Day 12. 36km. Hotel del Desierto – Laguna Hedionda

Posted: September 14, 2019 in Bolivia, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

‘Have you got snow chains?’ asked the guide.

‘I’m on my bike,’ I replied.

She nodded. ‘It’s going to snow.’

A tiny dusting of snow

A tiny dusting of snow

Today, although the weather looked threatening, the road was mostly firm, I had a tailwind, and I was going downhill. The wind makes so much difference. With the wind at my back I could push on through the soft sandy corrigations. It felt like skiing as I slid down the road over the high pass, banking around the curves as the rocky pebbles sprayed to the side.

The snow in the sun

The snow in the sun

On the way to Laguna Hedionda

On the way to Laguna Hedionda

I left at 7 to allow enough time to get to my destination at Laguna Hedionda. Rather than crawling along at 5km/h, I was flying along, rarely going below 10, and sometimes over 20km/h. I never knew what the weather was going to do. I had a little sleet storm for a little stretch with headwind. The pellets of sleet were like pins on my face.

I arrived at the Ecolodge de Flamincos at Laguna Hedionda at lunch time. It can be a luxurious hotel with prices around USD150 upwards, but they have a ‘refugio’ section for USD9. They welcomed me in and cooked me a calorific lunch (after me asking if the dinner was gourmet but small portions like last night).

Ecolodge de Flamingos

Ecolodge de Flamingos

The lodge is perched on the lake, and you can walk right up to the flamingos. I stood on the lake shore for a long time, still, watching the flamingos just metres away poking their heads in the mud and walking around.



  1. valerievolk says:

    Fabulous! You don’t think of snow as part of this terrain – but it’s so logical.

    • I don’t think it snows much here – usually just a few flakes. Apparently it really snowed a lot in Chile near where I did my acclimatision rides. In El Tatio geysers there was a thick blanket of snow that was very beautiful apparently. Glad I was there a big earlier.

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Looks cold! How are you doing with the elevation?

  3. […] saw windswept sandy plains, bright pink lakes swarming with feeding flamingos and volcanos lining the horizon. I was sprinkled with snow, buffeted with horizontal sleet and […]

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