Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1404, Oruro – Patacamaya: Into the Darkness

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jul - 24 - 2014

Distance: 125.90 km
Ride time: 8:19:32
Average: 15.11 km/h
Altitude: 3787 m
Total: 28172 km

The road from Oruro to La Paz is one of the busiest in Bolivia. Furthermore it is in construction, as they are extending it to a proper four lane highway. I’m certainly getting closer to civilization.

In the beginning of the day I was mostly enjoying smooth asphalt as I was able to cycle on the new part of the road that was almost finished, but not yet open to cars.

The landscape was flat, but with the usual wind coming from the Andes, slowing progress to 15 km/h. This might not seem fast, but compared to the challenging conditions further south in Bolivia, this was some of the fastest cycling I had done in a long time.

At sunset I was passing 100 km. Normally I avoid cycling after dark, but today I felt like continuing, as I’m hoping to reach La Paz tomorrow.

The road condition was getting worse by the kilometer. I could now choose between cycling on the part of the road that was still in construction, or the part which the cars and trucks were using. As it was now completely dark, I much preferred to be away from the road traffic.

The construction road was now a rough dirt track with several obstacles; every couple of kilometers the road would literally be cut in two with a meter deep whole in the middle. In the darkness it was not always easy to spot them. So far the biggest challenges in South America have been natural, today they were man made.

At 10 pm I finally pulled over to the side of the road and put up my tent. The progress had not been fast but I was very happy to have clocked 125 km. I’m now on schedule to reach La Paz tomorrow. Another big milestone coming up!

Categories: Bolivia
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