The last few days have been rough, sort of a three steps forward, two steps back sort of deal. We had four huge climbs (4,800m- 4,900m each) to do, and in between, there were little ups and downs which made it all the more difficult. The tops of the passes were often steep, and coupled with the poor road conditions, this left us pushing instead of pedaling most of the way up. Once we got to the downhill, instead of feeling excited or relieved, we sort of just felt dread as the road was in such bad condition we hardly ever surpassed 10-15km/h (on a downhill!). Plus, we knew once we got down that we would just have to begin the next climb right away. That being said, it was absolutely beautiful and though it was tough, every calorie burned was more than worth it to be high in the Bolivian mountains.
And then it snowed. As we still had two passes to go (4,800m+ each) we were worried about a storm rolling in and trapping us for days, but thankfully it didn’t snow very hard and by the time we climbed up and over the first pass we were out of the clouds.
After climbing out of the snow, we came to a whole city of ruins 4,700m up a windy and unprotected hillside. We couldn’t figure out why the village had been so large (hundreds of huge houses), crowded, or why it had been in that location until we found out that it was an old Spanish colony from the 1600s, which made a lot more sense. It was neat to climb inside the ruined houses, and we ended up eating lunch in one. None of my photos turned out since my lens was dirty, so you will really just have to imagine this huge crumbled city on your own.