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Old 02-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #196
macarron
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CRD sump guards are really tough, I've used mine for more than 40,000 kilometres of enduro riding. I could have never imagined someone could break it like that.

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Old 02-14-2013, 12:06 AM   #197
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We need more updates!! I am loving this report so far and I cannot wait to take my DRZ around the world. If you are back in the UK this summer I would love to stop by and buy you guys a beer.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #198
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We need more updates!! I am loving this report so far and I cannot wait to take my DRZ around the world. If you are back in the UK this summer I would love to stop by and buy you guys a beer.
Haha! Pleased you're enjoying the updates and yeah we are definitely going to be knocking around London in the summer so get in touch and we will take you up on that beer.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:21 AM   #199
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Not at all, your report has been so helpfull, and we are so exited with this project...
Actually we are considering buying the bikes at florida (USA) and start traveling from there, can you imaging that an F800GS cost $22.000 dollars at Colombia and at the USA it cost just $12.000

Ride fun ride safe.
Yeah, bike prices are crazy in Colombia. After my crash just outside of Pasto I thought I was going to have to buy a new bike down there. I was shocked to see the prices of any half decent bikes. Unbelievable. You guys have a tough deal down there but it sounds like your plan is coming together nicely.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:44 AM   #200
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Ecuador & Peru

Thanks go to Jon for writing this blog entry:

Day 216, Friday 23rd November, it felt great to be back on the road. After the miraculous repair job performed by Meastro and his boys in Pasto, Tough Miles set sail towards Ecuador. Petes bike had undergone some serious surgery, so we proceeded with caution and checked oil and water at regular intervals. It was only a short ride to the border, but the crossing itself took hours. As we rode between offices a new noise developed from Petes engine, a loud intermittent clattering sound. Neither of us could imagine what was causing this, but we didn’t have time to investigate. We both knew the odds of us making it down to Ushuaia by the end of the year were extremely slim at this stage. After completing the necessary paperwork we finally made it out of Colombia, and began our ride along the E35 towards Quito.



The last week or so had been extremely tough. I genuinely believed Pete would be stuck in Pasto waiting for his bike to be repaired for many more days, and I began mentally to prepare for riding on solo. Having now made it into Ecuador together, and seemingly got the trip back on track, well, kind of, we decided to quit while we were ahead and stop in Otavalo. Despite only being a small indigenous town, it was Friday, so in true Tough Miles style Pete and I managed to find somewhere to have a quiet drink……



This one goes out to the Maestro!

For some reason our nights out seem to be all or nothing, and the following morning I felt as rough as a badger’s arse. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, and despite a very late start, around mid-day, we both still felt drunk getting on the bikes. We stopped at an empty cafe for some breakfast and to try and sober up. Not being funny but the coffee tasted like soil and the bread was like filling my mouth with sawdust. We sat for 30mins or so in silence before battling on with the ride to Banos. Tough Miles.

Banos, also known as the adventure capital of Ecuador seemed like a cracking place to spend a few days, offering all sorts of activities such as hiking, biking, rafting etc. But we were behind schedule, and I guess everyday riding is our adventure activity! So after a quiet night in hostel Plantas Y Blanco we pushed on to Cuenca, a city located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2500m above sea level. It was Sunday when we arrived, so literally everywhere was closed. Once we had checked into a hostel we tried to go for a couple of afternoon beers, but it seemed the local laws prevented anywhere from selling alcohol after 4pm, providing a perfect oppportunity for writing the next blog! The hostel, recommended by Team BMW was far from ideal. The only space left was two top bunks, which were so close to the ceiling that I could barely roll over without brushing my shoulder.

