South America 2015 - Cycling Patagonia, Bolivia and Peru

Being at Machu Picchu, hanging out with a Lama

Report 2: Bolivia and Peru



We enjoyed our stay at the Casa Del Ciclista in La Paz. Especially the last days, being surrounded by those funny English cyclist Julien, Andrew, Sara and Tim. Good people indeed.


But also we have heard of the experience of Tim’s cycling around the world. We have been confronted with too much of serious reality. We hope you stay strong as you are Tim and that you can finish this cycling trip for a good reason.




For those who are interested check for a  great tour with impressive details of another cycling journey.


We took a lovely picture of all cyclist who have been present at that day in the Casa del Ciclista hosted by Christian. Thanks for the good times everyone. To get out of La Paz we had to climb out of the center, uphill for almost 2 hours before we reached the suburb EL Alto another 600m of Altitude. El Alto was just chaotic and we had to take care, that people are not grabbing our belongings of the bikes. On that day we have been cycling with Fransisco from Chile. Altogether we cruised among those smoky busses and trucks out of that busy City.


Soon we reached the landside surrounding La Paz. Farmers, cows, sheep’s and pigs are just a few meters off the road. It felt like driving through a farm. It was a lovely and very friendly feeling. Even the old ladies working on the field, harvesting the Quinoa are smiling and waving at us.

The first night we camped at the boat-building museum in Huarin. The owner is the son of the Bolivian boat-builder who created the reed-boats  the Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl, who become famous by crossing the pacific oceans with its  Kon –Tiki Expedition. We have been pretty surprised because we have not expected such a „famous“ place by looking out for an night-shelter. The very friendly owner was showing his actual project, the museum and he dressed like his father back in the old days. We could by some souvenirs in the morning and left for the next day trip direction lake of Titicaca.


Caused the long winding roads, the height of 4000m and the ending of the day, we decided to camp 15 km before Copacabana in the wild of the high mountain. A beautiful scenery was just there for the two of us. We cooked some vegetables and got prepared for a cold night. The next morning, after reaching the pass of 4300m, we had an easy ride downhill to the shore of lake of Titicaca and the touristy town Copacabana.  We stayed for a few days, met 2 other cyclist from Germany, Gabriel and David. We had a lovely daytrip to the Isle del sol and ate a lot of “trucha” (trout) from the lake.

On the 27th of April we cycled just 8 km from Copacabana to reach the boarder to Peru. Again, it was an easy process of showing passports, getting stamps and step over to our 4th country Peru.


Welcome Peru 


Peru is another colorful and friendly place to cycle across. For the next days we enjoyed the almost flat road in an altitude between 3800 and 4200m. Less developed countryside’s, villages, less traffic and peaceful atmosphere along the road. We had a few lovely campsites close to the shore of the massive lake of Titicaca. We got self-made cheese and fresh fruits from the lovely ladies at the side of the road. We ate a typical „almuerzo“  (Lunch) as a menu for around 1 Euro. It comes with a soup as a starter, a main dish with rice, salad and meat or fish and a fruit salad or a cake as desert combined with a drink. It was a perfect retreat for lunch, which puts us into a sleepy mode for the next 30 – 60 min.


Soon we arrived Puno- it’s one of the major cities at the shore of lake Titicaca. As we came closer, the street turned out to be very narrow and only one car at the time can pass through the roadway. We were struggling finding our way to a cheap hostel and to avoid running in one of the vehicles coming from the front towards us. Our apartment for like 5 Euro a person was upstairs. We had to unpack the bicycles and carry everything incl. the bikes into to the second level to place them right in our room. Not a problem at all. Afterwards we went out for dinner. A small Chinese restaurant around the corner was the choice. We ordered a soup and a main dish for each of us, which was way too much. Already in the night, Thomas had a strange feeling in the stomach. In the morning he became a headache and felt sick. This is the result of overeating in the high altitude. It’s the same with over exhausting. The body struggles to work on the food or to supplies enough oxygen and you will feel sick, which is the so called altitude sickness. Thomas had to stay in bed for two days, drink a lot of mate de coca (Coca-tea) before we could keep on cycling.


