness and insanity I’ve ever been. I’m heading towards nature’s perfection whilst approaching my equilibrium.
I fly on.
In the back of the UFO I hear music and a voice that starts singing: “... Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.”
I turn around and look behind my chair. There she sits, hunched over, attempting to go unnoticed: Belinda Carlisle.
Again she sings, a bit awkwardly this time: “Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.”
I sigh and shake my head. “Stop hiding behind chairs in UFO’s, Belinda Carlisle. My eyes work just fine. Go home. Just go home, Belinda.”
I explore the land for two days straight and get beamed up once more, certain that I’ll never come across a scenery that’ll be able to compare in terms of beauty.
A day later I land a few miles north of the desert. My prediction turns out to be wrong, very wrong. Apparently I switched galaxies once more. I’ve landed in the Bolivian Salt Flats, Salar de Uyuni.
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