Made it to Argentina, now I just need to cycle to the other end. This also means I finished crossing Bolivia. Bolivia was challenging but quite beautiful and so far my favorite Latin American country. Colombia is #2 and Honduras is #3, but we’ll see what Argentina (and Chile) brings.
Tupiza sits in a valley and until the sun finally poked over tops of the high ridges, it was cold. I found my way past some road construction and back onto the main road. For the first 30km, the route roughly followed this valley while also crossing half a dozen small settlements. Each had a name and a sign, but there wasn’t much business to be seen.
There was a tunnel as well as a small auxiliary tunnel off to the right. I probably could have walked through the baby tunnel, though there wasn’t any traffic and so went along the main road instead.
Tire shop at one of the small towns.
At 31km, I came past this small bus stop. More importantly, this is where the serious part of the climbing began. A climb of 600m/2000ft from 2800m to 3400m and back up a plateau. There were a few places with 9% grades, but overall it was a steady slow climb that never got extremely steep. The sun was out and it was north facing, so it also got warm on the climb.
Overall today I recorded 1235m of climb, so the other parts both before and after this 15km stretch weren’t necessarily flat either.
I’m not sure what this sign is prohibiting.
At the top it became more open, though still some rolling hills.
Little town of Mojo, most all of it.
Here was the entrance arch to Villazon. This was border town on the Bolivian side. I figured I would stop if I found an inviting hotel and otherwise continue to clear the border with Argentina.
The last little bit of Bolivia. I exchanged my Bolivianos here for Argentina Pesos.
Came across the little bridge and then to the immigration offices. Getting stamps in my passport was surprisingly quick. Stepped to the window from Bolivia and got stamped out. Stepped over to the Argenina side and also stamped in. The stamp gives me 90 days in the country. That should be sufficient to either reach Puerto Montt (Chile) or perhaps will take a short break to fly back to the US somewhere along the way and refresh on some essential items like tires. Will see.
The most annoying thing about the Argentina customs came just as I was about to leave. A customs officer saw my bike and decided all the panniers needed to come off and be sent through a metal scanner. This took a bit since I have things tied, partially for theft but more importantly so my heel doesn’t knock the rear panniers off and into the spokes. So a slow dissassembly and then put everything back together.
There was a sign here for Ushuaia! First one I’ve seen.
Made my way into town and found a reasonable hotel (wifi extremely slow). I tried my normal arrival routine of finding a restaurant to replenish. Oops, five restaurants all closed – they don’t open until later in the evening. Will have to see how I adjust the routine. I did find a nice supermarket though (hard to find in Bolivia) and so got food there instead.
Overall, I enjoyed my trip through Bolivia. It was sometimes tough riding and often cold nights. However, the scenery was spectacular and the roads before Uyuni were nice. I’ve got my 10 year Bolivia visa in my passport and seems like an interesting place to come back and explore further.
Route from here to Salta will stay high for a while and then descend. Multiple small towns, though expect wifi might be a bit of hit and miss. Otherwise, nice to already be in Argentina!