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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Kedgi, Oct 7, 2012.
Happy Birthday Dwight.
From a former Blue-noser.
Happy birthday man!
You're going to love the Chilean coast:
Warm, dry, and great camping the whole way down!
Are you skipping the Salar and Unuyi? I swear, just to see it is worth the ride. You should look up bubbletron; I think she's in La Paz working on her bike.
Happi "B" Day !Cheers!
Happy Birthday man. Still riding along with you...well in spirit anyway. No doubt you are aware of the weather back home. You're not missing anything
Happy 29th Birthday to you. Loving your RR. Doing a great job. You're on the home stretch now. As always, rubber side down!
Happy Birthday Dwight!!!
Thanks so much to all of you for the kind Birthday wishes!
I'm actually 29 today I can't believe it. It's just all those years in Air Traffic Control that make me look 56.
I didn't mean to leave you all hangin' yesterday, I tried to work on my ride report, but everytime I tired to upload pictures the internet in this hotel would kick out and I would have to go down to the front desk and ask the girl to reset the router. I got tired od that after three times so I took my computer and walked two blocks up the street to the Hostal where my friends were supposed to have been and used their internet to upload pictures. Turns out the online information about availability was wrong and I could have stayed there aferall. In any case, the place is a Brew Pub/Hostal that has a bar on the 6th floor with a beautiful view of the city. I met Martin the bar manager, a nice guy from Montana who lives here. He even bought my second beer when I told him it was my Birthday
So I upload my pictures and have a very nice talk with Martin and while doing that, someone walks into the bar through a door behind me, and Martin says "Hey these guys are on bikes!" I turn around and it's Chris from Alaska, that I met in Playa del Tunco El Salvador, so long ago when I met Steph.
Chris was with A friend, another rider from BC, Vasilie (sp) and they both have their girlfirens with them Stephanie and damn it I can't remember theVasilie's girlfriends name inspite of asking a few times, but it's something like catia, but that's not it. In any case Martin told them it was my birthday and it was an instant party. I had several great Amber Ales made here in La Paz by a company called Saya and a shot of Tequila over sevral hours of fun talk about travel and bikes and then found my way back to my hotel and crashed and did I ever sleep! I have been exhausted the last couple days in this 14000 ft elevation.
So my Birthday was spent with friends in the end and was much better than I ever could have hoped for
I'm going to try to update the ride report this morning as long as the internet hangs in there. This afternoon I going to meet with Chris and co. to discuss plans to get out of here and head to the Chilean Coast. They have all had enough of the cold too. It's about 4 degrees and rain here today. Yuck!
It's all good. Tomorrow we go somewhere warm.
I read your report on the Salar and it looks like you and Mike had fun up there. But I swear, I have had enough of the cold. My teeth were chattering when I got up this morning. It so cold in this room my fingers are freezing as i type this. I don't know how people in La Paz survive like this. No heat in their buildings, freezing cold and damp inside and out. We have a word for weather like this back home in Saint John, we call it Summer., I guess we share that with the good citizens of La Paz I have had Jimmy Buffet's song, "I Wanna Go Where it's Warm" going through my head for three weeks.
I dreamt this morning I was riding out of The Miami airport, under Southern Florida's bright blue sky, turning onto the Palmetto Expressway on my way to Key West and that's a dream I intend to make come true asap.
I will try and find Bubbletron today if she's in town, maybe Alyson will want to ride out of here tomorrow with us. Vasilie's GF is on her own bike, a BMW 800 and Chris and Stephanie are two up on his KLR. Vasillie is on a KTM 990. Their bikes are the bikes i saw at my hotel in Puno
That picture of your bike and tent on the beach looks awesome.
When I left Puno the day before yesterday, I found my way out of town quickly and took the route 3 which soon runs along the shore of Lake Titicaca, which if I remember my geography correctly is the World's highest lake. It's huge and beautiful.
This, by the way was my freezing cold hotel in Puno, you can see the yard next door where I parked my bike.
Here the many layers of blankets on the bed that still weren't enough because of the cold coming up through the mattress
Anyway, I soon found myself riding along the shoreline of Lake Titicaca.