On Monday the 26th November we left Cuenca and re-joined Team BMW further down the road in Loja. We knew Marj wouldn’t let us down, and as we arrived our luchtime tasty sandwiches were waiting. That day we managed to cross the border into Peru and ride together to a town called Piura. It was a huge ride, and as we dropped out of the mountains the air temperature rocketed. Entering Peru was like riding through an animal farm, with countless goats, stray dogs, chickens, pigs and cows lining the side of the road. It’s difficult to predict when the next animal will decide to bundle across your path, so you really have to be on the edge of your seat! The scenery was fantastic though, and the wildlife and changing conditions are a constant reminder of the epic adventure you are part of.



For the following day we planned another long ride to reach Santa. That morning Pete was up and ready to go at 3.00am! I woke up and said “What the hell are you doing?!” He claimed I had said “It’s time” in my sleep. That must be the only time he’s ever got up before me! The road to Santa was long and straight, cutting through the middle of a desert. It was a nice temperature for riding, but the novelty of the scenery soon wore off and the day became a hard slog. Santa was hardly the seaside resort we had hoped for, and it became apparent that it would be another chicken dinner sat in a small cafe on the side of a dead town square, but that’s biking. At this stage we also noticed that Petes chain was knackered and that the tyres were degrading fast.

On Wednesday the 28th November we had a long hot ride through the desert to reach Lima, the capital and largest city of Peru.

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Old 02-21-2013, 05:49 AM   #201
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Continued

En-route we stopped for lunch, at which point we decided it was best if we changed Petes chain before carrying on. Our only spare was already worn, rusty and stiff. Despite being in bad condition, it seemed better than the one currently fitted, which had stretched so much that even on maximum adjustment it was still very loose. After struggling to remove the split link, the job was fairly straight forward, although Petes chain guide was now so worn-out that the chain had begun rubbing against the metal carrier. Team BMW gave us some WD40 and had lunch waiting for us when we were done! A delicious fish pie/risotto, with fresh lemon juice, they do look after us!

It was a tough windy stint on our way to Lima, and as we entered the city people were beeping and waving their arms at us. We soon realised it was illegal for any motorcycles to use the 3-lane highway. One lady was so angry that whilst waiting in a traffic queue she was taking pictures of us on her phone and making hand signals to suggest she would report us to the police. We turned and laughed at her, finding it amusing how anyone could be so furious at the thought of sharing a road with a motorcyclist, especially given the fact we had foreign plates! As we headed into the city we stumbled across a decent bike shop, where much to our amazement we were able to purchase 2 new o-ring chains, 2 spark plugs, brake pads and some decent chain wax. After sorting our new spares it didn’t take us long to find a nice hostel for the night, called the House Project.



Our evening in Lima was made more interesting by a couple of keen paragliders staying in our hostel. After a few beers we followed them to the nearest cliff edge to watch them jump. It was a tense walk as they carried their parachutes and crash helmets to the spot they had in mind. In the end only one of them jumped, and apparently he was later arrested by the police. The other lad decided to stay and try and find his friend, leaving us and two girls to carry his equipment back to the hostel! Don’t worry boys, we’ve got this one.



The following day Team BMW went to visit a potato museum, I’m not joking. Pete and I decided to crack on to reach Pisco, where we planned to go on a tour to Isla De Plata, also known as the ‘Poor Man’s Galapagos’. The tour wasn't exactly what I had in mind. I was expecting some kind of sailboat, but instead we had a small speedboat crammed full with young squealing school girls!



The islands were covered in birds shit and smelt worse than Mad Dogs old motorcycle boots, but it was good fun and nice to see some penguins and seals.



In the afternoon we packed up and rode to Huacachina, a village in south west Peru built around a small natural lake in the desert.



This oasis is a real tourist hot spot, and I can see why. Besides being a spectacular sight, the village has many fun hostels, which offer sand dune buggy rides with a chance to try sandboarding. Team BMW arrived just in time for the sunset tour. The dunes are epic.



Back at the hostel the bikes were parked under some trees, which appeared to be home to some birds with the scoots. Big Dog managed to find a large cover to protect them, but after a few beers we thought it would be funny to uncover Petes bike and see his reaction to the mess in the morning. To be fair it was pretty funny seeing his bike covered in birds shit, but during a tough pack up in the intense heat that kind of joke is never going to go down too well. Sorry Scousa. That morning the sun was shining, the swimming pool was lined with girls in bikinis drinking cocktails, and we were dripping in sweat loading up the bikes.



