I’m going with bullet points.
- The weather got toasty, leading to HS saying how we were finally in Africa – because Africa is always hot apparently.
- We stopped in a town for lunch, went to a stand and got some small bread things as it was all that was on the menu. The owner did however mention if we wanted, we could go into the market, buy some things and he’d cook them up for us. We weren’t hungry enough, but what a nice man!
- The day ended early because R got a rear puncture. We tried to fix it 3 times but it kept failing again and so as we were right by an easy camping option (so many olive fields, so easy to camp) we just pulled his bike and bags into the field and set up camp.
- HS loves fire. His normal stove failed back around Turkey so since then has been just making regular fires to cook his dinner.
- HS also loves cooking, and makes delicious noodles and pasta.
R had said he’d wake up early to get the puncture fixed, but that didn’t happen and so after another hour of waiting and the puncture still not being fixed we came up with a new plan. Hitch a lift. R seemed to think it’d be best with all of us together, but finding a lift for 3 seemed a terrible idea and so myself and HS continued on by ourselves. R had plenty of hitchhiking experience, that’s how he’d been travelling for the previous
I woke up with a slight headache around 7:30, glad that Cesar hadn’t come to wake me up at 4am as he’d promised. He had mentioned that the best Peruvian food is Caldo de Gallina (chicken noodle soup) at 4am, with the second best being Caldo de Gallina at 5am. We went out for breakfast, of the above-mentioned soup, but at a much more reasonable time of 10am. Edgar, and Cesar in particular, were quite insistent that I stay until the weekend, so I could go to their re-union – the
Most countries in Latin America seem to ban the sale of alcohol during elections. Bolivia does that too, but also goes one step further in almost completely banning the car. Voting is compulsory, and the ban on cars is apparently to stop people voting multiple times. Honestly, considering how obvious the election result – an Evo landslide – it wouldn’t matter in the slightest. When you vote, you are given a piece of paper, without that paper you aren’t allowed to use the
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
Having made it to the bottom of El Retiro the night before, at 7:30 we were starting the climb. If I’d been alone, it would have been a couple of hours of constant climbing. As it was, it took until 11am and pushing probably 90% of the way. HJ tried riding at times, but it was nearly always too steep as we went up switchback after switchback climbing up to the start of the altiplano. There must be a bike race up there, as I saw plenty of motivational messages written on the road aimed at