Somewhere along the way I stopped for a Coke. I'm not a convert to Peru's famous Inca Cola
Then i rode along long straight stretches that follow the lakeshore south. I was cruising at about 100kph on one of those stretches when the bike went nuts, no warning, it just went into a wild high speed wobble, reminiscent of my July crash when my front tire blew out. Frack! it was oil! Oil on the road and I never saw it because there were wet patches everywhere from morning rain. I don't know what kept me from falling, maybe it was the religious travel items I still have stuck on my bike that good friends Monique and Gisele gave me at home. I was chewin on my heart after that one. Holy Crap, talk about get your heart goin, then I could hardly breathe because of the elevation. Yikes! But I survived.
I had to chuckle at this. It reminded me of, ''What's the best way to look at Saint John?....THROUGH YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR!"
Happy 29th Dwight!!
Glad to see you've got your mojo back.
-13 with windchill of -35 degees here and a blizzard warning for tomorrow night.
So as soon as my heart rate dropped below 200 I continued on.
I came to the interesection where you can go straight to La Paz, about 70 km's away or turn to the east toward, Copacabana, a small Bolivian beach resort about 20kms away.
I stopped because of this. Nasty weather in the pass between me and La Paz, a big dark thurnderstorm like the one I had ridden in the day before. I was already cold, there was no way I was going to ride in that.
So, I waited, hoping the weather would move
I met some local cab drivers who really liked my bike.
I bought a coke and some crackers at this little store
Then I discovered a lot of little local bikes were buying gas there, so I bought some gas, remembering how hard it was for some people to get gas in Bolivia. (That continues to puzzle me. When I mention it to most people they say they have never had a problem getting gas in Bolivia, others say they practically had to beg to get gas everywhere they stopped)
Anyway, I filled up. I don't think the seller wanted her picture taken, whereever I moved with the camera, she his her face.
That little store is going to be in Seattle one day, or somewhere equally distant, it was full of jugs, jerry cans and bottles of gasoline. Thousands of gallons.
Anyway, the weather I was waiting on never improved
The cab drivers convinced me I should go east, through Copacabana and ride to La Paz that way, and skirt east and then south of that big storm, It was about 100 kms further, but it looked like it might just work, so I did it.
(Holy Crap, as an aside, I keep blowing on my hands to type this, It's cold!)
So I rode the twenty kms to the Bolivian border at a little town called Kasani
The Peruvian side went really smooth, like five minutes! I was the only one there.
So then I was in Bolivia, something like my 12th Country since I left home.
Happy birthday buddy ! Glad everything worked out for you in the long run! Nice to have a few friends around in a foreign country to hang and celebrate with for the evening.wind chill in central Newfoundland was minus 30 last night. Out here working for a few days and around 40 plus cm of snow coming this way on the weekend! Not your kind of place for sure. I pad was off line for few days but working now and all caught up! Excellent reports as usual...Stay focused and enjoy each day on your journey as much as you can....I know when everything doesn't go as wanted or expected its easy to get down on yourself! And then the Journey turns into a mission...but you have done fantastic so far letting the rest of us travel with you each and everyday to places unknown . You are our eyes and ears in a country that only a few of us will ever get to. We travel the roads and culture of central and South America vicariously through Kedgi's road report and your eyes and translation...
Keep up the Travel and Journey, be safe and Enjjoy!,,, Kawasaki didn't realize that the KLR could take over 100,000 people on one bike with one driver ! And remember that you are never lost in this world until you can't find yourself ......so keep on riding and enjoy the journey wherever that road takes you!,,,, th e road will eventually lead home to them love of your life , Angele is your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!!!!!! I'm too big to fit in your tank bag but I as many are with you every kilometre along the way !!! Excellent pictures and stories ...a Real Ride Report !!!!!!!
I was in Bolivia! That side of the border went very smooth too.
The Migration stamp took five minutes, the Officers liked my Go-Pro Camera. I even made a clip of them. (I haven't even uploaded it yet)
The Aduhana Office was quick too but only after I had to wait 30 minutes for them to come back from lunch. The time zone changes at the Bolvian Border. I am back on Atlantic Standard Time, same as home.