We left Puno in direction west to the next destination. The city of Juliaca, where we stayed at the Casa del Ciclista of Giovanni. We had a separate room with a mattress to sleep on. The drive out in the morning was a disaster. The city is like a junkyard. You will see old, rusty cars, broken down on the side of the road. The road doesn’t really exist. It’s a pathway consisting of dried out mud, rocks, dust and sand. There are no sidelines, no orientation where to follow which lane. Only the semi-finished, ruin like houses are a kind of a limitation for the cars. It’s dusty, full of smog, dirt and rubbish. Elly was saying even in India it is not as dirty. We just want to get out of this disaster to breath fresh air. It took us  a while till we reached the end of town to see farms and greens again.


From now one we followed a road with a slightly uphill from the altitude of 3800m – 4200m. We have been cruising along valleys, having a beautiful view over the landscape, the surrounding mountains with snowcaps and some bigger rivers.

We had a few really cold nights in at 4000m. At least the thermometer of our cycling computer was telling us this. And as well the ice layer inside our tent, caused by the transpiration heat of our bodies and the resulting water, which will freeze at minus 2 degrees. But we have been pretty warm inside our sleeping bags and the additional inlets. And especially the morning with the rising sun at 7 o`clock, climbing above the edge of the mountain was a great moment. It was perfect for having a tea and breakfast in the melting sun. 


Before reaching the town of Sicuani, we had to climb the pass Abra la Raya with 4352m. It was our highest passage we have ever cycled. An impressive feeling being in that high altitude and still kicking the bikes.  Lovely. And also the following downhill part J


By the end of the day we have camped at Rio Vilcanota. To find a good spot we crossed a swing bridge over that river. A  lovely setting in the valley. We had dinner, a beer and a warm night in the tent.

The next day was much longer then we would have expected. We planned on pitching the tent just before Cusco. But the villages and developed areas became denser. It was almost impossible to find a camp spot for the night. Not even a hostel was on the side of the road where we could pull in. We had to go on. It was getting dark, our legs have been sore. But what do to? We had to go on. Elly was getting up sad with the situation. Traffic was more and more chaotic; we didn’t have lights at the bikes. And just in that moment our odometer was telling us, that we had managed to cycle 3000 km in South America. What a Moment. But there was no time to enjoy that. We just wanted to finish the day....


By the time we reached the beginning of Cusco’s suburbs. In San Jeronimo we stopped at the first hostal we could find. Grabbed some beers and fruit and moved in to the apartment. A warm shower and a bed were waiting for us.

Cheers to the 3000 km!!!


The next morning was a relaxed one. We took it easy to find the way to the recommended hostel Estrellita close to the center. A lovely place, where Victor the owner, is doing a really good job, serving breakfast and cleaning all facilities. We haven’t experienced this tidiness in hole South America. A good place to stay for sure. Also other cyclists turn in every other day.

Cusco is nice, touristy and built in a typical colonial-style. Massive walls, narrow streets and many Inca- relicts are present. It’s a former capital of the Inca area. And also the gateway for one of the spectaculars tours in Peru.


Visiting Machu Picchu. We also booked a tour to one of the new seven world wonders. A very winding road leads us for about 6 hours to Hidroelectrica, from where we had to follow the railway line to Aquascalientes for another 2, 5 hours. In Aquascalientes our guide Jimmy was showing us our hostel and gave us the information for the next day. Starting  to walk at 4:30 am to climb to the top to Machu Picchu, which was a steep walk of stairs within 1350m. At 6.30 Jimmy started the tour through that well known Inca village of Machu Picchu. He was giving us much important information, which had make this place even more impressive. The ruins, the terrace and the view have been spectacular already. But the “Why the Inca choose this place” and “And how they managed to build it”  and the resulting importance for the following generations are unbelievable. Definitely worth the money!!!


