Daily Archives: October 29, 2015

Day 93/164: Rest Day in Uyuni

It’s 3 months since the tour started today. In some ways the time in Colombia feels like a different tour and seems such a long time ago. We are over halfway gone of this ride, but still a lot to go.

Riding on the salt flats

Riding on the salt flats

I had breakfast in the restaurant with Dan and Shirley, and then headed up to the town to look for a few things. There are a lot of tourists here as this is where most of the tours to the salt flats start. As usual a lot dogs roaming around. One thing that is different in Bolivia is the dogs mostly have ribbons around their necks. I wonder whether this is a sign that this dog belongs to someone.

Not a lot to do in this town and I am about 10 days behind with the blog and have a few emails to do so I head back to the hotel. The Wifi only works down stairs in the hotel reception/ lobby . A number of riders have commented that the Wifi is super slow so I decide to write the updates and emails and send to my out box for later. The afternoon is spent blogging, emails, and dozing.

I had dinner in town and one of the numerous pub type places and a drink with one of the younger riders John. 2 for 1 cocktails so had a couple of Tom Collins, which made a nice change from wine or beer.

Back at the hotel and packing for tomorrow, always take longer than expected given how frequently it is done. Then downstairs to send emails and photos etc.

I log on and the emails and updates go from my outbox saying ‘sending’ just like they always do. Then I spent a while sending photos. Then I noticed I had an email from Kelly and as it was getting late I decided to try skyping rather than emailing back and managed to get through.

Had a good chat, with catching up on family news until Kelly mentioned she had got all the photos but no blog updates for 10 days. Look again I said, they must be amongst the photos, no luck.

I am not sure what has happened but all 10 updates and emails to friends and family have just disappeared! No longer in my outbox and not showing in sent or trash or all email, and no idea why. Not good as we are about to go on another 6 day riding stretch where I won’t have Wifi, so will be seriously behind. Not to mention having re write ten day’s worth. I just hope they are in internet cyber space and turn up.

Me on the salt flats on the way to Uyuni

Me on the salt flats on the way to Uyuni

The work nevers stops for the TDA Staff (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

The work nevers stops for the TDA Staff (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Bolivia, South American Epic | Tags: | 4 Comments

Day 92/164: The Island to Uyuni – 97km

Climbing 560, meters down 540.

I was relieved when morning came to get up and move around. Fingers crossed the prednisone makes a difference as after the clinic in La Paz I don’t have a lot of confidence in the medical system as in going for medical help in Bolivia.

Very cold this morning, minus 4 degrees, and where we had breakfast was on the edge of the salt flats so quite exposed. Had a quick breakfast and got moving.

Looking over the salt flats in the early morning light (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Looking over the salt flats in the early morning light (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

The first 70 kilometres was riding across the salt flats. Thankfully the wind does not pick up until late morning. While riding on the salt flats because it is all the same you seem to ride for ever before anything starts to become closer. I am riding with my silk balaclava over my mouth and nose to stop the cold going directly to my lungs, as this can set off an asthma attack.

Riding on the salt flats

Riding on the salt flats

Quite a few tour groups out already, apparently there are about 70 tour operators in Uyuni alone (the town we are heading towards for the rest day). Stopped and took a couple of photos of the scenery.

At 70 kilometres we got off the salt flats and the terrain turns sandy, corrugated surface, dirt and lots of vehicles coming past whipping up wind and dust (again bad with having asthma symptoms already).

Thankfully after 5 kilometres we turned right and were basically on tarmac with a tail wind most of the way to Uyuni. A few areas where there were road works but because it was Saturday there was no actual construction happening.

The town on first look was pretty bleak and uninviting looking. Lots of dust and rubbish in the streets. We are staying at the Sumaj Wasi Hotel. Most of us arrived about midday and were not able to get into the rooms until 2pm. A few people went into town but most of us milled around the reception area waiting.

Thankfully this hotel has a lift as I am on the 4th floor! After getting into the room and having a shower and sorting out the laundry (luckily just had to drop off at the hotel reception) I headed up town to check out the local supermarket which was closed (hopefully due to siesta), a number of other shops were also closed. I got some water and snacks from a small shop and decided to try again later.

About 2 hours later I went back up to town and the supermarket was open. It is the smallest supermarket I have ever been into, about the size of NZ 4Square. About 4 short aisles and a very limited range. Hopefully there are other suppliers in town otherwise TDA will struggle to feed 40 plus cyclists for the next 6 days.

Feeling pretty tired I got takeout pizza and back to the hotel for an early night.

Categories: Bolivia, South American Epic | 4 Comments