jueves, 15 de septiembre de 2016

Road trip across Bolivian Salt Flats

Phill Jupitus and Marcus Brigstocke attempt to cross the stunning salt lake Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and answer the questions below.

1 How much salt does the lake contain?
2 What is the one feature of Salar de Uyuni that is outstanding on planet Earth?
3 How fast should they drive when crossing the lake?
4 Where can Salar de Uyuni be seen from?

It's estimated the lake contains 10 billion tonnes of salt. Below the crust lie pools of brine thought to contain over half the world's lithium reserves. As the surface edge is flooded, entering the lake is a dicey proposition.
I'm nervous about that, actually.
That's quite a way, isn't it?
That's a way in water, and there's now way of seeing how deep that gets.
Look at it, look at this! Look at the sodium chloride!
I really want to taste some.
I have, it's salty.
You just tasted?
This is unbelievable. It's so crunchy.
I'd come across, but I'm wearing suede shoes.
It's dreamlike, it's so weird. For a kick-off, the brightness. It's the brightest place on the planet I've ever been, and it's just...there's a beauty to it. Over my shoulder there, there's a line of horizon you can't quite make out. It's just absurd and beautiful and wonderful and I can't wait to get on it.
That's deeper than it looks.
It's loose as well.
Right, OK, so that's how it's going to be for the wheels as well.
Yeah, yeah.
We're just going to need to take it very steady because also, if you flick this water up into the engine and stuff, not that I know what happens, but something bad happens.
I've seen some things in my life but, my God, this is just... and the volcano.
How deep do you think that gets?
Well, we'll find out. We've got to go real slow, but we've got to keep moving.
It's been an honour, sir.
Right, keep it under 10 miles an hour, we were told.
Yep, nice and steady.
How do you feel about just driving into a lake, Phill?
I feel very weird.
Yeah, that's pretty deep, man.
This is mad.
Oh, my God!
Careful, man. What are you doing?
Water ballet, my friend!
Easy, don't spray it up into the engine.
I won't, I won't.
What way are we headed?
We're going in exactly the right direction.
Yeah, so this line here. You see the end of that headland there? I'm going to keep pointing at that. Very occasionally I get a surge of fear that it's going to crack,
and we're going to disappear into many metres of water beneath.
A lake of brine.
It's kind of scary, I've got to say.
They say you can see the curvature of the earth once you get out here to the middle. Isn't that crazy? Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong could see this from the moon.
Just keep a steady speed, yeah?
Shall do.
Oh, my God!
Phill, it's incredible.
I'm so glad I'm dressed like this. Dude, you're going to have to try this when I drive. It's awesome.
I'm 50 this year.
Also, it's quite a small window.
You'll be fine.

1 10 billion tonnes
2 its brightness
3 10 miles an hour
4 from space / from the moon