We are still in Cusco. Try to full fill every day, which is not easy since we stopped cycling. Somehow we are missing the daily activity of cycling, camping and cooking in the wild. And we can’t just switch to be a tourist. Strange days…


Our cycling part is finished. We are about to take a bus to Lima to catch the flight home. Many interesting events are waiting back in Germany. We are moving to a new flat, friends are getting babies, there are marriages and parties we are looking forward to. And also being around friends and family are becoming more important. It’s time to go home.


We had an intensive time in South America and have been enjoying our cycling for 3000 km. We leave with many new impressions  and unique moments. We have seen stunning landscapes and met new friends on the road. We want to thank everyone who has been with us and sharing a special time of our life’s and interesting stories with us.


Take care everyone. Hope to see u again. Let the good times rule.

Best wishes

Elly and Thomas  

Cycling in Patagonia 2015 
Report 1: Argentinia, Chile to Bolivia
Start in Argentinia
We arrived in Bariloche in mid of February. It`s just the end of the summer season in South America, but it’s still crowded in the town center. We like the buildings and the narrow streets. Most of the houses are set with a perfect view to the great lake Nahuel Huapi.
Most of the houses are made of stones and wooden parts. It reminds somehow to an Austrian Swiss style of architecture. Bariloche offers also a high the abundance of chocolate in many varieties and different sorts of sweets.
We stayed in the Pudu hostel for 2 nights, got sorted, bought a few items like a frying pan, batteries and food for the next days for our cycling start. We set up the bicycles and had a test ride before we left for our Patagonia bike trip.  On Valentine ’s Day we headed down south, starting with a huge climb out of town. It was too steep for the first day and our untrained bodies. We had to push uphill through the more typical neighborhoods of Bariloche. After managing this, we hit the road Ruta 40 which will guide us further south.
We had a good first day of cycling: 27 degrees and the lovely sun in a clear blue sky brought us quiet intense sunburn. Besides this we rolled along the first rising mountains, crystal clear lakes, green forests and small villages. In one of them, 80 km past Bariloche, we stopped at a wooden terrace and were asking for camping.  Without speaking any Spanish we tried to explain ourselves with hands and feet- it was no problem at all. We unpacked the bikes, pitched the tents and had an ice cold cerveza. Just in this moment another cyclist came past.  Tom from Australia followed our waving hand signs and joined us for a beer. He is traveling from San Francisco (USA) to Ushuaia (ARG). Check out the dirty two ( for more information.  
Our ways were leading us together for more than 300 km south on paved roads. We grilled the first Argentinian steaks in El Bolson, stayed in Esquel at a noisy campground and experienced the characteristic winds and pampa like landscape of Ruta 40. And also the hot, dry summer was treating the nature very hard. Most of the rivers were dried out. We had to take care about our drinking water supplies and couldn't just stop at rivers to refill our bottles.
Also towns, villages and house were quiet rare, because of the not well developed countryside.  As we passed Trevelin, we touched gravel roads for the first time. This was like a warm up for the Carretera Austral in Chile. We took a turn west and rode to the boarder of Argentina and Chile. The process of showing Passports and get visas were easy and quickly done. We knew, that we were not allowed to bring fruits, vegetables and milk or meat products to Chile to prevent a distribution of pests or diseases. Just a few kilometers before we had a big lunch break and finished most of our fresh food. In our case we just had to give away our garlic. In exchange we got almost 10km of pavement to ride on till we arrived in the rafting town Futaleufu.
Welcome to Chile.  
Another day ride to Villa St. Lucia and we reached our main road, the Ruta 7, the Carretera Austral. This is a road leading from Puerto Montt in the north and going south for about 1300km to Villa O'Higgings. The road was order from the president Pinochet in the 1970s to force a way to the almost unexplored south. It covers a region full of nature highlights. On the other hand you will mostly find little villages and few thousand people living down there.
Welcome to the cycle adventure in Chile. Most of the road is gravel with many washboards like passages called “ripio”. It’s very interesting in the beginning, but turns out to be stressful and exhausting after a few days. Many cyclists seem to choose especially this part of South America for a few weeks of traveling Patagonia. And sometimes it seems like there are more bikes than cars along the road. The rough road conditions and the few villages with not much importance for economy or touristic business is probably the reason for the less car traffic.
