Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1379: Villazón – Arenales, Bolivia

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jun - 28 - 2014

Distance: 59.16 km
Ride time: 3:46:15
Average: 15.75 km/h
Altitude: 3187 m
Total: 27341 km

I was feeling excited as I left Villazón behind and began on the first kilometers of cycling in Bolivia. My map suggested I would hit a dirt road right ahead, but I was positively surprised to learn that the road to Tupiza was indeed paved. Things obviously change fast around here.

The cycling went smooth even after a late start from Villazón (you might as well wait for the sun to warm things up a bit). In a tiny village I stopped to buy a packet of biscuits. A group of kids quickly surrounded me, asking questions. It was almost like being back in India. I guess they don’t see many gringos out here.

I’m always a bit nervous while wild camping in a new country for the first time. It usually only lasts one night, then everything is fine again. As the sun was setting I was extra careful while choosing my wild camping spot, and made sure nobody saw me as I left the road.

As this southern corner of Bolivia is very sparsely populated there was really nothing to be nervous about. In fact the spot I had found to pitch my tent was both located in a beautiful spot and perfectly hidden. As I had dropped a couple of hundred meters of altitude during the day I was also not expecting too cold a night. Soon enough I was sound asleep in my two sleeping bags.

Categories: Bolivia
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Roney says:

    Hi Thomas,
    I’m following your diary since you were riding the Carretera, great adventure, keep going!
    One question: what sleeping bag ratings are you using? Are they enough in the -10 cold?
    Thanks and good luck!

  2. Hi Roney! I just realized I haven’t yet answered your question… sorry for the delay 🙂 Actually I use two sleeping bags now. When I left home I didn’t think I would experience such cold nights, so I only bought a light 3-season sleeping bag. After deciding to head into the altiplano I bought another Sleeping bag in Chile. The new sleeping bag is only rated for -5, but when I combine it with my original one I don’t feel cold at night. Greetings from Peru! Thomas