Sometimes you have to question what you are doing, and it’s times like these that you realise this is no holiday, it’s a biking mission, and it’s time to push on.

Our next stop was Cusco, approximately 500miles heading directly east inland. Shortly after stopping to check out the famous Nazca lines Pete had a rear puncture. Thankfully it didn’t result in an accident, and by now we could swap a tube at the side of a road in a matter of minutes.



A large shard of metal had damaged the tyre, so we cut out a section of the old tube to use as a support patch on the inside wall. The rest of the day was an enjoyable ride as we cruised back into the mountains along a flowing twisty stretch of smooth tarmac. It was a cracking road, but it soon become extremely cold as we reached altitudes above 4300m. We split the journey by spending a night in Puquio. There wasn’t much to do there, but it was nice to walk around the small village, try out some local street food and admire the colourful Peruvian attire. We were slightly concerened about getting altitude sickness, having come from sea level we were now spending the night at 3200m. Far from ideal.

The following day we continued our ride towards Cusco. The road was fantastic, and it was difficult not to get carried away whilst connecting the apex of each sweeping corner. Often we would remind one another about Petes accident in Colombia, knowing that a similar mistake could cost us the rest of the trip, or even worse. In the afternoon Marj also got a rear puncture. Unusual to have 2 punctures in 2 days on a smooth tarmac road. The local kids gathered around to watch Team BMW repair the tyre.

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Old 02-21-2013, 05:52 AM   #202
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Continued...

By this stage we had dropped in altitude and temperatures had soared, so we all sat and enjoyed a homemade ice lolly before cracking on. It had been a tiring day, and the last 100km were a struggle for everyone. Spirits were lifted as we entered Cusco and finally arrived at the Loki hostel where we planned to stay. It was only late afternoon, and this hostel is renowned for having a party atmosphere, so it was time to get the beers in!

By now I’m sure you can guess how our first night ended in Cusco. To be honest, that’s all we can do, have a guess! I know it started with a few beers at the hostel bar, but where we went after that remains a mystery. The following day was unsurprisingly a complete right-off. At about 3pm we ventured down the road to buy some Powerade. On the way back up the hill towards the hostel we had to sit down on the step for a rest. I looked at Pete and said “I don’t know if I can go on, I don’t think I can make it”. We laughed at the situation, but in fairness, as Pete would say “this is the worst hang over of the trip so far”. Team BMW had a busy day organising the plans for a Machu Picchu tour, thanks guys. Tomorrow would be another day.

After an early night we all managed to get up at 6.15am and enjoy a daytrip to Machu Picchu, often referred to as the “City of the Incas”. If you are going to visit any ruins, anywhere in the world, then it should be these!



On Thursday the 6th December we left Cusco and headed to Puno. Despite only being 350km, it was a really tough ride for me. The previous day I was very ill, throwing up all night and shivering with fever like symptoms. Much of the afternoon was spent riding at altitudes above 4000m, in freezing cold, windy conditions. I fell asleep at least 3 times on the bike. There’s nothing worse than feeling so tired when trying to ride. We stopped for lunch in a small remote village. I could barely stomach any food, but I was grateful to have a rest and warm my hands. It was a relief to reach Puno, and after finding a suitable hostel I went straight to bed.

The following day we visited the floating islands of Lake Titicaca.





These floating islands are made entirely from the totora reeds and are the home of the Uros tribe, one which pre-dates the Incan civilization. As usual Big Dog was ready for action, dressed head to toe in full Patagonia gear. Looking the absolute business.



It was an excellent half day tour, and quite incredible to see how these people live. Pete actually met a girl on one of the islands and has decided to become part of the tribe. Here he can be seen enjoying his new life with the reeds



Marj and Big Dog found it hard to take him seriously as he explained over a coffee, but he just smiled and said “I’m happy here, this’ll do me”.



