- Visa requirements: to enter the USA by air, a ticket out of the country is needed. Also you need to provide an address of a first night stay (hotel). I got an ESTA (visa waiver program) which gives me a 3 month stay, but you might try the B2 visa which might give you a 6 month stay.
- Date: 15th of November 2014 to first of February 2015
- Kilometers: about 3350
- Highest altitude: 1228 meters from Ramona to Anza Borrego, California
- Coldest temperature: minus 7
- Least kilometers in a day: 25
- Most kilometers in a day: 100
- How many flat tires: none yet as I use Slime Tubes
- Punctures: 5 in Therm-A-Rest air mattresses combined. 2 in Ortlieb front bag.
- Maintenance: minutely cleaned chain and washed bicycle thoroughly only once
- Animals seen in camp: some dead fish, grey fox, side blotched lizard, big black beetles, Californian quails…
- Best burrito: shrimp burrito at La Michoacana in Palm Springs California, together with Sofia’s Mexican Food in Gila Bend, Arizona
- Visa: 3 months for free upon arrival at airport
- Map: Nelles 1: 2.500.000
- Date: 8th of July 2016 – 10th of August 2016
- Kilometers: 1253 kilometer
- Days of cycling: 28
- Days of rest: 3 days while on the road, 3 days at the border
- Problems: many itching mosquito bites
- Maintenance: new screws in rear brake handle, new rear brake pads. Cleaned and oiled chain
- Longest cycle day: 81 kilometer in 5.20 hours
- Continuous days without rest/shower: 9/7 days
- Highest altitude: about 850 meter
- Nights in tent: 27
- Highest speed: 58 km p/h
- Cycled on gravel roads: 116 km
- Lowest/highest temperature: 0/35 degrees
- Average daily costs: € 12.50
- Water from tap: perfectly fine
- Luxury: showers (€0.75) and buffet style food at gas stations (€4.00)
- Border crossed at: Ponta Pora. Immigration Brazil is at the airport, which is in the opposite direction of the Paraguayan immigration. Paraguayan immigration is right next to China Shopping, along the main road to Concepcion.
Few price indications
Hotel € 12. Tube anti itch cream € 5. Bread (Dutch style with a sugary taste) € 2. Kilo wheat flour € 0.75. Cheese (decent amount) € 2.50. Small package of black tea € 1. Mango € 0.70. 0.5 liter olive oil € 6. Porridge 500 gram € 2
Visa: 3 months for free upon arrival at border
Map: Reise know How 1: 2.000.000 Uruguay/Paraguay
Date: 9th of August 2016 – 17tth of September 2016
Kilometers: 1070 kilometer
Days of cycling: 22
Days of rest: 10 days while on the road, 7 days at the border
Problems: 4 ticks removed, mild flu
Maintenance: cleaned and oiled chain twice, new oil in Rohloff hub. Repair of air mattress (4 attempts needed)
Longest cycle day: 114 kilometer in 5.48 hours
Highest altitude: not noticeable, Dry Chaco is heavenly flat
Nights in tent: 22
Cycled on gravel roads: 457 kilometer (but I intentionally pursued the gravel roads)
Lowest/highest temperature: 2/43 degrees (sometimes this difference would occur in a few days)
Average daily costs: € 8
Water from tap: perfectly fine, although water boiled (for coffee or tea) from Concepción into the whole of Dry Chaco tastes salty
Luxury: Concepción supermarket has food, and salad, by the kilo. The Mennonite supermarkets are stocked with fresh quark and overall good products.
Border crossed at: Mayor Infante Rivarola towards Villamontes, Bolivia (the road from Ibibobo to Villamontes is for 25 kilometers in a terrible state). Stamped out 7 kilometers after Mayor Infante Rivarola. Stamped in at Ibibobo, 70 kilometer further. Ibibobo has all which is needed for the cyclist, including money change.
Stock up on food in Mariscal Estigarribia when crossing at this border. La Patria has a few food items but not much.
I entered at Pedro Juan Caballero, where everything is available. See details at Brazil.
Few price indications
Hotel Center at Concepción € 6/7. Hotel in Mennonite community € 12.50. Each ATM transaction € 4. Kilo tomatoes € 1.60. Small package of black tea € 1.10. Meals range from € 1.60 to € 5. 400 gram porridge € 1.80. Milk powder 500 gram € 3.40. Tin of tuna € 1.75 and less. Good cheese at Mennonite supermarket € 2. Liter yoghurt without sugar at Mennonite supermarket € 1.50
- Visa: 1 month for free upon arrival at border
- Map: Michelin Chili & Argentina, where Bolivia is only partly on it.
- Date: 17th of September 2016 – 17th of October 2016
- Kilometers: 670 kilometers
- Days of cycling: 20
- Days of full rest: 6 days while on the road, 3 days at the border
- Problems: flat rear tire
- Maintenance: cleaned chain once, new Slime Tube at rear tire
- Longest cycle day: 70 kilometer in 4 hours (Chaco)
- Highest altitude: around 4100 meter near Yunchara
- Nights in tent: 16
- Cycled on gravel roads: pretty much but lost exact numbers.
