Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1386 – 1387, Tolamayu – Atocha: The Hidden City

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jul - 06 - 2014

Distance: 42.79 km
Ride time: 5:01:12
Average: 8.56 km/h
Altitude: 3658 m
Total: 27495 km

As I went to sleep last night I was expecting a very cold night in my tent. Much to my surprise I woke up at 4 and was feeling so warm that I needed to take some of my clothes off. It was still minus degrees outside, but probably just a couple. It was a good thing that I was feeling warm, as my stomach was still not feeling good at all, and I needed to go to the (natural) toilet. That would have been a very cold experience if it would have been minus 15 degrees.

The workers at the mine where I had spent the night told me that the climbs were almost over. Instead I would hit a stretch of flat pampa soon. I don’t know what the locals around here would describe as flat landscape, but the first climb of the day was some of the steepest I had ever climbed.

The 2nd climb was even worse.

But then, I was finally reaching the flat pampa section the miners had mentioned. I still had to fight a strong head wind, but my speed increased to 8-10 km/h. I felt I was flying!

I continued on as I was now descending a couple of hundred meters. The small difference in altitude immediately made it much easier to breath. I saw other signs of life as well.

After a quick stop in village to buy a drink I was on schedule to arrive in Atocha just before sunset.

Usually you can see these towns between 5 and 10 kilometers before you arrive. I was discouraged not to see any signs of Atocha though, but I would soon learn why. The town was hidden away in a valley, with houses clinging to the steep slopes.

One couldn’t call the mining town of Atocha pretty, but I was happy enough to find a cheap hotel room as I would need an extra day to recover from my stomach problems.

Antonio, the friendly bike mechanic in Tupiza had indeed been right. The road I had chosen to take had been brutally hard, but with some absolutely amazing views to accompany the hardship.

Categories: Bolivia
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One Response so far.

  1. Marie says:

    Amazing photos!