Once we were far enough away we stopped to drink some soft drink & eat our snacks., looking over lake Titicaca. We continued to roll around Lake Titicaca. We had gained a great vantage point by climbing high on the road. Once we crossed one of the inlets by wooden ferry with a truck we knew we were safe from border patrol it was time to relax & see what Bolivia had to offer..
The good thing about Bolivia was the ease of finding camping.. We camped in so many beautiful places. on the edge of Lake Titicaca, in the Atacama to the windy plains of Uyuni salt flats. We even managed to camp in a sheep herders shed with the sheep for a night.
The crunching & cracking sounds the salt made was such an experience. It was really a world of its own. We cycled the 50km out to the island that I never knew existed & camped in the lee side of the wind.... The star filled sky was incredible but it was sooooo cold out of the tent that you couldn`t stand out there for too long.
Soft sand, deep ruts & a brutal headwind restricted us to around 45km per day. We would start riding as soon as we could in the morning around 7:30am when the sun had thawed out the tent & our bikes. We would ride for a while before being hit by the headwinds then we would continue on into it until 3pm.
Matt had to push his bike a lot as he had skinny tires on & all of his weight was loaded onto the front of the bike, meaning he would just sink into the ruts & go nowhere. It was a spectacular route, at one point i counted 14 volcanoes surrounding us. There were Flamingos in every lake & we managed most nights to find incredible places to camp. I would recommend this route to anyone who wants a challenge & to experince some of the most spectacular scenery South America has to offer.
We were hoping for a solid ride into Chile down a huge 40-odd km descent but no, of course not. There was a big headwind reducing me to 60km/hr no matter how hard I pedaled, somewhat frustrating.
We finally rolled into the town of San Pedro De Atacama at 8:30pm. The border guard had Bob Marley playing, asked where we had come from and didn`t even look at our passports -- he just stamped them. WOW we got lucky. We somehow managed to roll into town on the Chilean independence day, meaning it was a 4 day weekend with a lot of partying going on.