(Bolivia) I can’t ride a bike because of Bolivian Martial law(Census)


I have to hurry to go to Uyuni to ride a bike on the dry season. But I just hear that I can’t go out. If I ride a bike, then police will arrest me. What is going on Bolivia? Is this Bolivian Martial law?

I still have a stomachache so that I hesitate to ride a bike today. But I can’t delay riding a bike to Uyuni. I start riding a bike late around 12 pm. It is too much gap of altitude between La paz and out of the city. So I take a taxi to out of the city.


After 5 pm, I find small town. I had few bread and snack today, but I am not hungry because I have weak intestines.


There is a big building, but it is closed. It seems to town hall.


I can set up my tent at somebody yard, if I can do eye contact with people. But it is so cold that most of houses are closed. I wander the town for an hour. I see native woman and talk with her. She says her house is 5 minutes from the place she is working, but she can’t go there now. If I go to her house, I can set up my tent, because there is her mother in the house. I ask to her that when she finish working. She says that she will work until 8 pm. I say it will be too dark, but she says she can work with the light of the moon. She is making brick of soil and building the house with empty hands and empty feet with rubber shoes. It will be too cold. It is an altitude of 4,000 m (13,120 ft)…..


Unfortunately, I can’t find her house. But I see other woman so that I ask to her. She is smiling to me and lets me set up my tent at their yard.


She has six children. But in the picture, there are only five of them. It is a really large family.


In the night I am too cold. I am not sure that how I can survive in Salar de Uyuni.


But because of kind family that they give me foot print; my tent is a little bit okay.


The sun goes up and I run again. The color of clothes is so beautiful.


It is called Relleno. (3 BOl (40 cents))


Many natives are selling food with a basket.


Again lonely road


The line of the mount is so beautiful.


Thankfully I find the town which is called Sica Sica before the sun goes down. I wander for 30 minutes and then find the hospital. I see their yard and sign that it is run for 24 hours. I ask to them that I can set up my tent. They say it will be so cold to sleep at outside. And then they let me sleep in empty ward.

I can sleep with warm tonight.


Actually the hospital is not opened for 24 hours. I think doctors stay other building besides the hospital building so that if there is emergency, then they open the hospital. One of them arranges to open hospital at 6:30 am for me. But nobody shows up for me on the time. I just look around hospital. Making a diagnosis is only 3 Bol (40 cents). It is really cheap.


I think it shows population. From 5 years to 14 years is two thousands and from 15 years old to 65 years old is four thousands. 2 thousands of children is big number or not?

I keep standing and looking at the window so that somebody can see me. After one hour, somebody see me and opened the door for me so that I can start riding a bike again.


Downhill is almost 8 km (5 mi) to the next town.


I buy breakfast. She uses her naked hand for my food. I think it is normal way in Bolivia.


The meat is really big. It is only 12Bol(1.72$). I still have weak intestines so that I am a little bit worry about food.


10 mangos are only 5 Bol (70cents). If I buy those in Korea, how much it will be? I will miss mango and avocado when I am back to Korea.


Street snack is 2 Bol (30 cents).


Four snacks are 2 Bol (30 cents)


Llama is so cute.


It is hard to ride a bike between Andes Mountains. There are three things which make me hard. Wind, up and down and raining. The hardest thing is wind. When wind is too strong and truck is passing, it makes bike shaking. It is really dangerous that I can fall down on the road.
Every day I am seeing raining. I do hope that there is no water in Uyuni. I want to ride a bike in Salar de Uyuni.


Lonely Tree


Sheep with Native


It is around an altitude of 4,000 m (13,120 ft), but too much up and down on the road.


My plan is cycling to Oruro and then takes the bus to Uyuni so that I can ride a bike with no water in Uyuni. It is 4:30pm so that I can’t go to the next town, Ururo. Entrance of the town is full of garbage.


I see the hospital so that I ask to them to set up my tent. But there is a huge problem. They say I can’t ride a bike tomorrow. At the first time I can’t understand why I can’t go out tomorrow. They say if I ride a bike tomorrow, I will be arrested. Is it Bolivian Martial law? What is going on Bolivia?
But later I realize that it is Census. Bolivian census is every 10 years. One of doctors tells me that I don’t need worry about it, because I can stay at the hospital for two days.


The above picture is hall of hospital. I talk with him and know something about Bolivia. Average Bolivian salary is 100 $ to 200 $ for one month. Police salary is 200 $, but people who graduate middle school can become police officer. The doctor who work in government hospital can make only 750 $ for one month. If one work in private hospital, one can make more money. But most of doctors work in government hospital.
If they cross the Chilean border or Brazilian border, they can make 7,000 $ to 8,000 $. If they go to Argentina, they can make 4,000 $ to 5,000 $. But it seems that Ecuador and Colombia is the same as Bolivia.
Although they are professional, they cannot make good money so that some Bolivian doctor cross the border. He who lets me stay in the hospital will start readying to work in Spain next year.
In the hospital I meet Cuban Doctor who volunteers. Bolivian hospital looks complicated.


Today also I sleep in the hospital. It is bigger hospital then yesterday. But water doesn’t run for now and the hospital is not like Korean one or other things one. Anyway thankfully hospital has kitchen that I can get a meal.


The next day I go out to see what is going on. In front of the hospital, it shows thanks to Che.
He was a doctor so that if he kept living in Argentina, he could live without problem. But he gave up his good things and then went to revolution for Cuba. Later he went to Bolivia for another revolution, but he was killed.
I was impressed with the movie of Motorcycle diary. (I also read the book, but the book was a little bit boring.) He traveled with a friend by motorcycle for six months. During traveling he realized many things. I think that travel made Che revolutionist.
It is shamed that I travel alone longer than him with a bike, but what I can change??
I think it is not important having how many experiences I have, but realizing from experience. I think the most important is to act from realizing.


I can see people on the road. Isn’t it true that I can’t go out?


But it is sure that people take a census.


I see many people taking a census in this small town.


I think it is no problem to walk on the road so that I look around.


Girls playing house


It is true that I can’t see car on the high way.


I can’t see car on the road I passed yesterday. How come it happens in Bolivia? I am wondering how La Paz will look, because La Paz has terrible terrific. In environment, Bolivian Census helps a lot.


The road is now for children.


I see one car so that I look at it. It is Police car.


There is motocycle. I think they are tourist like me. I think it will be no problem to ride a bike, because I am tourist that I already register my info at the border. But I don’t need to go to the next town, because the most of service is closed now.


Some local people are still on the road. But because of census, town is very quiet.


Bolivian currency is not big like Peru so that it is comfortable. 100 Bol (14 $) is the biggest one. There are coins. (2Bol, 1Bol, 0.5Bol, 0.2Bol, 0.1Bol)


It is the kitchen of hospital. I have tea with doctors, but there is emergency so I left alone. I look around the town at 6 pm. It is more busy and even car is passing on high way. I think Bolivian Martial law(Census) is over.

Tomorrow I have to hurry to Uyuni to ride a bike without water in Salar de Uyuni.

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