Bicycle touring through Bolivia can be a challenging but rewarding experience that takes you through some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage sites.
Cycling across Salar de Uyuni on my Surly Ogre bicycle was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will cherish forever. It was a challenging yet rewarding adventure that allowed me to experience the magnificence of the natural wonder and learn about the region’s culture and history.
I’m in Greece. Four days and 400 kilometers after leaving Istanbul, Turkey, I arrived in Greece. To say I’m excited to start bicycle touring in Greece is an understatement. And first impressions did nothing but fuel the enthusiasm.
It was cold, freezing cold. I had obviously done a lousy job at packing the right clothes for bicycle touring Turkey. Thankfully, I decided to throw in a pair of gloves at the last minute.
I rode on thru the morning. Slowly the buildings peeled away, and the countryside began to creep in. Finally, I was on the coast. With the Sea of Marmara on my left and a patchwork of fields on my right, the cycling was beautiful. It was precisely what I had signed up for.
Once back in Playa Del Carmen, I decided to take the ferry to Cozumel and bicycle tour around the island.
I was off to an early start. Even though the ferry was crowded, it was mostly locals. When I arrived in Cozumel, it looked like a ghost town. I later found out; the typically popular tourist destination usually hosts thirty-nine cruise ships a week. Due to COVID, they haven’t had one visit in 5-months.
Shortly after arriving, I started my counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Cozumel, and the small town of tourist shops, bars, and restaurants quickly faded away.
The two-lane road to Chichen Itza was extremely overgrown. The jungle had completely taken over the shoulder. Every time I heard a car or truck approaching from behind, I had to pull off to the side of the road and let them pass.
The heat was also a major issue. Mid-day, I had to pull to the side and sit under a tree. Again, I was suffering from heat exhaustion.
I was eventually able to continue but decided to stop for the night in the colonial city of Valladolid.
The climb out of the small surf town was brutal. It took well over an hour and was easily the steepest of my life. Towing a trailer and surfboard didn’t help.
Words cannot describe the view at the top of the ridge. Seeing the peeling lines from that altitude is easily a top-five highlight of my bicycle touring career. A full-on, this is why I do this moment.
The next morning I left well before sunrise. With camping off the table, the plan was to ride 80 miles to the coastal town of Essaouira.
The day started on the wrong foot. In the dark, I somehow managed to make a wrong turn. I ended up cycling through an extremely rundown shantytown on the Southern edge of Safi. I stood out like a sore thumb. Admittedly, all the stares made me anxious. I was definitely off the beaten path.
Cycling Iceland’s Ring Road for me was extremely tough physically and mentally. Every day was an absolute soul-sucking struggle until the end. It took everything I had to finish in 14 days. Here are the things I wish I knew before starting my trip.