(Not quite) Busted (Pajoso, Bolivia)

“If I had known the wind would be this bad,” John said as I pulled up to where he was siting  under a tree taking a break, “I would have stayed another day in Villa Montes.”

Danny, our missionary friend in Santa Cruz summed it up perfectly.  “It’ll be hot with tailwinds all the way down, unless a cold front moves up from Argentina.  Then it’ll be cool, but you’ll have a stiff headwind.”

He was right.

Last night when I said goodnight to the owner of our hotel, she insisted that we bring the bikes in from the courtyard.  “It’s going to rain tonight,” she said.  I didn’t think anything of it.

This morning it was cloudy and cool – major change from the 100+° temps we’ve had the past few days.  It still didn’t click.

It wasn’t until we were out on the open road and our shirts and BOB flags were flapping in the wind that I put the pieces together – a front from Argentina is moving through.

We had hoped to make it to the border today but, with battling the winds all day, we didn’t.  We did our “dash-into-the-forest-and-hide” act and started getting ready to put up our tents.

And then?  Just then a truck had a flat tire right directly in front of where we were hiding behind a thin layer of bushes.  What are the chances of that?  Apparently, they didn’t have a spare.

They’ve called for a support vehicle and sent the wheel away. Now they’re waiting for its return.

And us?  We’re sitting quietly on a tarp in the forest waiting for the truck to move on.  We’ve eaten our sardine dinner.  The kids are reading their Kindles, John is studying the map, and I’ve got my journal out.  We may be in for a long wait.

Added later:  They’re gone – finally!  As dusk deepened, we decided we had no choice but to set up camp. The four of us carefully tip toed through the pricker bushes setting up tents, getting out sleeping bags, and brushing our teeth – all without using flashlights at all.  All those bright yellow bags are great for visibility on the road, but horrible when trying to hide in the forest!

By the time they left, we were nearly ready for bed.  At least we can read in the tent and not worry about them seeing us!

***We’re not concerned about somebody knowing where we are for any reason except theft – if they know we are here they could come back in the middle of the night.  That’s a situation we would rather avoid.

Kilometers today:  72
Kilometers to date:  22301


First thing this morning we were funneled onto this old rickety, one-lane bridge – the only bridge across the river.  The bridge is shared by all – cars, trains, bicycles, pedestrians, and donkey carts.  We had to walk across and held up a lot of traffic!
rickety bridge
The landscape took a dramatic change for a while – palm trees and very unique mud formations.

southern Bolivia

There aren’t many trees around here that are any good for shade at all – they are all pathetic pricker bushes.  When we passed this tree, we knew we had to stop for a break, even though we had taken a break not even 5 km earlier!

shade tree

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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One Response to (Not quite) Busted (Pajoso, Bolivia)

  1. Yvette September 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Ha, that’s the first one lane train-road bridge I’ve seen outside of New Zealand! Tho there they do it only in regions that are so isolated that you’re unlikely to run into anyone else on the road, doesn’t look like the case here.

    Oh and congrats on reaching your last country! =)

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