I went to Laguna Chaxa, where flamingos paddled in the shallow waters. The scenery was breathtaking, with the salt plains, lakes, volcanoes and deep blue sky all looking otherworldly. I'd crossed the Salar de Uyuni six years ago, and it was flat, white and it tasted of salt. The Salar de Atacama was different - rumpled and dirty grey and apparently containing all sorts of things like arsenic and lithium. I didn't try tasting it.