Cycling South America

South America by bicycle
CLICK ON THE MAP TO SEE MY COMPLETE TRAVEL NOTES

ALSO CHECK OUT THIS AMAZING VIDEO THAT MY CYCLING BUDDY KRISTOF MADE:

In January 2013 I flew to Lima, Peru, took a bus to the border with Chile, hitchhiked to Santiago, bought a bicycle named Traicho, cycled down the Carretera Austral into Argentina, shipped Traicho to the north of Argentina, hitchhiked to Buenos Aires, took a train to Salta, cycled across the Andes to the Chilean Atacama desert and then over the Bolivian altiplano through Salar de Uyuni, Salar de Coipasa and Sajama to La Paz and Titicaca. Then I sold the bike, visited Cuzco and Machu Picchu in Peru and went back to Lima to fly back to Iceland. The trip in a nutshell:
– almost six months in total
– countries visited: Perú, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia
– a bit less than 4000 km on Traicho the bicycle, 1500 of which on paved roads, the rest on dirt roads
– two flat tyres
– highest altitude by bicycle: 5300 masl (near Chacaltaya, La Paz, Bolivia)
– highest altitude on foot: 6088 masl (Huayna Potosí, Bolivia)
– highest net altitude gain in one day: >1900 m (from Purmamarca to the 4170 masl pass on the way to Salinas Grandes and Paso de Jama)
– highest altitude loss in one day: 3500 m (the Death Road near La Paz, Bolivia)
– lowest temperature while wild camping: -15°C
– 6-7000 km by thumb
– my favourite South American capital of the four: La Paz
– number of empanadas eaten: thousands
– lowest expenses in one month: $338 in Bolivia
– around 700 GB of video from the GoPro that I still need to process
– languages learnt: Spanish only (well, I do avoid using the past tenses)
and, most importantly
– many new friends
– incredible landscapes

For practical tips check out this article I wrote on the Carretera Austral (links open in the same window): http://wikitravel.org/en/Carretera_Austral
For cycling tips there are a few good websites, including these two:
http://andesbybike.com/
http://theglobelovers.com/worldbiketour/category/route/

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