Red, red rock

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
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104
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Trip End Apr 20, 2013


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

As we woke up, we saw the sun lighting up the red rock coloured hills, it was beautiful and a great way to start the day. We packed up the tent and enjoyed breakfast in the early morning sun, which was surprisingly warm for 7am at 4000m above sea level.

We cycled through more red rock covered hills and valleys, which had little vegetation and seemed very different from the landscapes we have enjoyed so far in Bolivia. The ride was hilly and we made our way up several long climbs, but enjoyed the day as the scenery was so beautiful. The weather was great and we couldn't believe that we were being treated to another sunny day of cycling.  The weather is doing a lot to make us fall in love with Bolivia and rate the cycling highly.

We stopped at a small village that had a shop and a couple of small restaurants, which were the first facilities that we had seen in the last couple of days. The meal was similar to those that we got in Peru, a soup with vegetables, with chicken and rice as the main meal.  As usual the restaurant was filled with men who drive trucks and stop off at the little restaurants by the side of the road. There wasn't a woman to be seen in the joint except for myself and the waitress.

As we continued along towards Potosi, I saw a sight which reminded me that we are in an unusual place; a bus passed me with a couple of sheep strapped to the top of it. They were stood up but roped to the top of the bus and they looked petrified.  Sometimes it takes a strange sight to remind you that you are somewhere different and what you are doing is unusual.  It is easy to get into the routine of waking up, packing up the bikes, cycling anything from 80 to 165km and then sleeping in a different town and bed every night.  Sometimes it just feels that what you are doing is the norm and you need a reminder that actually you are in Bolivia, of all places!

The ride took us most of the day, and we arrived into Potosi around 5pm.  Just before we made our way up the final hill we stopped for a quick swig from our water bottles.  A truck stopped beside us and the passenger passed us out a big bunch of grapes.  They didn't ask anything but clearly thought that we might enjoy them.  It was a really kind gesture! The final 20km were uphill, with the last 10km being a steep climb into the city. We rode into the city, up a steep hill, on cobbled stones and were extremely grateful that they didn't last much longer, as they were so uncomfortable and made the hill climb difficult. We found a hotel, which was recommended by the Lonely Planet, as it was set in an old colonial house, with big courtyards and old style architecture. We were greeted by a fellow cycle tourist, who is doing the opposite route from us. We promised to chat to him later but for now we were both exhausted and needed to shower and eat. We had cycled 750km in 6 days, with lots of hills and all at around 4000m above sea level. It was the most we have cycled in one stint between days off and the altitude adds to the feeling of tiredness, so we were pleased with ourselves but ready for a couple of rest days.We found a fancy restaurant in the evening, which made good Mexican tacos and then a bakery which sold chocolate doughnuts. Bolivia continues to surprise us, when we encounter better dining experiences than we have had on the whole trip and a variety of food that we didn't expect from this small country.  Now we have two days scheduled as days off to relax and explore the small, high altitude town, which is surrounded by silver mines and alpaca farms.

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Comments

Karen on

Kory looks really happy with the grapes! Lol

Paddy on

Doing well guys! You've had some pretty tough days of late. I hope the rest of Bolivia continues to surprise you in a good way & not cause you any more grief. Admire your courage & stamina.
Take Care x

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