Next stop Bolivia!!
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:53 AM   #203
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Loads more pics

All on our Facebook page here and Tough Miles Site here
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #204
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Thumb awesome update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by peteFoulkes View Post
....the swimming pool was lined with girls in bikinis drinking cocktails...



Sometimes you have to question what you are doing.....
indeed! what the hell were you doing leaving that pool!?!

awesome update, thank you guys!
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:59 AM   #205
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Bolivia

Despite slightly tainted from 6 years of absence, the memories of my first exposure to Bolivia’s carnage were still as potent as it’s locally distilled rum. I left the first time feeling like, well, like nothing really works all that well. We’d spent more time waiting for buses than actually riding them and once eventually on the move, the large majority of the trip would typically be spent either forcing the goats and chickens back under the seats or lending a hand to the overworked, underpaid drivers to botch a repair job to the overused vehicles as we clung to the side of a mountain dirt road. I’d been robbed in the streets of the countries capital, La Paz and, whilst boarding a bus to depart the city, I caught a glimpse of the Spanish headline on the newspapers sold by a 6 year old girl; ‘Sausages of dog meat sold in Bolivia’s capital!’ A nice change from the horse meat the British press are claiming I have been brought up on. Bolivia’s infrastructure; a nightmare for many tourists, a promised land for any dirt bike enthusiast. It was time to get dirty again.

Day 211, Saturday 8th December:
Peru to Bolivia, one of the last times we would have to deal with customs and piles of photocopying, the least exciting part of riding a motorcycle around the world. We continued on to Copacabana on Lake Titicaca. Finding an eatery amongst the hoards of Gore-tex wearing tourists proved easy and offered a cracking view over the Lake. That same lake and it’s large rivers which act as tributaries to the Amazon give landlocked Bolivia an excuse to maintain a navy to keep a cap on the movement of Cocaine. No joke.
Rule number one of Latin America; agree on one dish between the group and make no alterations. A cracking morning’s ride and spirits were high. We took our chances and threw caution to the wind. 4 different meals, 4 different drinks. “I’ll have mine without the egg please”, “Can I get rice with that?”. “You don’t need to write that down do you amigo?” We questioned the 14 year old waiter in an attempt to encourage him to get our request on paper. “No no senor.” He was on it. No he wasn’t. Brookbanks took the brunt of this one and spent the duration of the lunch stop twiddling his thumbs with a minor glimmer of hope that his dish would eventually show. It didn’t. “Welcome to Bolivia my young Padawan” I chuckled as I slapped him on his back, donned my helmet and headed south bound to La Paz.

La Paz Sits in a huge valley at 3650 meters. Yeah it’s cliched but with it’s snow peaks mountains in the background the views from the top of the valley are breathtaking.



We’d been on the road all day and pulled over to check out the view before dropping down in to the valley. An ideal spot to have a moment to collect my thoughts and appreciate the environment I was in but I was abruptly interrupted by a flock, no, a plague may be better suited of teenage school girls on a bus trip who had also stopped to take in the view. Each and every one of them insisted they sat on my bike and had me pose next to them for a photo. There was no escape. When I tried to sneak off there was uproar and I’d be pushed and pulled from all directions by the little critters until I was back in the default biker pose position ready for the next round of photos. Brookbanks and Team BMW were pissing themselves with laughter at my inability to escape. By photo 15 the face cramps had got too much and I signaled for the next in line to jump on to Big Dog’s pink (sorry Big Dog, purple) BMW and encouraged one of the rowdy ones at the back to pull Big Dog in to the frame whilst I sat back and enjoyed the best cigarette of the trip whilst watching Big Dog worm his way out of the carnage.

