Here Comes the Sun: S.M. de Tucumán – La Rioja

Friday 13 October

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
05:39:56 04:03:12 77.39 19.09 34.56 89.00
hours hours km km/h km/h meters

Friday started at 10 after a very meager breakfast at the hostel, which is normal here. A cup of tea, a glass of carbonated water and a few small pieces of bread is usually all you get.

It took about 20 km to get out of town with much stop and go at traffic lights. The Ruta Provincial was initially quite busy, later less so. The ride is easy so far. It was still cloudy in the morning, but the sun came out a bit in the afternoon. The predictions say that the coming days will be very hot.

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Born to Be Wild: S.S. de Jujuy – S.M. de Tucumán

Sunday 8 October

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
07:22:00 04:12:20 64.38 15.31 48.24 163.00
hours hours km km/h km/h meters

 

Sunday was not my day. The day started by trying to find my way out of San Salvador de Jujuy. I had to cross a busy highway interchange to get to the road I wanted to take, Ruta 66. After crossing some foot bridges I finally got where I wanted to be. Initially there were collector roads running parallel to the highway on either side, so I rode those.

Then suddenly they stopped. The highway was a busy motorway at this point and it didn’t look very attractive to ride. I looked on my map and saw another road going in the same direction, so I took that. This was a good gravel road and all was fine.

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A New Hope: La Quiaca – S.S. de Jujuy

The bus ride from Uyuni to Villazón was long and uncomfortable. I wasn’t told that we had to change buses once in the middle of the night and the road was extremely bumpy, so sleeping wasn’t really an option. We got dropped off at the new Villazón bus terminal at 3 in the morning. Thus I had to wait for the sun to rise and also for the border crossing to open at 6.

Thursday 5 October

I arrived at the border shortly after 6, and after exchanging my remaining Bolivianos for Argentinian Pesos the crossing was easy. The lady at the counter asked me where I was going. Looking at the big sign I could see from there, I answered “Erm, Ushuaia?” The sign read:

Bienvenidos
a La Quiaca
Ushuaia 5121 km

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The Land Cruiser Owners’ Guild

I’ve been in Uyuni all Saturday to get some rest, book a three day tour in a jeep and to plan the alternate route that I’ll ride afterwards. At least there is different food around here, lots of pizza places and Mexican food. I also had a nice llama steak, but properly frying fries is still asking too much.

On Sunday morning I leave on a three day tour of the Salar de Uyuni and the Sud Lipez. I’d have liked to do this part by bike, but as detailed before, that’s not working out for me.

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The Lonely Mountain: Patacamaya – Sajama

For the first days of my tour I’m on a quest to the Lonely Mountain in order to beat Smaug the dragon and retrieve some lost dwarven artifacts.

No wait, that’s another lonely mountain. This one is Volcan Sajama, at 6542 meters the highest peak in Bolivia. No dragons live there as far as I know. Still, the mountain is pretty lonely and completely dominates the landscape from many directions and at great distance.

One other difference to Bilbo’s journey: I don’t plan to go there and back again. In his words: The road goes ever on and on.

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La Paz et al.

I need to take it easy for a few days so I can get used to the altitude before starting to cycle at 4000+ meters on the Altiplano. Thus I stayed in and around La Paz from early Wednesday morning until Sunday morning.

Wednesday 20 September

On Wednesday I went on a guided tour of the city, where I learned a lot about La Paz and Bolivia in general. After the tour I was tired, since I hadn’t slept much in the last few days, and so I retired to my room early. This would be a recurring theme on these days. Probably a combination of jetlag, the thin air and the different food. Continue reading “La Paz et al.”

South America 2017-2018: The Plan

After successfully completing my PhD I’m going on a bike tour in South America. I fly to La Paz, Bolivia on Tuesday the 19th of September and I will return from Buenos Aires on Thursday the 11th of January of 2018. This means I have almost 4 months in South America.

What happens in between is still open, though the plan is to cycle south from La Paz, visiting among others:

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