Archive for September, 2007

The Chaco part two

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I left the Military bunk in Pozo Colorado early (pozo means well in Spanish). My goal was to get to Filadelfia, a Mennonite community further north and about a two day ride. It was hell. A fierce headwind hit me immediately and continued all day. There were few places to get food and water again and the temperature rose to 43 deg C (109 deg F). Every pedal, every kilometer was a struggle. I had to stop every 1-2 km to drink (hot) water and pour some over my head. It was quite exhausting. I camped out the first night near a pond and was able to take a sponge bath. More dead animals:

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I slept like the dead that night. The next day, more of the same. I was lucky to go 12 km/hour and some gusts actually forced me to stop pedalling. It was brutal. Hot like a blast furnace and few places to get water. Here is one where I stayed for a while to cool off.

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I finally rolled into Filadelfia ready to pass out from the heat and exhaustion. I got a hotel and collapsed. Here I am after 450 km in the Chaco just before taking a cool heavenly shower.

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I talked to some people at the hotel who said my route to Bolivia would be very difficult. The Trans-Chaco highway was not paved all the way to Bolivia, and it was even more remote than previously. There is, apparently, nothing there– no shops, no houses, no people. I decided it was time to take the bus. The Chaco had defeated me. Twenty-four hours later, after a cold cramped bus ride, I was in Bolivia.