We’d arrived in La Paz on a Saturday night but the altitude seemed to be taking it’s toll on my wing-man and after a few beers and a bite to eat the night had a relaxed ending. In hindsight, this couldn’t have worked out any better. Jon and I had agreed to wake at the crack of dawn the following day to ride Bolivia’s ‘El Camino de la Muerte’ or ‘Road of Death’. At first light Brookbanks was rummaging about moaning about not being able to find his overpriced bottle of hair conditioner, remember the fancy one bought out of the shared budget? Well, bald men don’t hold grudges so I got up and got on with ensuring that every single piece of Forcefield body Armour was firmly strapped on in the perfect position. I wasn’t taking any chances. I felt like a Dakar warrior going in to battle. Although the road itself is only 38 miles (69KM) it descends from it’s highest point at La Cumbre pass at an altitude of 4,650 meters (15255 feet) down to 1,200 meters (3937 feet) in the town of Coroico in the Amazon Basin. This gives you an idea of how steep this trail really is. It’s extreme drop offs of up to 800 meters on the side and lack of guard rails makes the single lane track a major attraction for downhill mountain bikers. Most of the trail is no wider than 3 meters and rain, fog and dust can have a huge impact on visibility. It’s loose surfaces of mud and rocks and the high risk of land slides make it one of South Americas most dangerous roads.

In 1995, the Inter-American Development bank deemed it the worlds most dangerous road based on the death rate per mile and according to their sources up to 200 people had died on this road at that stage. Their stats released in ’95 claimed that an average of 26 vehicles dropped over the side of the road each year and it was at that point they said enough was enough and funded the development of an alternative road. The old road was no longer maintained and is now typically only used by thrill seeking downhill mountain bikers and the occasional pasty Brits who fancy their chances on a couple of well used Suzuki DRz’s. Why would you want to ride this road you may ask? As we rode north of La Paz to the starting point, I was asking myself that very same question.

The research we had done to the build up of this ride was sufficient to scare Team BMW off so we left them and their very posh bikes back at the hotel along with all of our luggage. The bike felt brand new again without the additional weight and I was reminded that I was effectively riding a full blown dirt bike. I was as ready as I could be to take on the off-road challenge. The moderate climate in La Paz had me right over and I assumed that the rest of the days ride would only get warmer as we proceeded deeper in to the Amazon Basin so once fully armored up, I donned the thin summer gloves. Yeah those ones with the gaping holes in from my crash in Colombia. I had no idea we had a snow section to clear at the high pass at La Cumbre prior to beginning the trail. Despite being as keen as possible to get to the start of the trail and lose a few hundred meters of altitude, whenever we tried to open the bikes up they would cough and splutter as if being strangled. A tell tale sign that we were at a ridiculously high altitude with much lower levels of oxygen.



As we neared the starting point of the trail we were pulled over by a copper who was clearly after something but his thick Bolivian accent meant we couldn’t quite put our finger on what it was. I immediately whipped my gloves off expecting to see frost-bitten finger tips under there but it just turned out I was being a pussy and after warming them slightly on the engine, I was ready to try and understand what the police man was mumbling on about. It turned out a toll ticket was necessary to drive on the highway we were using to find the start of the trail but we had completely missed the ticket office. He insisted that we needed to ride 26KM back in the direction we had come from to pay the necessary fee before returning to show him the ticket. It was far too cold to be riding back and not knowing what the day had in store for us we couldn’t afford to lose any more time so we had to try a different approach. At first he point blank refused a bribe but once the group of Bolivians on our left hand side had left, we gave it another go. This time he accepted our offering with both hands and a dirty grin before waving us on our way.

I should to be careful how I word the experience we had on Death Road as it was day of mixed emotions. Although the trail isn’t the most technical of trails, the consequences of a mistake would have been fatal. For most of the ride handling the bike over the off-road terrain, riding under waterfalls and avoiding the huge drops on the side of the road had our adrenaline rushing but on the flip side, seeing the crosses of remembrance of those who had been killed and the wrecks of buses and various other vehicles at the bottom of some of the drops made me feel a little ashamed that I was thrill seeking in an environment that had cost so many Bolivians their lives. An unforgettable experience in more ways than one.





