Monday, February 20, 2006
I just arrived in the city of La Paz about two hours ago. It was an AMAZING entrance! La PAZ is in a high valley and you descend from 13,000´ to 11,700´into the city on this highway. It was awesome. I spent the last two days biking from Copacabana. Yesterday had some climbs and pretty wet cold weather and hail, but the views around Lake Titicaca were amazing. I took a barge across a gap where there is no bridge yesterday which was fun. Last night I ended up in a fishing village Huatajata. Its a really special area because a while ago I read Thor Heyerdahl´s book on his Ra expeditions using reed boats to cross the Atlantic. Anyway, this area is pretty much the focal point of Ayraman indian knowledge on the art of reed boat building.
The Hostal I stayed at was the house of one of the Catari brothers who has helped build some incredible boats for many expeditions. amazing man, he showed me his museum of reed boats, miniatures about 2-3 ft in size of all the actual boats that have done big trips. It was really cool, I bought a tiny 1.5¨ boat from him for under a dollar (my first sivouiner!) so now I have a piece from a master...anyway the ride today was good, leaving the lakes behind and riding along the Altiplano with good views,and headwinds. My knee felt pretty darn good, so we´ll see what comes next. after about 40 miles, the signs of urban sprawl could be seen as I entered the trashy parts of El Alto, then ended up on this brige and started the descent to the city on the highway, it was awesome!
So I´ve hooked up with the people that run Gravity Assisted Biking, they run downhill mtb bike trips here and are the best mtb bike tour company in bolivia, super cool bunch. I met one of their new guides for the summer in copacabana, then their manager dude onthe barge. Their season is just starting. So i´m hoping to go on a ride or two with them (using real bikes..)all for now, not sure what my plans are next. Thinking of doing a ride to Arica on the Chilean coast then bussing back to La Paz. would probably take a week or so.