- Lowest temperature: a bit above 0 degrees
- Average daily costs: € 8.5
- Water from tap and whatever source available: safe, I boiled river water first.
Border crossed at: Mayor Infante Rivarola (a few food stalls and water)/Ibibobo (anything you need is available, military camp at Ibibobo does not accept pitching your tent, they let you sleep near the control post if you need to).
For you who want to do this trail Tarija to Villazon:
Tarija – tunnel: 47 kilometer to 3500 meter altitude. From the start of climbing there is only one communidad to find water, later on one other settlement to find water. Road is asphalted.
Soon after the tunnel San Lorenzio village comes up, water and a simple restaurant should be open.
About 11 kilometers later Iscayashi is a village with everything you’ll need. Road soon after Iscayashi is gravel.
16 kilometers later the next pass comes, about 3950 meter. The stretch from Iscayashi to this pass has houses in the beginning of the route, not on the climb. After the pass the road becomes asphalted.
30 kilometer later the next pass (4034 m.) comes, water is to find only at the beginning of this 30 kilometer stretch. The road is asphalted.
About 7 kilometer after the pass is Yunchara (3600 m.), where is a hotel/restaurant and a tiny village with a few shops with everything you need (except gas and internet if you have VIVA mobile network). The road after Yunchara is gravel.
50 kilometer later the next pass arrives, after having dropped 1000 meter in altitude. Meanwhile you will pass Tojo (2660 m.) and Igeritas where is water. The latter has a river with drinkable water. The actual climb has no reachable villages to get water. The route is gravel.
Another 7 kilometer to some houses where you could find water.
Then you hit the paved road and it is 25 kilometer to Villazon. There are a few houses along the route to get water.
- Visa: 3 months for free upon arrival
- Map: Michelin Chili & Argentina
- Date: 17th September – 20th November 2016
- Kilometers: 810 kilometer
- Days of cycling: 21
- Days of full rest: 10
- Problems: the metal alike (plastic) design around the handlebar, where the actual brake-handle is connected to, has broken.
- Maintenance: new brake pads in front, new screws in brake-handle
- Longest cycle day: 72 kilometers
- Highest altitude: 4463 meter
- Nights in tent: 25
- Cycled on gravel roads: 236 kilometer
- Lowest/highest temperature: minus 10 – 25
- Average daily costs: € 14.50
- Water from tap and whatever source available: fine
- Border crossed at: Villazon/La Quiaca
- Visa: 3 months upon arrival free at the border
- Map: Michelin Chile & Argentina, where Peru is part depicted a small part
- Date: 21st to 30th of December 2016 (cycling only, I was there earlier with a friend)
- Kilometers: 438
- Days of cycling: 9
- Days of full rest: 4, at the end of the ride
- Problems: severe dehydration and diarrhea when off the bicycle. Stool test done, got medicines.
- Maintenance: cleaned chain once and removed rust from spokes
- Longest cycle day: 63 kilometer
- Nights in tent: 9
- Lowest/highest temperature: 19 degrees Celsius at night, day time 35 degrees
- Average daily costs: can’t say as I have traveled nearly 3 weeks with a friend, taken many buses to meet him and lost track of expenses for cycling.
- Water from tap and whatever source available: perhaps not so drinkable, as I attracted an infection.
- Border crossed at: Arica (Chile)
- Visa: 3 months free upon arrival
- Map: Michelin Chile & Argentina
- Date: 4th of January to 15 April 2017
- Kilometers: 2559
- Days of cycling: 61
- Days of full rest: 12
- Problems: Ortlieb screw came loose. Changed SlimeTubes front and back for regular inner tubes: 7 punctures. Rohloff seal damaged; oil leakage. Hilleberg zipper derails. Optimus Svea 123 broken.
- Maintenance: cleaned chain once, removed rust from spokes
- Longest cycle day: 70 kilometer
- Highest altitude: 3194 meter
- Nights in tent: 66
- Nights in hotels (free of expenses): 4
- Invited over: 3
- Lowest/highest temperature: 1 degree Celsius to 45 in the full sun
- Average daily costs: € 11 (might be influenced by dad, with whom I have traveled for a month)
- Water from tap: drinkable in big places and outside desert
- Border crossed at: Arica (Peru) and Cristo Redentor pass (Argentina)
Campgrounds: Apparently there is a camping approximately 23 kilometers from Iquique, at Los Verdes
Address camping Calama: Avenida La Paz 1556 – Camino Cementario. Tel. 552314277. This campground (nothing fancy) cum sport ground has come forth from the mining cooperation. $5000/€ 7
Few price indications:
Bottle of water in the desert 2.5 liter 1600/€ 2.25 to 2000/€ 2.80 for 1.5 liter, liter milk 1500/€ 2.10, a meal in the desert 3000/€ 4.25, tinned fish 2200/€ 3.10, good cheese 4000/€ 5,65, Nescafe small tin 1370/€ 2, cilantro 600/€ 0.85, avocado 800/€ 1.25, a shower 800/€ 1.10, kilo wheat flour 1000/€ 1.40, 400 gram milk powder 3000/€ 4.30