It was boiling hot by the time we reached the bottom but we weren’t getting back to La Paz without first clearing that frozen mountain pass again. That same mountain pass that nearly had me in tears stubbornly believing my finger-tips were gonners. The eerie hotel with no other guests had never looked so appealing. We were freezing cold, soaking wet and covered in mud. Team BMW had laid on a nice little surprise in recognition of successful completion of the ‘Worlds Most Dangerous Road’. It’s funny how such small gestures can mean so much when you’ve been on the road for so long.



Onwards from La Paz, southbound on Highway One to a town that must surely be called Shit-hole. The only source of food we could find which wasn’t swarming in blue-arsed flies was some empanadas, a Latin American staple. Small pasty like parcels stuffed with questionable quality beef deep-fried in a cauldron no less than 10 years old by a toothless lady on a street corner. The taste is acceptable simply because of the smile they are served with. One dusty unknown town to the next.This is Bolivia and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Next on to Challapata, well known as the hub of Bolivia’s illegal vehicle trade. Bolivia feels tiny in comparison to Peru and we’re making good ground. These people have nothing but huge grins and even bigger hearts. I started to grow fond of Bolivia’s people which was tarnished only by another bent copper who pulled us over waving a device he claimed to be a speed gun.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:05 AM   #206
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We’d been stopped on numerous occasions in Bolivia but up until now they had all been decent enough guys interested in what we were doing. We were speeding and this guy was well within his rights to pull us over but I could see from the word go that he was a nasty piece of work who wanted more than the value of a speeding ticket. He asked for my licence, I handed him my old expired card. He couldn't speak English and wouldn't be able to interpret it anyway. He asked for my passport, I handed him a laminated copy. He then informed me that he didn’t have the necessary paper work to fine a foreigner on the side of the road and that in order to pay my fine we would have to ride all the way back to a town over 250km away. I knew this wasn’t how it worked as I had been stopped no more than 100km earlier in the day. The previous officer had warned me of corruption in the Police Force and that I should always take note of the officers ID number down before involving myself in any conversation. He didn’t have a vehicle and he didn’t have my legit paper work so I knew I could ride off at any point and leave him standing but I was interested to see how this one played out. He mentioned how we could solve this with an on-the-spot fine but it would have to be $60 USD for each rider. A little on the steep side given the average monthly salary in Bolivia is short of $400. Once I had made it clear I was making a note of his I.D. number his colleague instructed him to give me my paper work back and let us ride on without needing to pay a penny.

Onwards and we rode through varying altitudes and varying climates narrowly avoiding becoming road kill to herds of llamas and packs of viscous looking stray dogs all fancying a bite of an Alpinestars Tech 10 for dinner. Then, decision time. Left to stick on the tarmac and ride the remaining distance with Team BMW or right in to the unknown. Just the two of us. A dusty trail marked merely as a faint line on the already proven unreliable map we sourced back in Cuzco. Two 28-liter brimmed Safari fuel tanks on board. We took the right, wave bye to Team BMW and feeling invincible and spin the back wheels up as soon as we hit the dirt. We rode for hours until we couldn’t ride any further.



The sand was so flooded there was no chance of continuing but on our right hand side we had the option to mount the rail track to clear the flooded area. We’d ridden the BAM road in Siberia, train tracks were our forte, right? Wrong. In the words of Dan Walsh ‘never an expert, always an enthusiast’, Brookbanks steps up and over confidently tries to ride the bridge without first identifying the most suitable path. He had completely mis-read the size of the gaps between the sleepers and despite agreeing we would ride in the middle of the two tracks headed straight on to the bridge on the right hand side. The gaping holes in between each sleeper had him bouncing around like a mad man. He nearly came straight off the side but somehow managed to pull the bike up-right and hold it there until I arrive and between us pull the bike in to the middle of the two tracks. I was laughing but crying knowing it was my turn next. Any excessive movements at this altitude leaves you short of breath. Still no idea if he should expect any trains on this line, he dropped the hammer before then dropping the bike. This is Bolivia and this is the absolute dog’s danlgies.



