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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Radioman, May 19, 2011.
bet you were glad to get off that road heading south from Uyuni and kissed the pavement as soon as you saw it
It was a rough Washboard for 100 Miles :huh but was great to arrive and see the Salar!! Worth it!
Someone asked about parking on Hostels and hotels. It has always been interesting!! The hostel in Potosi was interesting as we stayed at the Koala den and they had us park in the "annex" hostel. Took a little video as we were leaving the hostel. It is a smugmug video so I am not sure that this will work....
Anyway. I left Sucre, Bolivia and had to backtrack 90 miles to Potosi before riding south toward the Bolivian Border. Was a Sunday morning so traffic was light riding out of town.
But the sheep and Donkeys don't care
Back to Potosi at 4,300 Meters. Claiming the highest city in the world....
Interesting archway on the way into town.
I stopped for Gas in town, and the lady hesitated, but then filled my tank, and only charged me the local price!!
The road south is a nice paved road with hardly anyone else out. Was 70 degrees and beautiful day to ride!
The landscape changes to colored mountains and dramatic views.
I arrived to the town of Tupiza, Bolivia and stayed at the Hotel Mitru Nice palce with a parking area and a pool!
Was good to sit outside and catch some sunshine. Some other British, Polish, and Belgian tourists were doing the same.
Relaxed in the afternoon, and enjoyed the sunshine!
Bolivia was an interesting place with lots of varied terrain and riding. The issues with Gas and threat of Strikes ended up being no problem for me. Some of the issues are just hard to understand. The other observation is that we had radical varying interactions with local people. They were either very very nice or not. It was the first place that has felt this way on my travels thus far. occasionally you had someone not real nice or interactive, but very rarely. In Bolivia we were flipped off twice, and many times people just said NO..... and sent you on your way. Not too welcoming. Seems to be a real part of half the people. But still had a great time in Bolivia and these were only my observations (but spoke with other travelers that had a very similar experience.
Just one more Gas stop in Tupiza before riding into Argentina. Normally I try to fill up as I enter a town so I am ready to go, but did not see a gas station before reaching the hotel. No problem, will get in in the am on the way out of town. :huh
Well. As i ride out of town..... I see the two gas stations with huge lines :eek1 Then I see another "grande Moto" at the station. I have not seen one on the entire time in Bolivia... So I roll up to say Hello! This is Alain (french but lives in Cali, Columbia).
He arrived yesterday but they had no gas in town at all. :eek1 So he stayed the night. As I was saying hello the GAS truck pulls up and starts pumping into the station. Alain had his extra tanks out and they agreed to fill them. He offered me 5 Liters of his fuel.... Awesome!! We filled his tank and he actually had about 8 liters left for my tank! The kindness of other riders! Great. Skipped the big lines. Alain was headed north so we said our goodbyes!!
This is what the lines looked like (of course I skipped to the front! )
Great start to my day!! I headed south to the Border town of Villazon
Had to stop and pay a 3 Boliviano toll to ride south.
Ok paid, they lowered the rope "gate" so we could pass.
Just 100Km down the road is Villazon, the border town. Looking forward to entering Argentina.
I pull up to the border and the policia tell me to cross the bridge and then the immigration is on the right side.
As I wait, I ask the Policia and they say that the office for Bolivia Exit is first, then 10 steps and office of Argentina entrance is right there
Takes just 20 minutes and I have been stamped out of Bolivia and into Argentina. Aduana (customs) is in the buildings to the left. I walk over and hand in my Bolivia Aduana paperwork.... 2 minutes and I am done
Then walk down 20 steps to the Argentina Aduana. I go in the office.... and they wave me to a seat. I wait and the young guy has lots of paperwork on his desk. I sit for 15 minutes before he really looks at me..... fortunately I policia is watching my bike, although many people stop to have a look.
Finally I hand him my Registration and Title copy. He asks me if I have insurance. No. I need it, and it is not at the border, I have to go to town to get it. Leave the bike and take a taxi to the border town...... Ok...
I took a taxi into town and he took me to the 3 Insurance offices. None of them could do Moto Insurance :eek1 Now what. My spanish is not very good..... So this could be tough. Juluy is 3-4 hours drive south if they make me go get it..... Yikes. Had the cab stop at ATM for cash.... Then back to the Border Aduana office. Fortunately, the young guy is gone, but a really nice older guy is there. He saw me before, takes my copies of the registration and title and does my Aduana paperwork (never asks for insurance information! ) I get my paperwork, one of the otehr guys walks out with me to the bike, checks the VIN and then looks very briefly at one of my bags .....(had heard they really search you gear.... talked later to a guy from UK in a car and they made him take everything out!)
