Coca tea, I hope I won't run into a doping control - Welcome to Bolivia.

We enter Bolivia intending to cross Salar de Coipasa:

As this year it had been raining much more than normal the salar was neither dry nor hard to ride...

... we got stuck all the time...

... it was almost driving Dimitri nuts.

Riding along the green border to Chile.

In the Southern part the Salar became harder...

... but in the end the bike was covered with salt.

I liked having plenty of choice where to ride.

Our first night on a salar...

... difficult to hide but not necessary as there is nobody around.

In Tres Cruzes we finally find a water spot...

... and a local helps us to get water from a 22m deep cistern.

Food store: Right: Can't see, left: can hardly calculate. - I have to make the bill myself. :-)

A special moment for the children of Tres Cruzes ; foreigners rarely come along here.

Crossing the short gap between the salt lakes: Salar de Uyuni at the very end:

Again, wet conditions made the truck sinking.

Largest road ever

Riding with closed eyes

In the evening unforgettable locations to camp:

First camp: North West

Thanks Pius for the advice, nails are the only solution to fix the tent on the hard surface.

Rays of sunshine heating up the tents in the early morning - our natural alarm clock.

Riding over Salar de Uyuni have been the most unique days during the 17 past months.

I can't miss my daily exercise ;-).

Isla de Pescado - one of numerous islands:

The dead coral stones remind us of the ancient lake which once covered South West Bolivia.

The island offers a great view...

... and is one huge grove of cactuses.

Flowers on the ground...

... and in the air.

Second camp: Central, beside Isla Incahuasi (not the one at the back)

Power snack on salt

Yes yes, you French guys may laugh, Swiss are not born as gourmets.

Salt mining la Bolivien - shovel instead of excavator

Main road ahead of Uyuni - no money for maintenance

Michiel (cycleforwater.com) - a real Dutch.

The surroundings of Uyuni are one huge landfill.

Visit to the train cemetery close to Uyuni:

The English steam engines were originally used for mining purpose some 100 years ago and have been abandoned since the 1940s.

The joke says: An experienced mechanic wanted, urgently.

Old iron for some people...

... a treasure for others:

The functionality is shown perfectly; e.g. here the condensation chamber

Preparation for Lipez - We bought as much supplies as we possibly could carry.

Break up to the lagunas in the Lipez, approaching from Alota to the main "road"

Perfect shelter to camp

Dimitri's mustache got to long :-D

The disastrous tracks for Dimitri's trike: It's not able to advance out here.

The moment I felt on my stomach:

I have to continue alone, right here where I never intended to go alone.

As I ran out of water I left the bike...

... and walked up a vulcano to find snow.

In the Southern Lipez you move between 4300 and 5000m altitude.

The hours of pushing through the endless sand make extremely tired.

A view into my tent, happy to have a shelter at night.

The second day alone I reached the main track:

As bad as before

Ojo de Perdiz ahead

As if it was not already hard enough, my gear change broke:

The cable tore and got stuck in the tube.

The solution: Changing the gear with a pincer and riding almost single speed, nice. :-(

On the main track you are never alone there are plenty of tourist 4x4s.

A common view: More traces than cars have ever passed

The third day I arrived at Arbol de Piedra (Tree of stone)

Cooking lunch

Always a joy

Orientation by GPS and Google Satellite fotos

Pushing...

... trying to ride...

... falling...

... again pushing...

... the program for a week.

The evening of day number three I reached Laguna Colorada:

For me one of the prettiest spots since Alaska.

Home for thousands of flamingos

The water is colored by minerals and algae.

An orientation error brought me up to a borax mine on 5020m.

There was only a little time left - I had to camp on 4900m beside geysers.

The day after I had enough time to observe it closely:

Cooking earth soup

Sulfur

And where is the turbine?

This vapour jet makes noise like an airplane jet engine.

Close...

... too close, got shot.

Volcanoes with all kinds of colours shape the Lipez.

Laguna Chalviri ahead

Another pearl in the desert

The last foto before my camera went for a fatal (thermal) bath. :-(