About 3 months into my cycle trip in 2017, while listening to a Modest Mouse song in Peru, my stupid brain remembered my camera actually had the capacity to film things and I was inspired to create a video montage of my travels. My filming was sporadic and wild – sometimes I filmed a lot over a couple of days then barely filmed a thing for weeks on end – but eventually I gathered together enough footage to make a video. Then, after 18 months of procrastination, that same Modest Mouse song came on shuffle and I was once again inspired to drag myself to my computer to edit the thing. While making this video brought me immense joy, a part of me laments the countless moments, places and people that I failed to capture. Either way, I hope it gives you a window into what was, without a doubt, the best year of my life, and inspires someone somewhere to load up their bike and do what I did. They won’t regret it.
Uyuni itself is a combination of typical Bolivian antiplano town and tourist hive, depending on which streets you walk. We spent a few days relaxing and letting Philipp’s stomach and my chaffed behind recover from our travails through the salars.
When I returned to the Casa de Ciclistas it had been invaded by French, Swiss and Belgians. All very nice people I’m sure, but the lingua franca was no longer English and I found myself drowning in a sea of French chatter. Even the one other English guy was fluent in French. It was time to leave.
Like a seasoned con giving a beating to a naive new inmate, Bolivia took no time in asserting its dominance over me. As soon as I crossed the border the road quality turned awful, a vicious wind whipped in from the lake and on the first incline I snapped my gear cable (again). Luckily the border town of Puerta Acosta was only 5km away but I was forced to push the bike uphill through the ailing light. I’d lost my gloves the previous day and before long it was dark and my hands were completely numb. I was convinced I’d taken a wrong turn and was nearing despair when a friendly farmer assured me I was on the right track and walked me to town.