Wednesday 9th July
Sun´s up. And what a difference! I watch my watch thermometer rise from minus a few to plus 20 degrees in about half an hour. Day and night time temperatures can be extreme here and it´s hot when we break camp and leave. Perfect cycling conditons!
The whole road from Uyuni to Potosi is being overhauled - a 40 month project finishing in 2 years time. Seemingly random sections are being worked along the route and we hit one early. It´s a blessing as the road suddenly becomes hard packed earth...
We turn into the next valley, rocks and road a riot of variagated colour. Where did this wanderer come from... where is he going to?
He tells us the next town is Ticatica 10 kms distant and they might have bread... We stop for water.
The bread story was just a rumour.
The next valley is a vast river bed. Now, in the dry season there is but a trickle of cobalt blue water to contrast with the reds and greens of the rock faces. Maybe the blue is the result of life enhancing minerals, but more likely, it´s chemicals leaching from the mines, and I will not be imbibing...
The next pass begins with a sandy crawl up steep switch backs. The way gets sandier and tyres spin and slide. It´s slow sweaty work.
Dani struggles on the steeps through the dust thrown up by a passing coach...
When suddenly we crest the pass at 4150 metres and begin a hair raising 600 metre descent....
On roads best described as "work in progress"....
Bumpy muddy progress...
And sections of deep sand...
The descent is fast, scary and dangerous. It´s a riot and I love it!! I only fall off once and manage to fill my handlebar bag with sand. Camara now makes funny noises and my trail mix doesn´t taste so good....
Before entering the next canyon; where the morning sun will not find us, we come across a stone corral and persuade a llama to leave it to us. Camping at 3550m between rocks is a warming luxury and we sleep well having covered an improved 70kms for the day. It´s only minus 6 tonight!
Monday, July 21, 2008
The Road to Potosi - 2
Posted by Sween in SAmerica at 4:21 PM
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