La Paz to Tierra del Fuego - Bikepackingpartner sought
Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 5, 2011 1:05 AM Last Post By: iviehoff
Apr 26, 2011 6:42 AM
La Paz to Tierra del Fuego - Bikepackingpartner soughtIf you like getting dirty, total endurance, crap jokes, aches and pains.... then read on:
I posted on here 10 years ago and ended up dragging 3 poor souls 23,000kms from England to Singapore via Siberia - we are still friends, but they are all now married and have difficulty getting permission documents!
This coming December I'm planning a "short" ride from La Paz, Bolivia, to Tierra del Fuego. About 5,000kms.
Normally, I cycle alone cos no-one is mad enough to join me, but in hindsight I've found it's nice to share the experiences of the trips later with someone over a beer or several. So, I'm looking for a biking buddy.
Nationality and age don't matter, However I prefer to cycle with another guy because the women I cycled with just couldn't keep up with me, and after a month or so were moaning that they wanted somewhere to take a shower. However, I may be proved wrong?
About me: I'm a 47-year-old English guy. Been cycling for decades. Done over 70 countries and maybe over 100K miles? I'm vegetarian. Not part of the MAMIL brigade (Middle-Aged-Man-In-Lycra). I live in Germany, have a very tolerant Dutch girlfriend who supports me in my crazy adventures. And I love nature and taking 1000s of pics of everything I see.
If you like what you've read, have a bog-standard bike, a tent, sleeping bag, small cooker, a bit of biking experience, sense of humour, sense of adventure, around 2 months off from December this year, then contact me asap... I'm not doing this as a group tour!
PS: If you're curious about what happened on the 2001/2 trip, go to travelblog.org and look for my blog under "bikepacker". You'll get an idea what to expect!
Apr 26, 2011 7:33 PM
Apr 27, 2011 1:25 AM
May 1, 2011 3:55 AM
May 3, 2011 4:59 AM
You could probably keep it down to about 6000 km if you were being fairly in-a-straight-line about it. (Or even 5,000 km if you are just going to cycle down the coast of Chile by the main roads.)
Assuming you are giving yourself enough time to enjoy it, ie, about 6 months, you're probably better off doing it in the other direction. Then you'd ride Patagonia /Carretera Austral in the summer, and hopefully you'd be getting into autumn by the time you got into central/northern Arg, and could come into Bolivia in the early part of the dry season. NW Arg in high summer is unpleasant, with high temperatures and a lot of storms. People do ride Bolivia in the wet season (Nov-April), but you'd have to stick to the main routes, as minor routes do get difficult/risky. Though you can just avoid Bolivia by riding straight from La Paz to Arica on tarmac and be out of the country in 3-4 days any time of year, what's the point of paying the money to fly to La Paz for that though? There are so many wonderful things to see in Bolivia. Assuming a more leisurely approach and an attempt to enjoy oneself, there are plenty of areas along the way where the best bits come from a non-direct route. In general, the direct routes of least resistance can be tedious while there are stunning rides available on longer routes.
If you are doing it as A to B in order to count the km, sod seeing anything, then yes, set off 1 Dec, get through Bolivia before the worst of the wet season in Jan-Feb, suffer the 45C temps in NW Arg - (or even limit your exposure to Bolivia to just 4 days - you can do this any time of year - get on the paved road to Arica, rush down the coast of N Chile on luvverly tarmac, temps not too bad while riding close to the coast, though you do have to go inland in a few places, where summer temps will be in the high 40s). Either way you can be in Patagonia while the ferries are still all running in Feb. But such a waste of the plane tickets.
If you are coming north, why not take just a few more days to ride on to Cusco? Surely it is worth a visit to anyone once you have got so close?
May 4, 2011 3:51 AM
5Thanks for all the info guys.
KNULLRUFS: I was cycling Taiwan in 2008, but you met my mate Toby. We cycled England to Singapore together and he ended up marrying a Taiwanese girl and is living there. He did have a girls bike, and it did get stolen, right.
IVIEHOFF: Thanks for the extensive info, very useful. It is a short trip... 5000 / 6000 kms I do in 2 months no probs. I know it's crazy and I should smell the roses on the way. I do love extreme temperatures which is even weirder - it's like a red rag to a bull with me. But I'll take the ferry through along the Chilean coast so I'll "Chill" then.
Thanks again guys...
May 5, 2011 1:05 AM
I can understand one might normally do 5000km in 2 months, but if you are taking a scenic route through the Andes with up to 4500m altitude and extensive unpaved road sections, then it is another matter. Though of course you don't have to take the scenic route, you can stick to tarmac for extensive distances and miss most of the best bits.
It is quite challenging riding 100km in a day on Bolivian or Patagonian unpaved roads, with a heavy touring load. You might have to carry large amounts of water at times, I piled on up to 16 litres at times. I typically managed 50-60km in remoter parts, if unpaved, and I was super tour fit then. I did 100km unpaved a handful of times, but it took about 12 hours no hanging about, and I typically needed to recover the next day. On the other hand, when you are on paved roads you can sometimes knock off 150km in a day if it is fairly flat, as will apply from time to time whichever side of the Andes you are on. I recall doing over 200km one superflat day going straight along a flat main road in Argentina with the good fortune of no wind, not such a common occurrence.
I encountered a Frenchman doing a super-fast tour via the scenic route (3 months from Santiago to Lima via NW Arg, San Pedro de Atacama, Laguna Verde and the Bolivian highlands, Peruvian highlands), and he often continued cycling several hours after nightfall, even if the scenery was nice... He didn't have a tent either, he just put his sleeping bag on the ground - but he was in dry places in the dry season for the greater part of his route.
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