Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1384, Tupiza – Salo: Campsite with a View

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jul - 05 - 2014

Distance: 34.91 km
Ride time: 4:05:16
Average: 8.55 km/h
Altitude: 3750 m
Total: 27420 km

Just before leaving Tupiza I noticed that one of my breaking cables was about to fail. I thought it was better to get it fixed, as I was expecting some tough mountain stages the next days. I quickly found a friendly bike mechanic who changed both the break and gear cables. The price; 5 USD. If my bike has to break down I hope it happens in Bolivia.

Antonio, the bike mechanic, liked to do small tours around Bolivia himself. When I told him I had planned to cycle the mountain route from Tupiza to Uyuni he said “no no, there is too much wind, the climbs are too steep, it’s too cold, and there is no water”… that was when I decided that this was exactly the route I wanted to take. I asked Antonio if the route was at least beautiful. “No tanto” he answered, no so much…

Now, what each of us would consider a beautiful cycling route is of course individual, but as I left Tupiza and cycled into the mountains I would call it world class cycling.

Antonio had been right about the wind though. It was hard cycling as I not only had to climb but also fight a strong and consistent head wind.

The first part of the day I had been following a valley, but as the sun was setting I passed a last village, and then I was heading straight up into the mountains. I was hoping the climb wouldn’t be too long, as it would be almost impossible to find a place to pitch the tent on the steep slopes. At some point I saw a small plateau with flat grounds a few meters away from the road. The panorama views over the valley I had just come from were amazing.

I pitched my tent hoping that the wind would not be too strong. I was only a couple of meters from a steep cliff that continued a few hundred meters down. Luckily the wind died down as the sun was setting.

Categories: Bolivia
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