But those conditions are part of the impression, the adventure and the roughness of that region. It’s always combined with an exclusive view of wonderful landscapes.  Waterfalls, gorges and steep rocky walls are going down to your side of the roadway. And with the next moment you look a long a powerful river, digging its way through the mountains. Untouched forest leaves as big as two umbrellas, rainforest like structures and the stunning mountain range of the Andes on your left shoulders, just a few kilometers away.   Impressive scenery was always surrounding us at all times.
We have been cycling of an average of 5-6 hours a day with a distance of 60 – 90 km. Depending on road conditions, weather and daily physical fitness, we had finished the day in a village to restore new food or camped wild along the way.  There are few roadworks in progress. Within the last ten years, some passages became a nice paved surface. Reaching the beginning of one of those sections, we feel absolutely happy. By reaching the end of this section our motivation turn down by the fact of hitting the hard ripio again.
We were always happy about meeting and talking to other cyclist. Sharing the information about upcoming hills, camp spots or interesting lookouts. Cyclists from all over the world are passing our ways each day. Most of them are also stopping at the Casa del Ciclista, the warmshower community especially in South America. For example in Coyhaique, at the Casa of Boris, we joined the cycling community. Many cyclists stopped at this place, even it was late in the season. We have counted 27 bikes and 19 tents one night. It’s always a nice come together of friendly people sharing the same passion.  A few of them we will see again on the road or hear about them a few hundreds kilometer further. We also enjoyed the “big city” life. Coyhaique, is one of the big cities along the Carretera Austral with just 50.000 inhabitants. We take the chance for a proper laundry, checking emails, went shopping in a big supermarket instead of buying stuff in the typical small supermercados. Even the central plaza was giving us a colorful change, with people selling food and crafts, dancing or cruising around with their BMX bikes.
After a few days of rest in Coyhaique, we continued further south, leaving together with a couple from Lichtenstein. Daina and Robin are riding their bikes already few more than a year, coming from far up north. They are very likeable people.
Check out their travel on        
By the end of the day, a few drops of rain and pleasant climb of around 500m we reached the peak of the national park Cerro Castillo at around 1000m. We entered the campsite of the national park and camped at a very well maintained and nicely arrange spot. We enjoyed a fire in a concrete made grill, had soup and dinner together. Also Jorge, a Mexican cyclist was part of our group for this night.
After a few days of cycling along some rivers and mountains we reached the town Puerto Tranquillo. The place is known for the boat ride to the Marmols at the western end of the section of coastline (of Lago General Carrera) containing the Marble Caves of Chile. A must do if you are around. Thus, in a few thousand years’ time, the interaction of the marble and blue water of lake formed a place of bewildering beauty - countless caves, mazes, columns and tunnels in the marble.
After finishing our day off with the funny boat ride we came back to the campsite. And just a few minutes later “our friends from the road” turned up. It was a lovely reuniting of Tom, Diana, Robin and Markus. Since we all stayed together in Coyhaique, 220 km south, we all sat together at one table again. An amazing and great moment! Thanks for the good times guys!!!
While the others stayed another day in Puerto Tranquilo we continued further. Passing some deep and blue lakes (Lago Bertrand, Lago Buenos Aires), climbing a few hills and rolling along the Rio Baker. We stopped at a beautiful camp spot on the shore of Rio Baker. Thomas could finally go fishing and was lucky. Later in the day he caught 3 trouts, which we fried in our pan. Delicious.
Within the next days we have reached Cochrane. From here on the way of the Carretera Austral seems to be the very hard. We had to face many ups and downs on rough gravel. And the region is known for the rainy and cold weather. The Mountains are not as high as the surrounding Andes that they won’t rain at the peaks. Somehow the wind shift the clouds full of water along the road and will give us rain for a few days. Combined with a temperature of 7-8 degrees we have been fed up with the cycling. Up and down the hills, rain, and coldness. For one day. For 2 days. For 3 days.  And because of the rare villages you can’t just pull in a hostel to take a warm shower or dry some of the wet clothes. No, not here, you have to continue. Even finding a wild campsite was almost impossible. We ask at one of the lonesome farms and pitched the tent.
