On April 14, 2013

I love Bolivia for so many reasons. It’s beautiful, mountainous, gorgeous….

What I’m not digging at the moment is the difficulty of cycling this mountainous country. There was that long climb from San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina to the border at Villazón. Next was a few smaller climbs with one huge descent to Tupiza that skewed my perspective. After Tupiza is a mountain range where I went 9 kph or less uphill for 20 km followed by a 50-70 kph descent on some wildly twisty roads. Then the road followed a river uphill for a good 60 km. Needless to say, these were the most physically challenging sections of road I’ve been on. The altitude didn’t help nor did not packing any protein or fat. Starch and sugar for 2 days and 250 km. Whoops. I did manage to snag the back of a semi for a few kilometers as he chugged uphill at 10 kph.

So in short, Villazón to Tupiza is not so bad if you’re acclimated, but Tupiza to Potosí is super difficult. And all of it is worth it because Bolivia is awesome.

Also Bolivia has THE HOTTEST picante sauce. Asking for a little is at my limit.

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