13 11 2007

The climb out of La Paz wasn’t as bad as I feared. 500m vertically is turning into a morning warm-up.  Although it looks like this may be the end of it – the last two days have been very flat. It’s a strange feeling being on a flat plain, almost 4000m above sea level. I half expect to see the sea around any corner. In fact it looks (a bit) similar to the drive from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges – pretty flat near the road, with a line of hills in the middle distance. Of course on the other side of the road is more mountains and a distinct lack of sea, so it’s not quite the same.

The first night out of La Paz saw us reach our target of Patacamaya. And what a target it was… The only noteworthy feature of the place is that it was on the map. The only remarkable feature was why they bothered to put it on the map. We ate, Rahel got sick, and we slept in a very, err, basic hostel. We left early. I guess this is how Bolivia will be in the small towns, although so far Bolivia has shown a very pleasant face. It’s clearly poor, but the people don’t seem to do as many stupid things as their northwestern neighbours.

Oruro is another long days ride south, but we were all determined to reach it after the Pataca-hell hole-maya experience. We did, despite sick Rahel. We’re now taking a day to recharge, which is cyclisto speak for eatting everything in sight. We cooked up a good Ratatoulie last night.

The next target is the Salar de Uyuni, the big white patch on the map (if you’re keeping tabs on where I am on the map page). We’re hoping for good weather.



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