From Estonia with love (Round the World awesome ADVenture!!)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tsiklonaut, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,534
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    I have to agree with the C O L D in the mornings at the higher elevations in Colorado having just got back from there myself. But, the heat at the lower elevations ( Texas and Louisiana come to mind ) is brutal in the afternoons.

    Loved the notation of the 440,000 mile R11GS. :eek1 Makes my 50,000 miles apiece on my 2 R11**Gs very pale in comparison. :cry

    :clap :clap Super fine ride report and pictures. Thanks for the time and work to share your ride with us. :clap :clap
    #61
  2. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    semi-homeless
    Yep, cold as hell - and humid when it rains :cry . Lovely scenery tho!

    Hank is a decent guy himself too, we spent a good few days together with him in Santiago ( :freaky ). He's currently over 450 000 miles (720 000 km) with his R1100GS - all engine still stock! He rides it offroad too, he did even Southern-Bolivia (no roads - just trails!) with the same bike. Just plain stunning reliability per this mileage IMO.
    #62
  3. CAVOK

    CAVOK Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    This is one of another REAL EPIC in our ADV world ! You both are da MAN ! (and a WOMAN !)

    I'm already hooked to this thread.

    If Thailand will be one of your destination, you'll love the country !




    Keep coming !
    #63
  4. nikkasit

    nikkasit Nikkasit

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Thailand
    #64
  5. 6-Fiddy Hooligan

    6-Fiddy Hooligan E Pluribus Hooligan

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Just discovered your trip report and will be following your travels! You're welcome to look me up when you get to the USA... Especially if you'll be traveling thru Ohio.

    BTW, my grandmother used to live just down the road a little ways from you... She was born in Lithuania! :freaky

    Safe travels,
    -Art
    #65
  6. motorradrudi

    motorradrudi tourguide

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    367
    Location:
    Sonthofen, Germany
    Great RR and pics! :clap:clap:clap

    Thanks for sharing!

    Best greatings
    Rudi
    #66
  7. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    South of Gorman
    simply fantastic! :clap

    this is the kind of riding i dream of...

    best wishes, and puncture-free riding!
    #67
  8. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,423
    Location:
    semi-homeless
    I must apologise in advance. In some ways I'm still oldschool - I didn't buy any digital SLR with me like 99.9% motorcycle travellers nowadays do who seek good photos. So I took my beloved film camera instead since I do love to be different, and personally I love the aspect that the film gives to all the digital boredom that is facing you everywhere you step. This is why you don't see much "bike here - bike there" type of motorcycle travelling shots here - those I keep for our point and shoot cheap digital camera that other threads pictures are made of. Hopefully you'll understand.



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    Recoleta cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina








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    Recoleta cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina









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    Modern Buenos Aires.










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    Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires.










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    Puerto Madero, BA.










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    Architecture in La Boca, Buenos Aires.









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    Typical houses in La Boca, Buenos Aires.










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    La Boca colours.









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    Lots of people, Iguazu falls, Argentinian side.









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    Iguazu falls.









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    Iguazu.










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    Iguazu.










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    A decent trail road leading through Argentinian cordilleras.










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    A stop in Uruguay.









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    Typical Uruguaian beach village architecture.









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    Punta del Diablo (The Devil's Point), Uruguay









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    Punta del Diablo.










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    Punta del Diablo, close to the village.










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    Dune, Uruguay.









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    Uruguay.









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    A sunset in Uruguay.









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    Uruguaian sunset.









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    Beach at sunset, Uruguay.










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    Atlantic ocean in Brazil.









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    São Paulo, Brazil.










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    Sé cathedral in São Paulo, Brazil.











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    Under the Brazilian palms, our hosts Fernando & Maraisa.










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    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.










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    Rio de Janeiro.









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    Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro.









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    Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro.









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    Rio in the night.









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    Brazilian beach.









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    Brazilian beach.









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    Our broken tire in Brazil.









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    Enjoying sunset in Salvador, Brazil.









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    Young folk singing in Salvador, Brazil









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    Salvador, Brazil.