On the third day of rain and coldness, we hit a moral rock bottom. Elly was angry and crying. Thomas couldn’t change the whole disappointing situation. But out of nothing a red pick-up turned up. Two Chileans came to us and asked, if we need any help?! For sure!!! We load up the bikes on to the car and 2 minutes later we were sitting in the warm car. It was like a wonder. The boys took us to their family house 25 km further in Rio Bravo. We got invited to the house. Hang up our wet belongings and shared a few cups of the mate tea. We were absolutely happy and warm again. Muchas Gracias Claudio and Hernan!!!
But in these days, we have experienced the hard side of the Carretera, being out in the wild, facing the power of nature. It was a not nice, but memorable experience. On the next morning we hit the road again with less rain and a bit of sun.
It was just another 95 km to Villa O`Higgings, the end of this challenging road. We had another stopover in a Refugio, a hut on the side of the road. There are made for travellers, mainly cyclist to get a shelter of the rain. A nice wooden hut with a few benches and a small oven was a perfect place for the rest of the day. A Danish couple turned up later and we shared stories and food later on. 
On the 10th of March we have reached Villa O’Higgings. A Village, which was connected to the Carretera just in 1999. Since then, the Village starts to grow, tourism is becoming bigger. From here you have to take a ferry to cross the Lago O’Higgings if you want to go further south. But the ferry takes just cyclist and walking people. No vehicles are allowed. O the other side of the lake, there is no road, just a path to cross over to Argentina. Another challenge was waiting for us.
But first we celebrated our successful bike ride and the ending of the Carretera Austral with a big meal with mashed potatoes, onions and chicken, baileys and a kind of Jaegermeister. Happy Days!!!
The ferry to cross the lake leaves twice a week. We have been lucky to catch the ride on the next morning. After 3,5 hours we landed on the other side. We stopped at the Carabineros to get the stamp for leaving Chile.
From here on we had to push the bikes up the hill for an hour. The next 15 km was a mix of pushing and cycling through a mystic forest. The way was a perfect mountain bike trail, but not always wide enough for our panniers.  We had to cross a few small rivers and creeks.
The last 6 km were an adventures downhill part.  An old horse trail was washed out, a kind of a draw, a runnel was leading down, sometimes just 80 cm deep and just 70 cm wide. We were balancing the bikes and enjoyed one of our best day rides. Later on we came down pretty exhausted and checked in at the Argentinian boarder station. The offered us a fantastic camp spot at the lakeside with a stunning view over to mountains of El Chaiten, our next destination.
We reached El Chaiten on the 14th of March. The Town is kind of a trekking capitol in Argentina. A relaxed atmosphere, colored houses and trekking tourism are the first impressions. We stayed at the Casa del Ciclista at Flores Place. Flores is a very friendly mother of 3 boys. They live in a small house with just 3 rooms, a kitchen and a bath. She is a passionate cyclist and offers her place to other cyclist. Everyone is welcome to camp in the garden and to use the house for cooking, shower and resting. Again, a lot cyclist come together to share meals, stories and the love to cycle. We had a few rest days and also celebrating our 61st birthday (30th and 31st) with a cake, candles and a big dish for everyone in the house. In these days we also discovered the amazing scenery of the surrounding landscape of the Mt. Fitz Roy (3405m) and the mountains. Its a very special area.
As we left Flores and Yannick and Pauline (the last remaining cyclist for the season) we had a great tailwind going south. The next 90km we rolled without any paddling. The wind was pushing uphill with 40 km/h and also downhill with 70 km/h. Amazing.  But as we reached the junction going to El Calafate, we had to turn west. From this moment, the ride was a hard challenge. The wind was blowing sideways. Every now and then we had to balance the strong gust. And the wind was getting strong and also turning to become a headwind. We had a speed of 6-8 km/h. It was hard work for more than an hour.  After this we got more trouble with the wind. He was too strong for us. Elly got kicked off the bike three times and found herself laying on the other side of the road. Even Thomas couldn’t even hold his bike standing. As we checked the weather information the next days, it says we had wind up to 89 km/h!!! Way too much.
