Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1388, Atocha – Sulichi: Like Sahara

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jul - 06 - 2014

Distance: 37.74 km
Ride time: 4:59:04
Average: 7.55 km/h
Altitude: 3780 m
Total: 27533 km

Once again the people of Atocha had told me that the road would be mostly flat towards Uyuni, and once again I didn’t quite agree as I climbed my way out of town: Obviously the Danish vs. the Bolivian definition of flat is not very compatible.

Apart from that, I was actually enjoying the climbs today. The rest day in Atocha had done it’s magic – the stomach was back to 100%, and being down from 4100 to 3600 m made the air feel rich with oxygen.

The landscape in this desolated corner of Bolivia continues to amaze. The red mountains and the adobe villages make up a very unique wild west cycling experience.

I enjoyed my lunch at a ridge overlooking a gorge and the majestic Cerro Chorolque mountain (5630 m) that had been a familiar point in the landscape the last couple of days. As I ate my sandwich I was thinking that I wouldn’t change my lunch site for an office canteen back in Copenhagen. I was indeed content enough with this setting.

As I climbed over a pass the road did indeed get flatter, but at this point the wind was really picking up, and a new challenge presented itself; sand. At several stretches of road I had to push my bike through piles of sand – this could be Sahara!

At one point I met a local villager who was riding back towards his home on his own bicycle. We talked about the weather and both agreed that this was hard conditions to cycle in. I tried to get a bit of factual information from my new friend as well. “So does the wind also blow in the night?”. “Yes, the wind always blows here”… “But maybe the wind dies down a bit in the evening?”. “Yes, there is less wind in the night”. I didn’t gain much new information from the conversation, but it was nice to cycle with my new friend for a few kilometers.

As the sun was setting the wind did indeed stop completely. This was good news as my tent is not very storm proof. Now I pulled over to the side of the road and put up my tent in a sandy patch. At least I would sleep in a soft spot tonight.

Tomorrow I hope to reach Uyuni!

Categories: Bolivia
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