Arrival in Uyini, another overrated, underpopulated dusty dive in existence only to feed a growing tourism trade of wealthy Westerners eager to experience the awe inspiring Salar de Uyini. And quite rightly so. Otherwise known as Bolivia’s Salt Flats the Salar is the dried remains of a 10,582 square kilometer (4,086 sq mi) salt lake which when flooded by a Bolivian wet season provides a surreal environment incomparable to anything either of us had ever seen.





This is Bolivia and I’m convinced that riding doesn’t get better than this.
Once we learned that the Salar was flooded we realised we couldn’t do the 2 day ride over the flats to cross over to Chile. The salt water is so corrosive we feared if we left it on the bikes over night we may not have any bikes left in the morning so we decided to spray everything with a coating of WD-40 and just check ride the flats for no more than a couple of hours. Not knowing how to get to the start of the flats we tried to discretely follow a 4×4 full of tourists but the driver clocked on, pulled over and asked us what we were up to. I chuckled and agreed to throw him some Boliviano’s, equivalent of a few quid if he would let us follow him to the start of the flats at which point we would go our own way and cruise for a few hours on our own. It was literally just us out there. Miles and miles of complete freedom. Impossible to judge depth or speed, at times it felt like we were just floating. Once everything was suitably covered in salt we headed back to Uyini and to a local motorcycle tour company where they power-washed our bikes down for us. The brotherhood once again playing an important role in this Tough Miles journey.

Onwards again… no time to hang around. Back on to the tarmac up to Potosi, the worlds highest city before heading south to join Highway One again to cross the border in to Argentina. Highway One, the Number 1 road in Bolivia, right? Wrong. Turns out the map we picked up is newer than that freaking road. Highway One as it happened hadn’t even been built yet. We rode all day on an intense off-road route. Our bodies were aching and no idea when this was likely to end. In parts the road was in worse condition than Death Road and every other corner would contain a series of crosses to remember the dead. “What the hell are we doing here, mate?”
The sun was setting but clinging to the mountain side, the road was so narrow we couldn’t stop to pitch up the tents as there was simply no room for our tents and a passing vehicle. Darker and darker, colder and colder the ride continued to get even more terrifying. Corner after corner with no end in sight we ended up riding in to the pitch blackness with the hundred foot drops illuminated only by the moonlight and a DRz headlight powered by 12v battery which was over 25,000 miles old. We’ve had a few moments on this trip but this one is definitely up there with the hairiest. We stopped and discussed our options. Did we take any photos? The ability to get the camera out when the fear factor is so high is something we are yet to get the hang of. We continued on for hours in to the night conscious that we had no food or water left and that fuel levels were ever diminishing. Eventually the GPS indicated that we were dropping in altitude. We’d come to the bottom of a valley and there we saw it, the bright lights of a hotel! At first I thought I was losing my mind but sure enough, smack bang in the arse-end of nowhere was a hotel with a lady standing by the door. When I asked if she could put us up she immediately said she was full. When I asked if we could pitch up the tents outside her hotel she seemed to take pity on us and somehow managed to free up a room. Awake at first light to work out where the hell we were. Initial impression… Nice room.



That was Bolivia. And that was outstanding. Onwards, southbound. Next stop Argentina. I’m ready for a steak.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #207
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More Bolivia pics







We needed to get the salt water off as soon as possible...





More Death Road clips...



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Old 03-06-2013, 09:17 AM   #208
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More pics

As always, lots more pics on our Facebook page here.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:55 PM   #209
jessepitt
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Unbelievable trip! I love the engine repair!
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:26 PM   #210
makad
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Great Stuff Pete!
Really enjoying the RR - Happy Trails

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