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    Salvadorian Beach.










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    Stray pure-breed dogs in Brazil.









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    Colonial architecture in Paraty, Brazil.










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    Paraty streets.










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    Donkey power, Brazil.











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    Trindade, cliffs against the ocean, Brazil.









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    Massive shockwaves, Trindade.









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    Trindade, Brazil.










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    Chapada Diamantina park in Brazil.​



    MKII gallery will come in near-future - I'm working on it...
    #68
  9. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
    Birmingham,UK
    epic pics:clap
    #69
  10. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,624
    Location:
    Oregon
    Stupendous!


    #70
  11. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Brea, CA
    Absolutely incredible. Stay safe. :clap :freaky
    #71
  12. Motodisiac

    Motodisiac Moto Terrorist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,678
    Location:
    City Of Angels
    This is one amazing trip and some outstanding photography! :clap:clap
    #72
  13. Dr LC8

    Dr LC8 ...soon or later

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    982
    Location:
    Manchester...but from Rome!
    Mate...quality of pictures: super :clap ...quality of trip: even more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Excellent:freaky

    Nic
    #73
  14. Ted Bell

    Ted Bell I want that one!

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Springville, UT
    Very nice work with your camera!
    #74
  15. Sideout

    Sideout Noob Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    654
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Great RR and awesome photos!!! :thumb
    Subscribed.
    #75
  16. AlbaChamp

    AlbaChamp n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2
    Subscribed
    #76
  17. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    <table id="post10361596" class="tborder" border="0" align="center" width="100%" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr valign="top"><td class="alt2" width="175"> AlbaChamp <script type="text/javascript"> vbmenu_register("postmenu_10361596", true); </script>
    n00b

    Joined: Oct 2007
    Oddometer: 1


    </td> <td class="alt1" id="td_post_10361596"> <!-- message --> Subscribed
    <!-- / message --> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alt2"> [​IMG] Blame MaddBrit </td> <td class="alt1" align="right"> <!-- controls --> [​IMG]</td></tr></tbody></table>
    Ooooh... congratulations, you guys have popped someone's first-post cherry. :clap That's always fun. :wink:

    Impressive, too, since they've kept their virginity for almost two years. :brow
    Hope you're doing well, Francine says "hi" :wave
    #77
  18. reed523

    reed523 To pedal or not to pedal

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    396
    Location:
    Perkins, Oklahoma
    Subscribed. Great report so far. Having been to Estonia, i always perk up when i see it mentioned on ADVrider. Throw a few more pics of "home" in if you get a chance. Wish you all the best on your adventure!
    #78
  19. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,423
    Location:
    semi-homeless
    [​IMG]

    Welcome to Bolivia!

    We have nice roads here:
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    But as universal equation says: the beauty of scenery is inversely proportional to the roads leading there. It's 99% true!

    See the panoramas for proof of sci-fi landscapes, environment, volcanos, lakes, colours... NB! If you still don't know, you can click to enlarge each panorama (those wide pictures with bizarre corners) in a new window, depending on the web browser you may have to click again on the image in the new window to see it in full size - then scroll the image horizontally - it gives you a feeling as if you were there yourself looking around the place)


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    (Bolivian border post @ 4600 meters above sea level)


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    (Laguna Verde)



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    (views from the road)


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    (Laguna Blanca)


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    (Laguna Blanca)


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    (road)



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    (Bolivian altiplano in sunset - bizarre nature formed of the bushes by one-directional winds)


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    (Cracks in the volcanic ground)


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    Wild fox.



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    Typical roads in South-Bolivia.



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    That's the best part of the road.



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    And we had to ride over 500 miles in those conditions.



    But guess what...

    ...I got altitude sickness.


    We climbed too quickly from San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) to Bolivia. From 2500m to 4500m in less than a 2 hours. And then headed up to over 5000 meters where Bolivian aduana (customs) was. There I got a knockout blow and, I almost fainted...

