About the Salars and Beyond

The next target are the famous Salars, the huge salt flats in southwestern Bolivia. I planned to ride to Sabaya, the entrance to the Salar de Coipasa, in about 4 days. However, judging by other people’s reports, large parts of this route are of similar quality to the last 2 days. As reported in the previous post, I don’t find that a very attractive prospect.

There are now a few options:

  • Ride anyway. This probably leads to much annoyance on my end if the roads are indeed that bad.
  • Arrange transportation to Sabaya and ride the Salars from there. Currently my favourite option, if I can arrange it.
  • Arrange transportation to Uyuni and either skip the Salars altogether or do them by jeep.

This last option ties in nicely with another decision I made: I’ve also not been feeling that great in the last few days at 4200+meters altitude. In all three versions, when I get to Uyuni I want to leave the high Andes behind. Thus I’m not riding the Sud Lipez, which is supposedly even tougher and higher. I’m also not heading to San Pedro de Atacama and then crossing a 4000+ meter pass into Argentina. Instead I will directly go from Uyuni to Salta and pick up the route from there. This gets me out of the highlands faster and considerably shortens the route, which I probably had to do at some point anyway.

Leaving Sajama National Park behind and catching a bus in Tambo Quemado at the Chilean border.

When I got sick at the end of my rest day I made the decision: I want to get out of here ASAP. I took a bus to Uyuni via La Paz and will do a jeep tour of the salars and the lagunas route starting Sunday. The bus ride from La Paz to Uyuni was very nice by the way: The bus had very wide seats (only 3 per row, mine was both an aisle and a window seat) that could recline to an almost flat position.

When I get back to Uyuni I will pick up cycling again and hopefully things will go better then, both with regard to the roads and my health.

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