Up to the mines

Up to the mines

With nowhere to stay in Uyuni the plan involved getting to the town before it, staying there, and dropping down in the morning. This meant we had a relaxingly late start in the morning – rather than getting up at 6am it was closer to 8:30 by the time we left, even finding time for a cup of tea on my stove. Ticatica, like the other communities, didn’t have many options by the way of food so it was more Cremositas – small packets of 6 biscuits that cost $0.15 – and a litre

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On through the Altiplano

On through the Altiplano

A lovely, and quite easy, day, or at least the start that saw us going gently downhill for the majority of the first 50km. The geology reminded me a lot of the south-west US, of course with lots more llamas. There was almost no traffic, which I guess is why the road from Potosí to Uyuni wasn’t paved until three years ago. When it got to the climb to finish the day, we were definitely very glad to find pavement as we crawled our way up. Instead of pushing, I just took to riding for 5-6km

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I see llamas

I see llamas

The first of our four days to Uyuni was relatively short, with a couple of decent climbs thrown in, mainly because of the scarcity of communities along the way. We saw our first llamas, looking quite camel-like, a definite Andean icon. Being up above 4000m really wasn’t causing any issues with the only symptom from the altitude that I was feeling seemed to be blocked-up sinuses during the night – very annoying as it meant that I’d breath through my mouth which given the low humidity

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Acclimatising in Potosí

Acclimatising in Potosí

The plan after Potosí wasn’t certain. Well, we’d be going to Uyuni, but then there were a lot of options. Whatever we did, we’d be up at elevation for a good while longer and for that reason I decided to have a couple of days off in Potosí. It would be a great help in acclimatising, especially with one of the route options going up to 5000m.

HJ went on the mine tour to Cerro Rico, but I decided to save the money and skip that. I was more interested in making a stove. I wanted

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Crawling to Potosí

Crawling to Potosí

Although it was less than 50km from Potosí, there was more climbing to come. We were around 3300m, but had to get up to almost 4000m to arrive in Potosí – the world’s highest city. Normally the downhill that started the day would have been welcome, but it just meant even more climbing. Thankfully as we were going along a train line, it was a very gradual climb nearly all day long. However, that didn’t mean we went quickly. Even though I’d only tried the Bolivian custom

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