Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1417, La Paz – Batallas: High Haematocrit

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Aug - 03 - 2014

Distance: 60.23 km
Ride time: 5:28:21
Average: 11.02 km/h
Altitude: 4052 m
Total: 28334 km

To leave La Paz you will have to do some climbing. I hoped that since I had just been spending 2 nights above 5000 m, the climb up to El Alto would be a bit easier – and I think it was. Well, cycling on steep roads will never be easy, but I think I was doing it with more or less the same speed I would have done at sea level. My acclimatization is finally complete.

The tiny forest I was passing on the climb were the first proper trees I have seen for almost a month. It’s a barren landscape up here on the altiplano. The smell of the trees I passed reminded me of the Ghost Gum and Bloodwoods around Alice Springs.

With the amazing setting of downtown La Paz among the high mountains, the city planners (if such a thing exists in Bolivia) might not have thought there was any reason to make the suburb of El Alto attractive at all. The flat, dusty roads passing through industrial area after industrial area seemed to go on forever.

Just as I was about to leave the city one of my break cables broke. It had only lasted a month, but that month here in Bolivia has obviously been very hard on the bike – lot of crazy climbs and rough dirt roads. I turned around and had to cycle a fair way back into town to find a bike mechanic. After less than five minutes and a few dollars my breaks were working again.

I had hoped to find a cheap hospedaje for the night, but with the delays leaving La Paz it was clear that I was not going to make it to the next town before darkness. Oh well, another night camping at the altiplano above 4000 m. I was expecting it to be a cold one.

Categories: Bolivia
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