Let’s go someplace like Bolivia

March 5, 2012

At the start of this trip, if someone asked me which country I was looking forward to the most, the answer would have been simple. Bolivia.

I caught up with the guys in La Paz after being unimpressed with Cococabana, but quite impressed with the lake it resides on. I also experienced a strange phenomenon, something that we would encounter a lot in Bolivia, petrol stations that would refuse to sell us petrol. Its because we are extraterrestrials or something like that.
Instead, fuel needs to be bought from drunk locals in small towns.

We did the usually running around in La Paz, complete with very good Lebanese food.

The boys conjured up some route through Bolivia that they felt would be lots of fun, and keep us as far away as possible from those pesky sealed roads.
So there was a little of this

Quite a lot of this

This

And this.

Some silly blue plastic bags with people inside of them.

We also encountered funny old ladies

Bolivian Public Transport

Snow and hail. (which we rode through as it was coming down, but the photos don’t do the act of stupidity justice)

Slop for breakfast.

and inpassable rivers

The scenery so far had just been incredible too.

Bolivia was living up to expectations.

Due to aforementioned impassable rivers we had to detour and go on some roads that had been designed for transportation (and were sealed!)
Which was handy, my bike frame had split in 2.

While I pieced my bike back together, the others decided to take the “scenic” way to Uyuni, famous for being next-door to the Salar de Uyuni, the biggest salt lake in the world.
Just for something different, the boys encountered another impassable river and had to turn back, we met in Uyuni – dissapointed that the lake was covered in water which meant that we couldn’t ride our bikes on them (if we wanted our bikes to make it to the bottom that is), so we joined the rest of the tourists in the 5,000 odd landcruisers (rough count).
First we visited some old trains, and I decided that I want a train graveyard in my next house.

We then went to the salt flats

Where we did the standard issue silly photo routine.

Unrelated, Kerman also got to meet Mario and Luigi.

We had heard from our hardened adventuring friends that the road we had planned to take south from Uyuni was tough, their report:

But decided to follow in their footsteps anyhow.
We left Uyuni, then the chain on my bike started to go.

The riding was incredible though.

You would look one way, and see silly shaped rocks

The other way, amazing snow covered mountains.

We found ourselves stopping so often, just to take pictures.

It was epic, the scenery, the riding, even the weather was holding up and I got to share it all with good friends!

We found a good campsite, and called it a day.

But first some dinner

Before taking in the mesmerising sunset.

We started the next day with a meeting with another crazy frenchie

If the riding and scenery made the day prior one of the best days of the trip, well it made this one the best.

I think Kerman agrees that its pretty good.

Then my chain breaks again.

After a little roadside repair, we see some more crazy rocks

Postcard landscapes

And rotting meat just hanging around inside a house.

Typical Bolivia really.

Kerman even found a lake named after his bike.

We saw some crazy rocks off in the distance.

Campsite.

Dinner.

Sunset.

Next day…

Bolivia wasn’t quite complete, we hadn’t infuriated some officialdom yet. Well here is the border guard who got a little miffed when I decided to just ride over the small border wall when he wouldn’t let us out of the country.

(I also forgot that Kerman’s bike is kickstart only… so his getaway wasn’t as rapid and he got caught by the guard… but was able to escape when the guard had to open the border gate for a bus)

Bolivia wasn’t perfect, the towns typically were covered in rubbish, the food was terrible, and unlike most of the other countries we have been to on this trip we found the people to be miserable sods, however the scenery (and the riding) was simply outstanding.

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3 Responses to “Let’s go someplace like Bolivia”

  1. KevOK Says:

    Great pics buddy, great post too.

  2. steph Says:

    aaaamazing photos Aide!! Love the salt flats , love all the round wide angle shots.. this brings back memories from when I went 10 years ago… glad you’re stilla live, be safe and keep sharing this wonderful journey with us!

  3. Irene Says:

    did you think that photo with you the bike and “pothole” was descriptive enough without adding a comment? – Another time when the bike “dropped” I take it


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