In the Salar


The first thing I noticed when I started walking was that pulling the trailer on a track is many times easier that pulling it off-track.

These tracks are created by cars going across the salar. There are two or three main tracks linking the main villages around the desert, Llica, Conlchani and Tahua. These tracks are not straight lines so you end up doing more miles than if you had walked dead straight to your destination but they are really massively easier to walk on.

I decided to follow the main Colchani-Llica track rather than follow a straight line as I had originally planned. So I asked a local to point me to the right track and began walking on that.

Did 20 km today. I was not feeling 100% and didn't really eat properly today. Very good weather. Met with a few cars today.


Set off at 8 am, following the track I'd been following since I started. 1 hour pulling, 20 min resting.

At about midday I realised the track was veering off to the right (North). Now, either the track leads to Llica eventually but in a roundabout way or it doesn't lead there at all. However, walking outside the track is 10 times more difficult for me and much harder on the trailer.

The hard decision to make is whether to leave the track and  head in the right direction or to keep following the track hoping it will not take me completely off course.

I decided to get off the track and did 30 km.


Felt better this morning. My throat doesn't hurt any more and my stomach isn't upset all the time.

Just before I set off I realised that the right fork on the trailer is broken. This could be a show stopper.

I taped it as best I could with duct tape (never leave home without it) and went back onto the track I'd left yesterday. Massive waste of time.

After 10 k on the track it started veering off too much to the right.

Another hard decision to make. Do I go off track with the broken trolley or stay on what increasingly appears to be the wrong track?

There is a safety aspect to this because if the trolley breaks off track there won't be any cars around to rescue me.

Nevertheless I decided to go off track. Not a good day. Lost a lot of time and at the end I am not sure I have made the right decision.


Terrible day. The ridges on the ground a very high and pulling the trailer feels like pulling a bucking horse.

I managed to do 30km anyway but at the end of the day I was shattered. I am really close to Llica now. Tomorrow I will make a decision whether to stop here or turn around and go all the way back again.


Today all my clothes seem to belong to someone else that's how huge they are on me. I must have lost 5 kgs yesterday.

I decided to continue for a return crossing anyway.

I met  a group of tourists in a jeep. They must have seen me with binoculars and came to have a closer look at the strange looking person.  Their minds couldn't grasp that someone has actually walked all the way from the far side. When I told them I was planning to walk back they were just dumbfounded.  "Are you doing this for religious purposes?" one of them asked.

They told me the track Llica/Colchani is a few km south. Although this would add to the distance I decided to head directly South to find the track rather than continue straight for Llica off track.

Indeed, I found the track in about 1 hour and turned right (West) walking towards Llica. When I reached the edge I turned back and began the walk back to Colchani.

I now felt much better. Walking on the track felt like paradise compared to what I had gone through the previous days. I was now confident I could complete the trip.


I set the following programme today:

Walk 1h
Rest 5 min
Walk 1h
Rest 30 min

Repeated several times a day.


The right wheel is deflated. Unfortunately, the *$(*&$ pump does not work any more. I swapped the whole wheel with the spare one.

The weather is cooler now which makes it much more comfortable during the day. Nights are cold and less windy, which means pitching the tent is much easier (as opposed to previous days when there was a 50m wind from about 4:30 pm).

I got through to Bernardo on the Iridium phone at about 20:30 and told him I aimed to be at Colchani at 10 am on Sunday the 29th.

I am 50km away in a straight line from the meeting point. Curiously winding tracks means the distance I will have to walk will be greater.  I will have to do something really special tomorrow to have any chance of making the rendezvous.


I walked pretty much the entire day non-stop. I covered 42km in a straight line. Good job. At the end of the day I felt exhausted.

I learned not to eat during the day as with the altitude and the highly physical work it is more of a problem rather than help. I have been eating during the night preparing three dehydrated meals before going to bed and waking up twice during the night to eat them. The system worked well but obviously the 2000 kcal I take in are nowhere near what I would need to balance out my energy expenditure. I am slowly starving but it shouldn't be a problem within the time frame. I wouldn't like to be doing this for much longer though.


Last night was cold at -15C.

Made an early start at 6:30 am. Finding the right track was a bit tricky as the tracks converged near Colchani but at 10:30 am I finally made it to the meeting point.


The jeep was waiting for me there and we had a little celebration with the driver and some of the people who mine the salt around Colchani.

Then, having bought plenty of supplies from Colchani (2 packets of Pringles and a bottle of water), we started the endless drive back to La Paz.