Migration, Bolivian side
My helmet waiting for Aduhana to open
As soon as the guy came back from lunch, I was processed and away. I soon saw the town of Copacabana. It's not bad, but not great either. I looked around but I didn't spend any time there. Maybe it's just because it was so friggen cold, its hard to appreciate a beach town when it's cold. This is Summer in SA. I wonder if it ever gets warm.
While I took a photo, Trusty hung out with the three little pigs
I had La Paz and meeting my friends on my mind at the time so I blasted out of Copacabana and my strategy or i should say the cab drivers strategy worked. It was cold but dry ride. The road out of Copacabana is wonderful. It climbs high barren mountains and offer wonderful views of the stunning Lake Titicaca, you have to concentrate on you riding and try and ignore the scenery, the road has wonderful twists and turns as it carves it's way along the mountains and a peninsula where you have stunning views on both sides.
Eventually you come to the end of the peninsula where you have to take one of these little ferries or barges to get to the mainland and La Paz. That was fun! You have to watch where you dide onto these things. There are big gaps in the floor.
Other boats at the dock.
There was just me and this car.
This deck hand was tarring the hull. Man, did he ever have a weathered face.
It looks like this truck is falling through the hull, but it's not, the decks actually have a fairly steep slope. When we got to the other side the crew had to help me push the bike,backwards, up the slope to get off the boat.
Back on the mainland I started to see the large mountains near La Paz. That's a snow-capped one behind in the distance behind this little house.
I rode into La Paz. Crazy traffic, steep streets, swarms of people, I looked for a hostal with parking, in the process, found my self in a neighbourhood with hundreds and hundreds of little stalls right in the streets selling vegtables, had no luck at a couple hostals I tried, they were full, then in my continued search I realized I was still well above the main part of the city. I had a stunning glimpse of this huge city, there was no where to stop and take a photo, but La Paz is built in a deep, deep bowl in the mountains, and every square inch is packed with mostly red brick houses and buildings
So, now I realized I had to ride down into that bowl. My GPS has no bolivian maps. It did have a line for a road I had been on the ended in a little checkered flag and that had been making me think I must be near the city center. No that I knew I wasn't my search continued.
I asked a traffic cop for the bus station. I knew the hostal my friends were at was near the bus station. He pointed me in the right direction. As luck would have it I found my hotel, about three or four blocks from the bus station and their hostal, but we already know what happened next.
Here is the view from my room.
This picture cannot show how steep this crowded mountainside is, reaching right up into the clouds
I doubt Titicaca is among the highest lakes in the world but I'm almost 100% sure it's the largest lake in South America.
I've lived most of my life at an elevation of 1,600 m or more and can tell you that summer by most standards never reaches this high. Stuff like t'storms are really cold too.
IMO, nothing for it but to follow your Plan and get lower in elevation.
I want all my readers to know, I sent the following email to my friends and I hope this makes them feel better about the confusion. I was disappointed at the time but i am better now that I have thought about it.
I want you to know I had a good birthday. I met another rider I had met in El Salvador and we had a good time at the Brew Pub Hostal.
I have had some time to think and I realize you guys don't understand how hard it can be to cover big distances here on a bike. I was twelve hours just coming from Puno because of bad weather and cold.
No hard feelings and please enjoy your special day.
I really like these kids and wish them all the best
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.
I lived through 6 Newfoundland Winters, never again!
You're probably right about Titicaca, I'm not sure. It is cold here again today, this morning it was 4 degrees in rain.
I sure like Bryce's picture of camping on the beach.
I just got an email from my new friend, Camelia, (That's her name!) She had a smart phone and took a few pictures of my Birthday Party. I deliberately left my camera home. I haven't looked at them yet but I'll see if there are any to share.
I made the most of the day yesterday. There is a lot to see in La Paz, and I walked around to a lot of the sights. It's tough walking here, so high, the air is so thin. I saw a poster for a Marathon they are going to have here, on these steep stretts and at this elevation, OMG!
Here is the Hotel Select Comfort, where I'm staying, not a bad place and cheap at less than $25 bucks for a room, and there is secure parking next door.
I got a card yesterday from my 'boy', Bob, that made me feel good
I have a lot of pictures of La Paz to post and I'll do that a little later...