lunes, 20 de mayo de 2013

Salar de Uyuni: Salt Desert

Watch this short ITN news report about an unusual holiday destination, the Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia, and answer the questions about it below.

The activity is suitable for (strong) Básico 2 and intermediate 1 students.

1 The Salar de  Uyuni is the biggest ... on Earth. Can you complete the sentence?
2 What service started last November?
3 How many people visited the place last year?
4 How did tourists from the US reach the Salar before?
5 How big is the area?
6 What was the place like 40,000 years ago?
7 What's the weather like at night? And during the day?

To check your answers you can read the transcript below.

One of the Earth's natural beauties, yet we rarely hear about it. But now, the world's biggest salt desert, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, is attracting tourists like never before. A private air service on an antique plane opened flights over the area in November, and it's fast proving to be a popular attraction. Around 60,000 people visited last year. But since the new flight service was launched, the bookings have shot up, and it's totally full for this month and February. Hercules de Souza is manager of the Aerosur Airline.
Now, tourists from the United States are going to arrive directly to the salt plant. Before, they had to pass through the towns along the way and take different forms of transport to arrive to this wonder.
The area is around 4,000 square miles, situated in the southwest of the country near the Chilean border. Around 40,000 years ago, the Salar de Uyuni was part of a lake that covered a huge part of the Andean Highlands. Then it dried up, leaving a salt desert and moonlike landscapes. There is so much salt there that locals even make buildings out of it. In fact, the airport is built of the stuff. Pink flamingos, one-thousand-year-old cacti, and rare hummingbirds make their home here. At night, it freezes, and in the day, there's a blazing sun. But, it's still worth the trip.