We decided to take a day trip on the bikes from La Paz up to the old ski station at Chacaltaya. At 5,300m, this is officially the highest ski resort in the world and one of the highest places accessible by road in the Americas. We were in for quite a day!
Bolivian fashion spotted in El Alto
We decided to make our lives a little easier and take the cable car from La Paz to El Alto. From here, we only had 25km to the top and 1,000m of climbing
A stranded bus was creating a bit of a spectacle on the outskirts of El Alto
There was no way it was moving anywhere soon
The first 15km were absolutely beautiful. We had wonderful views and the road was pretty good dirt
A bird making the most of the local landfill site
Sarah in the shadow of Illimani
Leaving El Alto behind
At the time, we were too focused on the llamas to notice that the mountain in the background was Chacaltaya and you could actually see the summit of the road!
Getting higher and lake Titicaca was visible in the distance
Huayna Potosí on the left, Chacaltaya on the right
El Alto getting further away
For those that like pylons
The majestic Huayna Potosí
For the last 10km, the road quality dropped and its steepness increased, slowing our progress
The higher we got, the snowier it became
There were some rough switchbacks as we approached the top
For about the last 3km, the road was covered in snow and ice
Cycling was now impossible. Sarah had a good go pushing her bike, but was slipping and sliding all over the place
Sarah decided to stop at 5,100m, instead munching on her sandwiches while enjoying the view. Meanwhile, Freddy pushed on to the top
There was so much snow on the road someone had made a snowman!
At times it was hard to work out where the road went!
It was hard work pushing the bike through deep snow at over 5,000m but the top was in sight and looked so close. Freddy felt compelled to continue
Another view of Huayna Potosí on the way up
On the final straight Freddy decided to jettison all excess weight (much like the space shuttle, he thought)
Pushing your bike up here did feel a bit stupid, but look…the top!
5,300m! The highest I will probably ever ‘ride’ my bike
Stunning views from the top
El Alto and La Paz in the distance
Now, just the easy task of getting back down!
We eventually reconviened and endured the bumpy descent back to El Alto. The sun was setting and it was getting seriously cold. As we arrived at the edge of El Alto it became fully dark. We then found the cable car for a safe return to La Paz as with no lights, we felt it was too dark to cycle