Tips for planning a trip
Get a bike and some gear
Book a flight to La Paz
This is the story of a middle-aged, middle-class, middle-Englander filling in the gap between retiring as a lawyer and reaching for his pipe and slippers. Travel has always been a great passion of mine and South America has a special place in my heart – particularly the stretch between La Paz and San Pedro de Atacama. I like it high and dry, and the other-worldly landscape of volcanoes, flamingoes and colourful lakes has brought me back to this part of the world for a third time.
I’m not the first and won’t be the last person inspired by that intrepid duo, Harriet and Neil Pike (aka pikesonbikes), to head off into the remoter regions of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina on a bike. And at 59 I won’t be the oldest either. But there’s a big difference between riding in a 4×4 across the Bolivian salt flats (as I did in 2014) and hacking your way up a dusty track at 4,500m with 50kg of gear. Only the next 4 months or so will determine just how far up the crazy scale this venture will prove to be.
If you want to learn more about the effects of starvation, thirst and gale-force winds on the human body, read on!