I tried to sleep in, which meant waking up at 7am instead of 6:30, but felt completely zapped. I had some breakfast and started the first 10-15km, which were basically flat. My legs wouldn’t go in circles, and while the desire to lose my breakfast wasn’t there, I wasn’t too much better off. Even though there were very few climbs, I still had to push my bike up them, not boding well for the long climb ahead up to 3200m.
After almost 3 hours of exhausted riding I made it to the
I’d pumped up my tube the night before but woke to find it flat. So glad I took the lift down, as it turned out that all my spare tubes did indeed have punctures and that would have driven me insane finding that out the night before as I’d have had to stop every few kilometres to try out another tube. I found the one bike shop in town and gave him 4 tubes to repair. Two of them had failed where a bike shop back in Brazil had repaired them, and one of them had far too many holes to
Having expected Puente Acero to be a town, I had no food left over. I asked the lady about breakfast and got the choice of fish or the ubiquitous chicken. Even though we were right by a river, I really didn’t want fish for breakfast. I’ve had it a few times in Japan and Korea and it just doesn’t work for me. I hadn’t seen any dots on the road before Padilla, at the top of the hill, and so tried to stock up at the little shop. That was until I went inside to see what they
Over breakfast with Chacho we talked more about life in Bolivia. The country is made up of various indigenous people, and in the southeast it is mainly the Guarani – like in Paraguay. He spoke a lot about the differences between the Guarani and the Quechua, who I would be meeting on the way through the mountains, and didn’t seem overly fond of them. He hires farmhands, but only Guarani, as he trusts them more. They get paid 50BOB (Bolivian Bolivianos), which is about 7USD, a day and
I’d hoped to pop up to town, withdraw some money and be on my way – so I left everything but my bankcard at the police station – but of course it wasn’t that easy. I went up the 3km climb into town, found a couple of banks and found they both rejected my N&P card. Bugger. I started kicking myself for not changing cash at the border, and also for not bringing my NatWest card with me. As it was, I had to go back to the terminal to try to find internet, so I could call