    Thankfully there was a chemical plant in the middle of nowhere aside the Bolivian customs where a doctor re-animated me with oxigen:

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    This could have ended with my death if we had not been lucky to have a doctor here with necessary equipment at hand in that very moment. Most of the South-Bolivia is just an empty land with nothing and nobody to help you.

    Kariina said the colour of my skin in the face changed visibly from gray to normal again under the oxigen mask. After some time there + loads of medicine I got on to my feet again and we could head on. Doctor strongly advised to get to lower grounds as soon as possible, but it was impossible here - everything nearby is well over 4000 meters over sea level on the altiplano.

    It was geting dark and we had to find a place to shelter, the best spot we found was at 4500m over the sea level and we pitched the tent. Kariina had to do everything, since my condition was worsening again and I didn't have any force at all - I could barely ride bike. In the night it dropped -2C below freezing temperature, we didn't get any sleep, I constantly went out the tent to vomit, in fact I could barely walk and stand up and felt like I was about to die. But still, the freezing night sky above me (while vomiting, I was constantly staring at the sky) was just stunning, mind-blowing! It's the thing that made me slightly better and after few bad situations and bad signs on my collapsing health, while couple of times we were just one move away to start our sattelite-telephone and call for an emergency evacuation - I decided to test my survivability and I was alive in the morning, maybe just 1-2 hours of sleep.

    In the morning the same trick - Kariina had to do everything, pack the tent and stuff on the bike while I layed on the ground, shaking from cold and vomiting. When done, Kariina helped to get me on the bike (which I barely could do) and we could ride on. Kariina could ride our heavy bike as an emergency, but NEVER in those (rather off-)road conditions here. So I had to pilot us on to the safer-lower grounds myself.

    And the road ahead was yet again nasty.

    We had 2 serious falls, and to lift up fully loaded bike over 4500 meters above sea level...?

    In my extremely poor physical condition at the time I had I could never do it, I couldn't even lift 400cc bike there, and even together with Kariina we had to remove some luggage to get the bike up again.

    You just have no strenght over 4000m. And after every small physical move you do, you breathe like hell to get that little oxygen that's available in the air.

    After all odds we managed to ride to Uyuni, the biggest place on our way - with medicine etc available, and we could heal a bit there. Kariina got fever too, so she also didn't fully get away from altitude sickness.


    Till we get better after few days in the (cold hotel room's) bed in Uyuni.

    Nice was to have Uyuni festival happening at the same time:
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    From Uyuni there was a good chance to visit Uyuni's train-boneyard nearby. Trains that once were for transporting salts and stuff from the mines all the way to Antofagasta (now Chile) that once was Bolivia and their access to the Pacific.

    Train for sale, needs a very good mechanic:
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    And even physicists have been here, marked an important spacetime equation with Einsten tensor.



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    Soaked into the ground in time.


    Train bone-yard panoramas (click to enlarge):
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    And from there one of our highlights - the Uyuni Salt Lake (Salar de Uyuni). Above the 3650 meters lied an eye-blindingly white flat wonder covered with thin layer of water making it hard to understand if you're in earth or heaven! We've finally seen it!

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    (click to enlarge the pic)


    And panoramas from Salar de Uyuni (click to enlarge)
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    And as you already probably guessed - 100% pure salt soaked with water + motorcycle do not mix well:
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    We had to wash the bike immediatly after, so it wouldn't eat the whole bike alive.


    From Uyuni we headed to Potosí, on the same Bolivian non-existant dirt roads. But then again, like I already said: the beauty of scenery is inversely proportional to the quality of the roads, take a look yourself (click to enlarge the panoramas):

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    Road to Potosí.



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    Through villages.



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    The easiest river crossing:



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    Our lunch time directly aside the road.



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    Bug.


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    Bushes in the valleys were the height of a man.



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    And muddy villages.



    Till we made it to Potosí - the World's highest city! (4060m) Used to be the richest city in South-America during the "silver-days".

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    Cathedral of Potosí.


