Change of Scenery
High on the basin rim above La Paz is the city of El Alto. Noisy, chaotic and polluted ‘just like Kathmandu’ shouted Sebastian as we sat at the traffic lights gasping for breath and filling our lungs with the thick choking fumes of worn out diesel engines. Then onto the autopista. Nip stealthily through the toll gate, past the no bicycle sign and settle into rolling five hundred vertical metres down to Bolivia’s capital, La Paz.
We dodged potholes and dogs, broken lorries and small stalls selling fruit and coke and chewing gum. We dodged people loitering on the hard shoulder and the occasional lost soul wandering down the fast lane; and then we are there, journeys end; or not. The end of one journey does not feel like something final, for we know that it is the window to the next chapter. From here we will return to Europe via a somewhat convoluted and drawn out route involving Santiago, Madrid and Luton. In Europe we go our separate ways for a while. After a month in the UK David will be leading bicycle tours through Tibet and the Indian Himalayas. Feeling the world economic crisis Sebastian’s normal summer occupation of tour leading in China is rather on the rocks. “Ahh well, looks like a summer of selling the body” he once muttered. Back in Europe we each have a nice shiny new bicycle awaiting us courtesy of our sponsors for 2010, Alta Bikes of Norway. Having never ridden a fixed gear bike we are both rather interested to try it and see just what we have let ourselves in for with a commitment to ride these machines 6000 kilometres through Asia. The Osmosno Brothers will re-group later in the year in Thailand where they will train and prepare for the Singapore/Shanghai Fixed Gear Expedition prior to lift off in January 2010. For anyone with an interest in fixed gear bicycles, bicycle expeditions through the Tibetan and Indian Himalayas, the tough life of training on a tropical island and Sebastian’s attempts to sell his body, in all probability to medical science, please keep watching this blog.