Anyway, we had been lucky, that an American couple, Barry and Sandra stopped by and were offering to take us and the bikes on her pick up. What a moment. We joined them on the road to El Calafate. Thanks for that guys!!!
In El Calafate we head out to the famous Perito Moreno glacier. An impressive piece of ice we were looking at. Bluish colors, cracking sounds and falling pieces with the size of small houses have been an amazing theatre. A lasting impression and a statement of the power of nature! El Calafate was also our most southern point. We took a bus back to Bariloche (28h) and Santiago (20h).
We decided to go to Santiago, because friends we have met in New Zealand a few years ago, were inviting us. We have met Cristobel and Benjamin, two cousins, almost exactly 2 years ago in Christchurch. At this time they have said, “If you come to South America one day, you are more than welcome to stay with us!”  We have heard and said this sentence a few times in the past years. The chance, that this event is going to happen one day lays more or less around 5 percent.
And for that reason, its even more impressive, that we have managed it to see the two friends again!!! On the other side of the world!!! Amazing.  We arrived in Santiago at the bus terminal and tried to cycle our ways up to the house of Chris’s family. It took us almost 2 hours cruising through this jungle of traffic in this city of 6 million inhabitants. But we made it, and we have been happy to see Chris and meeting his lovely Mum and sister and the cat Dominga.
They welcomed us as we were part of the family. We slept in a cozy bed, could use the full equipped fridge and felt a bit like home. A great pleasure for us after being on the road for a few weeks. Chris was introducing us to friends and family, guiding us around the city and the nearby mountains, were we had a great view above the city. As we had dinner the other night, Sandro and Eloisa came to join. They are also part of the family, which is traditional huge in Chile. Its common to have many sisters, brothers, cousins and relatives. Sandro and Eloisa mentioned that we could come and stay at their place as well, if we continue our ways further north. We enjoyed the time very much and hope to see you again one day. May be in Germany ;-)
After a few days we got the bikes ready and hit the road again to go further west to the coast. Valparaiso and Vine del Mar were the next stops. Valaparaiso is a colored city painted with big illustration, graffiti and letters. It’s also known for the steep road and the funicular, which are cabins on an escalator to rattle up and down the streets where it is almost impossible to drive or walk. Very interesting and unique. We stayed in a hostel, because there is no place for camping, no garden caused of that steepness and very strait build house to house situation. We enjoyed walking along the harbor and seeing some sea lions. Also watching the ocean for the first time in South America was great feeling for us.
We cycled further north, fighting ourselves through this crazy traffic on the way to Vine del Mar. We had to cross a 3 lane highway from left to right, sharing the side of the road with hundreds of busses passing by. But a few kilometers we reached the Ruta Del Mar (F30E) going north. A winding road with less traffic is following the coastline. This is why we choose this part. Our way leads up for 500 km to La Serena. On the way we have camped on campsite just a few meters off the pacific, with no one around, because it was off season already. We bought some goat cheese of the local people and very delicious fruits. We spent the Easter weekend in Tongay with vine and watermelon. One day later we reached La Serena and followed the invite of Sandro and Eloisa. Again, we have been welcomed in a very friendly and hospitable way. Shower, kitchen, sleeping room and food have been provided for us. Sandro was biking the harsh landscape of Torrres del Paine just before. He loved the idea cycling around the country and was very to share the same passion. As we arrived Lukas, Michaela and Sophia, the Children of the family have been there for the traditional Sunday-Meal. They all come together every week to share the family live.
Sophia, the oldest daughter and her boyfriend Matthias just reopened a hostel in the city center. If you are around, go and stay in this nice and friendly managed hostel (OPEN HOSTEL, LA SERENA) with colonial style build rooms.  (
The family also has a paradise like property further inland in the beautiful Valley de Elqui. We cycled the 70 km from sea level to an altitude of 600m and followed a road of tropical fruits , which grows on the side of the way, ready to be picked. The valley is also known for the Origin of the traditional drink of Chile, the Pisco.
