Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Uyuni to Potosi

After our tour of the salar, we left Uyuni for Potosi on Jan 21st. The maps and local information being what they are, the road was a complete mystery and it felt a bit like cycling into the unknown. The road was apparently hilly and apparently in a terrible condition in parts, so we set off with plenty of food and water, not really knowing what to expect...

The first day was tough, and in hindsight, we could have probably done with an extra day of recovery in Uyuni. The area was incredibly hot and dry and the road out of town rapidly turned into a lung-scorching beast of a climb with not an inch of shade to be seen anywhere. Exhausted, we then had to negotiate an increasingly sandy road before our reward - camping next to a fantastic hot spring. Relaxing in the hot, sulphurous waters was the perfect way to recover, and the sunset from our camp was really quite something:

With low expectations for the remainder of the route to Potosi, the next couple of days were a dream - good quality road (there were even bridges across the rivers!) and fantastic views. The area felt a lot richer than previously, and the little villages scattered across the countryside were beautiful. Llama strolled everywhere and a highlight was having a young llama running alongside my bike - hilarious given its funny gangly gait!

The final night before arriving in Potosi, we stayed in a little mining village called Castilla. Nestling in the hills with the mine in the background, you couldn´t find a more authentic place to stay. Sleeping in a miner´s "hostel" that stank of cat´s urine, was I suppose, an experience, but on balance, I think that camping in the countryside is more my thing!

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