Cycling above the Clouds

Riding the Andes by Bicycle


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Gaucho land

From Salta the scenery continued to amaze as I descended then cliumbed back up again through the Quebrada de Cafayate. This is another road passing weird and wonderful rock formations forged through glaring red rock (the temperature has been hotting up now I’ve dropped a couple of thousand meters) by the Rio de las Conchas. Some great names for the rock features that sounded like they’d come straight out of the Canterbury Tales kept me entertained as I rode my way upwards: ‘The Devil’s Throat’, ‘The Toad’, ‘The Plasterer’, ‘House of the parrots’…and the more mundane ‘Aunty Jocelyn’.

Checking out the ‘Garganta del Diablo’ (Devil’s throat)

Stunning views riding along the Quebrada de Cafayate

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Chasing Rainbows

With just over 2 weeks of riding in Argentina now under my belt, an update is well overdue (surprisingly it’s harder to get hold of decent 3G or wifi here than it was in Bolivia or Peru, so updates will be more sporadic for a while).

Unfortunately my introduction to Argentina began with being laid up in a hostal at La Quiaca on the border for a couple of days thanks to a not-so-pleasant bout of D&V. After recovering I set off to ride south for the next 4 months, until reaching Ushuaia right down at the southernmost tip.  Being such a big country, I anticipated spending many days in the saddle with reasonably unchanging scenery, as the miles tick by. How wrong could I be….

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The magic of the Sur Lípez


After the physical and emotional energy expended on riding the salars over the past few days, I decided to jump on a 3 day 4×4 tour to visit Bolivia’s other natural gem – the Sur Lípez region. The alternative would have been another 9 days or so of riding one some pretty inhospitable roads, carrying even more food and water than before, and spending freezing cold nights in the tent. I plumped for the softies option;).

The trip blew my mind. Continue reading


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Out of this world – the Bolivian Salars

The past few days of relatively un-stimulating riding would not be in vain, as they brought me to the start of one of the most amazing pieces of riding I have ever, and suspect will ever, have in my life.


You can watch my short video of the experience filmed on the bike on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/aHe9xkpOa18 (or search for ‘Cycling the Salar de Uyuni’).

For more photos and descriptions keep reading…

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Striking out solo

For the first time since Sara-Ann headed back to the UK, it’s time for me to get back on the bike and start riding solo. I haven’t picked the easiest journey to begin alone, with 725km to travel from La Paz to Uyuni via some pretty deserted roads and tracks. I’m full of anticipation setting off, and also wondering how I’ll manage with the extra weight on the bike now I’m stocked up with the extra food and water I’ll need, along with the the camping gas and some other supplies that Sara-Ann had previously shared with me.

I learn a couple of things pretty quickly…

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La Casa de Ciclistas

Whilst in La Paz, I’ve been staying in the amazing ‘Casa de Ciclistas’, which definitely deserves a mention.

The casa is owned by a local cyclist called Cristian, who is a special quirky character, and extremely generously lets a bunch of us stay in this apartment for £2 per night. That basically just covers the gas and electricity. For this you get a spot on the floor, use of the kitchen, bathroom and wifi, storage for your bike and best of all, a sitting room to hang out with some great ciclista company. The walls are covered in years of fabulous cycling graffiti, route maps and words of wisdom from past guests. You never know who you might meet whilst staying there.

My spot on the floor – surrounded by plenty of cycling graffiti:)

Our bikes are kept in Cristian’s spare bathroom

Who’d imagine such a great cycling community would be hidden behind this door?!

Cristian’s workshop – available to use only after you pass his test;).

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Caseras, Cholitas y Brujas

What have you been up to Sarah B? You may well ask!

I’ve essentially been hanging out in La Paz for a week and a half, primarily waiting for a date to do a TOEFL English test (as part of a visa application) but also getting to know this beguiling city in the process. The big downside of course is that I’ve said a fond farewell to one of my dearest friends in the world, and cycling companionista, Sara-Ann. We’ve had such a fabulous six weeks together and I’m genuinely gutted to have parted ways.

Here we are enjoying the views from the La Paz Teleferico on our last day

So what’s been keeping me busy?

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