 As we arrived at the described place, we were staying in front of an avocado farm. Within this hundreds of three, the family created a lovely camping area with BBQ-grills, pools and rest areas in the green. Elly was so happy to surrounded of that many fruit trees like grapes, pomegranate, figs and avocados. As well Tuna (kind of a eatable cactus), cotton and apricot was growing there. The close by town Vicuna has a observatory. We went to the Mamalluka observatory and were looking to stars and planets. The area is known for the clean air and therefore that many observatories. It was a beautiful night, looking through the telescope to see a great white doted sky.
As we came back to La Serena we booked a bus up north to San Pedro de Atacama. We had to pass the area around Copiapo. Almost a week earlier this region got swamped by heavy rainfalls in the Andes and the desert!!! There hasn’t been rain for the last decades and now, the people had lost their belongings. Their houses and also some have lost their lives. Many people say, cause to the climate change, Chile is facing a lot nature catastrophe. It rains in the driest areas in the north, and there are bushfires in the usually wet and green countryside’s down south.
We arrived safe in the town of San Pedro de Atacama, the closed town to the most dries area in the world. The Atacama desert. A moon like landscape. Surprisingly it wasn’t flat and sandy. It´s more rocky, rough and a bit hilly, but almost everything is covered in a thin white layer of salt. Many volcanoes are rising in the surrounding mountains of the Andes. We stayed a few days, got acclimatized and set off for the salt flats of Uyuni in Bolivia.  
Welcome to Bolivia
For the next adventure and the crossing to Bolivia we booked a 3 days jeep tour. But we had to put our bikes on top of the car. We went up to 4900m, visited many Lagunas which shined in different colors. Hundreds of pink flamingos were feeding from the red colored algae’s in the Laguna, lamas and vicunas are standing in the fields like oversized pets. We stopped at a geyser with many blubbing and muddy holes, combined with smoke come out of the ground. Another strange, not earthlike place we have seen. We slept in a salt hostel before we reached the Salar de Uyuni on the third day. This is the world largest salt flat with more than 10.000 square km at around 3600m above sea level.   An unreal place and a never ending view of white, touching the light blue sky. The have arrived right in time to see the sunrise from a small island, which rises 10 m above the flat. A special and warming moment we have shared with other tourist and our group, Meliz and Toma (France) and Miguel from Swiss. This impressive tour is one of our highlights in the central part of our trip.
As we arrived the town Uyuni, we took the next bus to La Paz. The capitol of Bolivia is squeezed in a valley, kind of a hole. But the walls and edges a set with many houses. The city is located at around 3600m but probably has a range of a few hundred meters from the upper area in el alto to the lower areas. Going up to el alto with the cable car gondolas, you will have amazing view over the city. The city is colorful, chaotic, full small busses and food stalls. And Bolivia is one of the cheapest countries in the commitment. We enjoyed eating typically dishes, ice, fruits just on the side of the road for about 1 Euro.
Again we are more than happy to join the community of the Casa del Ciclista. The host Christian is very busy, working with art, support local tourism business and even joining a 13km run in the city!! He provides his very nice flat, with wooden floors and a few rooms to the cyclist arriving from Peru, Brazil, Argentina or wherever. Thanks for having us and being part of the cycling community!
La Paz offers many attractions: Markets of fruits, clothes, crafts, spare parts of cars and so on. Actually, everything what is exciting in this world you can find at the markets of El Alto. We can’t even realize the size of how many roads this chaotic goings-on is covering. But it’s amazing!!!
Another must do is rolling down the death road. Starting at 4700m in a cold and thin air with a full suspended mountain bike, which is provided by one of many companies, you roll down 65 km to an altitude 1200m with tropical temperatures and high humidity. Many people are going down the narrow roads which aren’t used by cars and trucks anymore due to the high numbers of accidents and deaths. The road offers spectacular views to green mountains and huge drops of a few hundred meters.
We are going to ride our bikes the next days, going to the lake of Titicaca, Isle del Sol and Cusco. It’s going to be our last bit of cycling before we plan to reach Lima by bus.
Let’s see how it comes.