The Chaco part two

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:

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.

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.

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.

6 thoughts on “The Chaco part two

  1. Capt. Don Kilpela Sr. September 28, 2007 / 4:17 pm

    Well, I am relieved to learn that there is a breaking point. So, I said to myself, the kid’s human after all.

    Down deep, however, despite my misgivings and worry, I am very envious of your ability to overcome and persevere. You’ve sure got some “sisu.”

    Things are calm here in Copper Harbor as we await the return of the Queen for the last time this summer. Then the Queen is off to Houghton for the winter. Betty and I will head south in February where we will get a chance to see you and share a good dinner.

    Question: 1) How often can you find an internet capability and where usually?

  2. kkoski44 September 28, 2007 / 11:27 pm

    Don, I am not sure sisu is the word. Lunacy comes to mind…

    As for the internet, it is amazing how widsespread it has become. Even in small towns in rural 3rd world countries you can find an internet cafe. They are usually slow but they work. I am writing this from Samaipata, a small town in the mountains of Southern Bolivia. They actually have two or three internet cafes here.

  3. maudie September 29, 2007 / 10:53 am

    Your experience with the police and the entry stamp reminds me the experience I had years ago in C.R. I could not produce my passport (my attorney had it) and was jailed. Or another time in a small town in the mountains I was jailed for various reasons. The jefe-police boss-mayor etc. all rolled in to one tried to weasle my six shooter away ( leave your gun and you are a free man). I refused and the jefe was extremely angry and I was marched back to mr cell. Fortunately I had some local help in the name of Mr. Font who managed to intervene and get me out. and eventually I got my gun back as well. Kev–you must have actually enjoyed the camping experiences while hunting. love DAD

  4. Katrina October 1, 2007 / 4:35 am


    stop having so much interesting stuff to write….you are making my stay here in Japan look like a big yawn.

  5. David Rae October 1, 2007 / 7:08 pm

    Hi Kevin,
    I’m back in EG. Your trip across the Chaco makes this place seem like paradise .I shan’t ever complain about the canteen food again ! The EG government seems to take its bureaucracy from the Argentinians and its dictator style from the Paraguayans.
    Its still the rainy season here. Its been much much wetter than last year with some real downpours.
    The official inauguration for LNG is in a couple of weeks. El Presidente is coming and rumour has it that he has invited his chum Mugabe from Zimbabwe – a fine pair they make.
    The KPI graph for Liverpools league position is looking even better than last year. We’ve already won more away games in the first six weeks of the season than we did in the first six months of last season.
    How high will you be cycling in Bolivia? I was watching a program about some doctors on Everest carrying out blood tests for oxygen capacity and when they started getting high up their blood was actually blue!.
    I’m massively impressed with how you have overcome the obstacles on the journey so far. I hope the journey across Bolivia is less arduous than the Chaco, Best regards.

  6. kkoski44 October 4, 2007 / 9:14 pm

    Dave, glad to see Liverpool doing so well. They must be feeling your support vibes. As for Bolivia, check out my post. So far I have cycled to 3600 meters. I would not want to go much higher.

    My blood is still red based on the cuts, scrapes and bites I have.

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