by bicycle

Day 21: Alerta to Nareuda/Bolivia (11.04, 70 km)


The air was hot and humid, and I woke up thinking that it rained the whole night and the road which goes through Bolivia is a dirt road.

I started going, and in some hours I arrive in San Lorenzo where according to the map the road going to Bolivia crosses the Interoceanica.

And here I am at the crossroads. Guess which road I have to take?


I have a break, eat a late breakfast and ask the locals about the state of the road. One man tells me: “the road is OK, and there is a police station at the border”. Reassured, I take the dirt road and within minutes I am in the jungle.


There was nothing around, no house, no village, and for sure no car was passing. I keep on pedalling, but the police station was not appearing. I became a bit impacient, so I check my GPS, which tells me I am already in Bolivia. I tell myself “just go five kilometers more, and then see what happens”, but in the back of my mind I knew I was past the point of no return. All of a sudden a station of the Peruvian police appears in the middle of the bush. But wait – this is no border control point, and the policeman cannot stamp my passport. What to do? I talk to him and we reach the conclusion that he can write me a laissez-passer which can serve an a sort of an exit stamp. He writes the document and shows me the path to the police station on the Bolivian side. I arrive there, but to my surprise this was a not the Bolivian police, but the Bolivian navy (in the middle of the jungle above all!).


Here I explain my situation, and am issued a laissez-passer with the Bolivian navy stamp, to serve as an entry-visa replacement. Now within the law I continue my route through the jungle. There was nobody around, and the nature was impressive. I saw monkeys, an animal which looked like a combination between a rabbit and a hedgehog and a colony of leafcutter ants.


From one point on the road became bad and muddy, and I had to push the bike. Even so, the mud was so gluey that it was building up on the wheels and blocking them, so I had to clean it by hand every five minutes.


The road was going slowly up and down through jungle and once in a while some houses appeared here and there.


I finally reached the village of Nareuda, where I was invited to camp by a very nice Brasilian family living there. After setting up my tent and taking a shower, I was offered açai juice, which I drank for the first time in my life. After this we watched the Brasilian news, and this great day ended with an invitation to dinner.


  1. El espléndido tío

    …”the Bolivian navy (in the middle of the jungle above all!)”
    You made my day! So chaos happens not only in Romania…

    • Cosmin

      Ei, una pes(ș)te alta au fost foarte de treabă, chiar dacă nu erau în “elementul” lor!

  2. Ina

    Acai e ultima moda pe aici. Si e super scump. Trebuie sa ne aduci si noua! Drumurile astea de pamant rosu imi aduc aminte de Africa. La noi in Romania ulitele nu au niciodata culoarea asta…

    • Cosmin

      Da, o sa incerc sa vin cu niște açai în paporniță!

  3. Yaqui

    Very nice adventure. 🙂

    • Cosmin

      Thank you!

  4. mircea

    dupa cum ti-am zis, mai degraba cu drumul decat cu traficantii trebuie sa fii atent.

    • Cosmin

      Da, ai avut dreptate. A fost greu drumul, dar a meritat (spun asta mai ales dupa ultimele zile, in care am vazut la vaci pe pasuni de am innebunit)

  5. Patrick

    Amigo, que aventura, gracias por escribirla lo disfrute, yo llevo al ciclismo en el corazon y esa ruta la veo como una prueba, seguro fue muy dura, felicitaciones, estare siguiendo tu viaje.
    un abrazo a la distancia, y que siga disfrutando el día a día.

    • Cosmin

      Mucho gusto leer tu mensaje amigo! Si, verdad, hasta ahora fue una mui linda aventura. Te mando un fuerte abrazo y espero verlos pronto!

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