Cycling through Bolivia and Argentina with travellunch

After many journeys across the globe (info here), it was the first time to South America for both of us. From La Paz in Bolivia, we cycled south to Salta in Argentina with our heavily overloaded mountain bikes. The way led us over sandy tracks, salt deserts, through volcanic landscapes and the jungle.

Off we went, always heading southwest, to our first goal, the Sajama – with 6542m the highest mountain of Bolivia. We cycled over sand and gravel, uphill and downhill, with almost 60kg on our heavily packed bikes to an altitude of over 4700m, where we began sweating quite heavily. Fortunately, we had the nutritious travellunch snacks with us, which gave us fresh strength for our way.

Upon our arrival in the village of Sajama, we climbed some 5000m peaks and topped off our mountaineering week with the 6345m-high Parinacota.

The rest of the way through the desert landscape was lined by alpaca and llama herds and gave us beautiful campsites under starry nights and in absolute silence. We came to the Salar de Uyuni and through the southwest of Bolivia. We scouted the beautiful lagoons and geysers, saw tons of flamingos, and visited small villages.

After more than 3 weeks of only sand and stones we were happy to see trees and flowers again in the beautiful village of Tupiza. With our bikes we crossed the border to Argentina and enjoyed the evermore blooming and green landscapes of early summer. For a few days we hiked on an Inca trail through the jungle with light luggage. At over 40°C the birdsong and chirping didn’t seem to end.

After 6 weeks of adventure, we flew back from Salta to our winterly, pre-Christmas home. We thank travellunch for the delicious provisions. Nothing lifts the spirits better than a full belly before crawling into the sleeping bag.

Next, we plan to cross the Greenland Ice Sheet. Preparations are well underway, and of course travellunch will accompany us once more!

Text and photos: Franziska & Ruppert Heim