Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1389 – 1391: Sulichi to Uyuni

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jul - 06 - 2014

Distance: 65.94 km
Ride time: 6:34:19
Average: 10.04 km/h
Altitude: 3650 m
Total: 27599 km

It was a cold morning as I woke up around sunrise and started taking the tent down. Normally I would have waited another hour before getting going to make the sun warm things up a bit, but today I was eager to reach Uyuni.

As soon as the sun rose the wind returned as well, and I was wearing all my clothes. In a tiny village I was surprised to find a small restaurant that served breakfast. A soup with some unidentifiable meat in it was just what I needed to warm up and be ready to face the cold winds again.

I was now doing the kind of cycling I really don’t like; long stretches of road on flat land with a howling wind right in your face. You can see the next turn some 7 or 8 kilometers ahead, but you know it will take you more than an hour to get there. I was longing to reach Uyuni, but I still had 40 km to go. I knew it would be a race (if you can call cycling at 6 km/h a race) to get there before sunset.

Since I entered Bolivia I have more or less been following the rail tracks. Once I reach La Paz I plan to take the train back to Argentina to pick up my Bianchi road bike. What makes me wonder is that I haven’t seen a single train during the week I have been cycling along the railway. I guess there is only a couple of trains a week, and I think they must be running at night.

After a quick lunch break I struggled on, the wind only got stronger as I got closer to Uyuni. I was almost wishing I was back cycling on the crazy slopes that had been such a challenge a few days ago.

At sunset I finally reached Uyuni, this strange town at the edge of the famous salt lake. I went straight to the first tourist restaurant I could find and ordered a big pizza. It had been quite a ride to get here!

The next two days a regular storm was sweeping across the flat plateau, so I stayed put at the hostel in Uyuni, talking to fellow travelers and updating the blog. Luckily the place had Wifi, something that is not very common in Bolivia – one of the advantages of being in a tourist spot. The negative side is that I paid more for a 8 person dorm room than I usually pay for private rooms.

The temperature these days is around -10 at night and some plus degrees during the day. Pretty cold, as they don’t use indoor heating around here. The beds in the hostel have 3 blankets which is enough to keep you warm at night. The coldest time is during the day: I only managed to hang around in the living room at the hostel an hour at a time. Then I needed to descend to the café downstairs. Not that they had any heating, but at least I could order a cup of coffee to try to keep warm. It was actually colder to stay in town than it is to be out cycling.

Categories: Bolivia
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3 Responses so far.

  1. Juliette Hernandez says:

    Wow! Very inspiring website! I’ve taken a smaller trip with a friend a few years back. I’m definitely ready to get back on the road. Thanks for making this website. Be safe out there!!

  2. Thomas says:

    Thanks a lot Juliette. Cycling is great, isnt it? Happy riding!

  3. Did you ever end up working out what the meet was?