South America Blog Posts

Week 12 – Solo Bikepacking Bolivia. Leaving Uyuni & a new route through the Amazon

As I mentioned in my blog post last week, Huong and I will be travelling separately from now on. Huong won’t be cycling and instead she will travel north to Peru and volunteer on a farm for a while. This means that I will be cycling through South America alone. To start my new solo journey, I moved into the Casa de Cyclistas in Uyuni. A Casa de Cyclistas is like a hostel, but is especially for cyclists. There are a lot of these places throughout South America, but there is only one in Bolivia. Luckily it’s in Uyuni, the city that I have been staying in. Its a very basic form of accommodation, just a room with no bed, a shared bathroom and kitchen. But there is no set fee for each night. Instead you pay a voluntary donation for your stay. It was an awesome experience and I am looking forward to visiting more of them as I continue north.

The Cycling Community

The best part of staying there was meeting some other bicycle travellers. When I first moved into the Casa de Cyclistas, there was one other cyclist there. His name is Yuri and he was cycling south after starting in Peru, he is collecting footage for a travel documentary. After I had been there a couple of days, a group of French cyclists arrived. They were also heading south but had started in the United States. It was awesome to meet other cyclists, I have been in South America for 12 weeks already and these were the first cyclists I have met. This is probably my own fault for starting in the south of the continent during winter. I am really looking forward to meeting more of the community as I continue north.

New route and bike adjustments

Yuri actually suggested that I take the route that he had just completed. The route was through the edge of the Amazon, in Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. I’ll leave La Paz, taking the road of death down to the edge of the Amazon. Then up through the Bolivian Amazon to the Brazilian border. I’ll only be in Brazil for a short time before crossing the border into the Peruvian Amazon. The route is over 2000km long and looks like it will be really awesome. The only issue is that my bike has narrow road tyres, not fat off-road tyres. So while I was in the Casa de Cyclistas I took the opportunity to change my back tyre, taking one from Huong’s bike before she sold it. I haven’t managed to get a replacement front tyre yet. Hopefully I can find one before I leave La Paz. But first I need to cycle 550km from Uyuni to La Paz to start this route.

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