LAKE TITICACA: From La Paz, Bolivia to Puno, Peru

13 05 2009

Friday May 8, 2009 

La Paz to Patamanta: 40 kilometers Returning from the hot, humid Amazon lowlands up to a cold, dry Altiplano winter. This after 6 weeks of gorging a stretched belly, but excercizing like a sloth. How would my legs hold up? What about my lungs? Certainly I had de-acclimated. It’s like starting over again, but it had to be done! Here’s what happened… Said another sad goodbye, this time to my friends in the Madidi Travel office in La Paz. Before I left, though, I did manage to get a photo with the ever elusive Rosa Maria Ruíz. Her story soon to come…

 BIKE MAINTENANCE: After 6 weeks away from Skinny Horse, she needed a bit of work. Changed the chain before I left because the Salar de Uyuni salt flat destroyed it with rust, in addition to a few tools that must have touched some salt. (Advice to cyclists on the Salar: washing your bike with water and a scrubber isn’t enough. Read the rest of this entry »


Conservation tourism in the Amazon with Madidi Travel

24 04 2009

Journal Updates Coming Soon!

Bolivian Altiplano: From Uyuni to La Paz

17 04 2009

RoadSide Updates Coming Soon!

ALTIPLANO: Villazon to Uyuni, Bolivia

12 03 2009

March 1, 2009:

The border between La Quiaca, Argentina and Villazon, Bolivia is a mess of people shuffling about like drunken ducks carrying drunken duck packages. I didn’t see many people stamping in or out. It looked like a free for all. So, after checking into a hostel for $4.20 per night I decided to try my luck and coast invisibly through the mess. Read the rest of this entry »

ALTIPLANO: Humahuaca, Arg. to Villazon, BOLIVIA

5 03 2009

Altiplano loosely translates to High Plain. This place IS high, ranging from about 3,400 meters (11,100 ft.) to 4,200 meters (13,400 ft.) above sea level. It is mostly flat, as that range is only an 800 meter elevation range, but everything is made more extreme not simply due to the fact that the roads are ripio dirt, but mostly by the elevation.

My pulse races when I climb a small hill up here in the clouds. As proud as I am to have raced bicycles as a Flagstaff resident, making fun of competitors from lower, lesser altitudes, I must admit I have not lived in Flagstaff for years now; I have been living in low-altitude Paraguay. And besides, altiplano residents would scoff at Flagstaff residents for our pride– 7,000 ft is nothing here (Sorry Flagstaff, I still love you.) I am typing this entry in a town whose elevation is higher than the summit of Humphrey’s peak, the highest point in Arizona, 5,000 feet above more-than-mile-high Flagstaff. Campesinos on single-speed cruiser bicycles ride past me with no effort. I need more red blood cells. Read the rest of this entry »