    And there is no heating in the hotels in Potosí (except the highest-end ones that are way out of our budget), but fortunately 5 blankets in the beds are a standard to keep you barely warm during the night:
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    But why the city has grown so big in this extreme height is the Cerro Rico mountain aside it - once filled with silver, that when taken out given the richness to the city and the area:
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    Over 8 million people, mostly slaves (indigenous South-Americas and imported from Africa) have died inside this mountain for the silver!


    And still today, while most of mine resources are depleted the miners' communities still dig and in in-humane conditions. Around 45 people still die per year in the mines. Mostly accidents and collapsing shafts, because the equipment and techniques used in the mines are still old-school and out-dated.

    We decided to visit inside the mines too.

    Got a guide and proper equipment:
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    And went over a mile inside the Cerro Rico mountain:
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    One of the higher shafts with rails, normally you had to walk with your knees and hands in the tight shafts.


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    Our guide revealing the good and bad inside the mountain.


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    The drillers working - no protective glasses, no face mask - just silly conditions they have to work in! It's so hard work to drill, that they aren't allowed to work over 2 hours per day. Those young men's health (drillers are normally between 16-20 year olds) is ruined soon... Normally within 10 years time.


    And inside the mines, throughout all the ages in Cerro Rico - the miners worship their devil every day, to bring luck and better mining:
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    That's a 60-70 year old devil, still every day covered with coca-leaves, cigarettes, bottles with water etc:
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    A good viewing to get the sense of the reality of Cerro Rico Potosi mine is the multi award-winning "Devil's miners" movie.


    From Potosí we headed to Sucre that wasn't anything special, returned and headed to the capital of Bolivia La Paz, the highest capital city in the World, with Mt. Illimani shining in the background (click to enlarge the pic):

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    Road to La Paz was another idyllic landscape experience on the "Roof of The World" - the altiplano (click to enlarge each pic):

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    (We camped wild at 4200m)


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    And till we had a good view to La Paz (also click to enlarge the panorama):
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    La Paz center:
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    The city and the streets are placed on a steep and curvy mountain sides:
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    And dense traffic (with exhaust, clutch and break-smells everywhere):
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    And with overheating engine, burning breaks and clutch we managed to get into a hotel and our trusty horse could take a rest:
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    And get out ourselves to try the coca products (coca is the culture of bolivia in translation):
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    There was some coca fair going on at the time arrived, loads of stuff and people going on the streets:
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    Coca goes yum-yum for the indigenous.



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    And without coca it would be hard to work as an electrician on the La Paz's streets!


    Didn't really recover in La Paz, but it was time to move to lake Titicaca:

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    To cross the lake we had to ride onto one of those huge things made out of rotten wood and powered with 5hp engine:
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    But it turns out they can even (barely, almost sinking) deliver buses and lorries over:
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    Lake Titicaca panorama:
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    And we sheltered in Copacabana's hostel with nice wiew:
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    I wasn't still allright, so stayed there 2 nights in hope things get better.


    Copacabana has a very interesting cathedral (click to enlarge the panorama):
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    Inside all made of gold and precious stuff:
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    That's it folks. For now. Bolivia has been like a hallucination for me - with bad health, headache, vomiting and such, it rewarded me with stunning natural beauty and oddness of local people. A rare combination of extreme emotions overall really giving me a feeling like I'm on another planet.


    Next post will be about Perú. Meanwhile here in Peru, my health got so bad again and we had to go to hospital, after X-rays and blood tests it turned out I have a bronchitis. Now I'm again sick in the bed. Probably the discovered bronchitis was the deeper cause of my never ending health problems here in altiplano's heights and hopefully things get better soon, especially when we go to lower grounds.

    Will keep you updated.

    Good night, Margus
    #79
  20. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,423
    Location:
    semi-homeless
    Got yourself a deal - couple of my film-camera's pics from Estonia:



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    It can be oftan a cold ride...





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    Snow falls through the sunset...








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    And now roting architectual "gifts" from Soviet-Union times.






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    It's a flat land with curvy roads, half of the roads are dirt roads and loads of forests...





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    ...and seashore.



    Enough?
    #80