DAY 681 - TO THE SALT LAKES

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Day 681 - Oruro, Bolivia - 14381 km

I’m continuing south on the altiplano, heading to the salt lakes. It starts with some bad luck, my tire explodes again. Another big puncture, the sealant spills on the highway. They are treacherous, the hard shoulders of the highway, where the leftovers of threaded truck tires and broken car windows lay bare. A truck driver sees me fiddling with my tire and offers me a ride to the next town. Luckily this time the sealant does the job and it fixes the puncture itself, but I have to continue on lower pressure, which is not ideal on pavement. I’d rather have my tires rock-hard to be most efficient.

It’s straight roads with little incline, so I do a hundred plus kilometres in a day. The monotone scenery varies from dry grassland to red quinoa fields. There’s not much else to see and because the cycling is straightforward it’s perfect for listening to audio books. I count the distance through chapters of the book.

I have nothing specific to visit here. The goal is Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt lake in the world, which is still 300 km ahead of me. I pass through Huari, hometown of the Huari brewery. The town is just a dusty spot on the map and I’m through it before I know it. The land gets dryer as I near to the salt lakes. Hints of white and pink introduce the saline in the soil. It gets more barren as I go south, it’s unearthly. I put my headphones on, a few more chapters to go.

 
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My favourite snack on the road, relleno de postre

My favourite snack on the road, relleno de postre

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Quinoa fields

Quinoa fields

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A volcanic crater along the road

A volcanic crater along the road

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Salar de Uyuni in the far distance

Salar de Uyuni in the far distance