Bolivia Archive

Dust, Rain, and Snow. To Tupiza

After three days the blockade of Uyuni suddenly ended at around 6pm on Saturday evening. I’m not certain what, if any, resolution was achieved but I am certain that the increasingly peckish inhabitants were not entirely unhappy to see the back of it. The first indication that things were returning to normal was when I heard some trucks moving in town. I raced off to the market to pick up some fresh bread, fruit, and …

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Uyuni

Having ridden the stretch between the Argentine border and Uyuni back in 2010 I had planned to take the train this time. There would have been one on Monday morning, however things rarely go to plan. Uyuni and the surrounding area has been in state of lockdown, general strike, since Thursday morning. The roads are blockaded, nothing in or out, all businesses are shut. Not even independent motorcycle tourists are being permitted to leave. I’m …

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Putre etc

A small grid of quiet, dusty streets in the precordillera of northern Chile, the Aymara village of Putre sits about 75km west of, and at 3500m is 1.2 vertical kilometres below the remote Bolivia/Chile border post at Chungara. The population is somewhere around 1500 but to walk the streets is to wonder that more than about 10 people live here. Being somewhat warmer and lower than the high altiplano, and with some decent (i.e. edible …

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The Wild West

Bolivian bikepacking – cross-country, via network of dirt roads and remote trails, from La-Paz to the Sajama volcano (6,542m / 21,463 ft) in the west of the country.

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La Paz

Leaving town in the morning so I thought I would sling up a little bit of street photography from here in La Paz. The city is a very different place to the quieter towns and pueblos of the mountains and altiplano that I’m used to, I found it a very busy and visually confusing place so didn’t really make a concerted effort with any kind of photography beyond some snaps while walking around. Instead I …

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Via Condoriri

Bikepacking to La Paz by the back door – tracks and trails of the Cordillera Real via Condoriri basecamp. Bitterly cold with deep snow to negotiate on the high passes above 5000m.

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some salt with that?

I’m just uploading some material to youtube for business related reasons but while I was at it I thought I would upload & share this.. In Bolivia I met a Canadian cyclist, James. We teamed up to cross the harsh landscapes of the southwest.. including a couple of days riding across the Salar de Uyuni at almost 4000m altitude. Quite a surreal place. We’d spent the night on the small rocky outcrop known as “Inca …

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via Titicaca… La Paz to Peru

right then, this morning I arrived in Puno, it was 90km from where I spent the night last night in Juli, not that far but I’m exhausted so what follows is my day by day for the last few days as far as Juli… hope you’re sitting comfortably, I’ll catch up with Puno tomorrow ;-) 21 April, La Paz to Huatajata…. Ok so I finally managed to get the energy together to leave La Paz. …

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on the road again

… I did get back on my bike on Wednesday for the beautiful  ride up to Lake Titicaca.. the shores of which I am sat on now in Copacabana some 150km from La Paz… the connection here is really quite shite so I am going to make you wait until I get to Puno (Peru) in a couple of days time and do a decent blog update from there. Copacabana is very touristy.. possibly the …

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looking up in La Paz (thro a pint glass…)

… the horse medicine is definitely working, all I’m left with now is an annoying fatigue… but still enjoying myself, the danger is the proverbial wind is rapidly leaving my sails as I settle into a comfortably lazy routine here… Sunday being a case in point… first in Olivers pub at 9.30 for a reassuringly homely breakfast and couple of coffees I could not refuse the free pint offered at 10.30am.. bit early but still. …

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La Paz, horse medicine and chocolate..

I’m going through a ‘bit’ of mental downer at the moment… I left Oruro on my bike a couple of days ago… and got about 500m down the road before giving up.. I was feeling stupidly weak so did a u-turn and slung my bike on a bus to La Paz… so ashamed to say I skipped 200km of riding… having said that though there was no way I could have ridden it and from …

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Oruro… a flavour

I’m still in Oruro today, bit of a tummy bug and fever and so on… all that hard riding over the last couple of weeks must have left my immune system somewhat hammered.. so got run down, little bit sick.. hey ho, occupational hazard so I haven’t been out much today, you know when things ain’t right when all the food stalls stop smelling great and instead turn your stomach… I have tracked down a …

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on from Uyuni… salty salty :-)

I’ve been away from a connection for a few days so presenting this as a day by day diary flavour of entry… it just means I have to remember what day it is today and count backwards… it’s a long post too.. hope you are sitting comfortably ;-) Tuesday 6th… leaving Uyuni was something of an emotional experience… for the lady we stayed with… with hugs and kisses and waves as we rolled off down …

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Uyuni etc..

a few words on Uyuni are in order I think…. I wasn’t expecting much having heard many travellers along the way refer to it as ‘a dump’ but having spent 2 days here I’ve decided they were wrong… sure it’s not that pretty to look at it but it’s a great little place, I’ve found the people to be brilliantly friendly (as usual a smile goes a long way), I’ve had great food (Bostonian chap …

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