Great all done in 1.5 hours including taxi to town!! On my way into Argentina!!
Hey look. Just 5121 KM to Ushuaia!!
The elevation is getting slightly lower as I ride south.
But the scenery is really cool. The "painted hills" are awesome as I ride south.
Just a few hours and I arrive in the town of Tilcara.
Found a hostel .
It is a funky little place run by Diego. Great guy! I had a cabana with bathroom private in the back to myself for $100 Argentina Pesos ($21.27 USD)
Liked the bike!
Many other travelers staying. We ended up having dinner together. 3 from Germany, 1 from Italy, 1 from Denmark, 1 from UK, 1 from Canada and me !! Had a great dinner and shared a few bottles of wine! Great night.
at the aduana i could see your helmet on your bike, i saw a kid grab a helmet from someones bars last year in front of the police and run off...the rider never got it back!!!!
you may want to keep that by your side, you'll need it on Ruta 40
Ha! If I would've known that you were going to run into Alain, I would've let you know to thank him for one of those mapsets that you now have (not the OSM one). We met Alain in Cali, and rode with him in northern Ecuador for a couple of days. Really good guy. The small world of moto travelers...
And I'm especially glad he was able to help you out with the gas situation. Some of those lines are nuts!
I had asked about it, thank you for the video! Very cool!
Just FYI - it took a little monkeying around on smugmug to get the video to work for me.
Small world indeed. Hope all is well in Bolivia!
Cinco mujeres y los hombres sólo tres, muy bueno!
video no worky for me.
Ride on Radioman!
I wasn't sure originally what it was that worked for me, but after trying again...it appears that clicking on "Save Movie" on the top menu is what does the trick. None of the Play buttons work, but that does...who would have guessed??
Thx. I will try to get it on Youtube so that it is an embed!
I will be interested to hear your take on gravely washboard after you ride Ruta 40 or Ruta 8 in Chile. The winds south of 45 also present an interesting challenge. I see you were camping on the Salar. Have you carried camping gear this entire trip. I am trying to figure out what I need and what I can leave behind for my coming extended trip in Mexico, It has been great following your amazing journey.
Will certainly comment of Ruta 40 & Ruta 8 when I get there! Do not think they will be as bad a s these were!
I did not carry a tent until I got back to Ecuador riding south. Did not need one in Mexico as the hotels were very cheap and really no one camps for safety reasons.I did carry a small Sleeping bag with a couple inserts that I did use a few times. I say go as light as you can (but the boyscout in me, has me packed a bit heavy!)
Just a 30 second video. Another hostel parking area. This is Potosi, Bolivia in the Koala Den Hostel. Done this so many times it seems normal
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Just a few hours south to the bigger city of Salta. Riding down the valley as the altitude gets lower. Seems strange after being in the Altoplano for so long, now I am down to 4,500 feet elevation.
Stayed here in Salta. Had to ride through the lobby, dining area to get to the patio in the back Was a tight squeeze through but nice Patio in back for the bike!
Couple things have changed in Argentina. First the outlets changed so I need to find an Adapter .....
The other thing that really changed here is the restaurant do not open until 8-9PM for dinner :huh Persoanlly I have always been an early to rise kind of guy, so no eating dinner until 8-9-10 seems really late to me New country new customs!
Since I needed to have Moto Insurance, I found the tourist office and they directed me to the national tourist office!
They could do Moto insurance that will be good for all all surrounding countries as well, which is great. Took about an hour .... but got it done. 223 Pesos ($47 USD) for 3 months coverage.
Salta is about 500,000 people and has a nice main square. Tons of shopping and people around.
And shoes are a big thing here.
Had a nice breakfast of coffee and Empanadas (meat or chicken filled pastries)
Took a couple days to relax and not do too much. Enjoyed a bit of walking about, catch up on some calls, Bills, Ride report etc.
Had a nice meal on the square. The steak was great!
The only problem eating on the main square is that it costs more, and had a constant group of people asking for money, of to sell you stuff.
This little guy had some cards for sale but settled for some of my neighbors breadsticks. It is hard to see so many without anything.
ended up being a big splurge ..... $20 meal But I was feeling like just enjoying the moment.
Just taking it all in, relaxing and feeling very grateful that I have this opportunity to explore part of the world. Many times we get caught up in life and forget to reflect and be thankful!
loving the updates, seeing the scenery change through your photo's feels like I'm there with you a little bit :)
thanks for keeping this RR going!
Mark, thanks for keeping us updated and along for the ride. I have been along for a while now but don't post too often. You are a great man for doing this report and you hit it on the head that we need to slow down once and a while and appreciate our surroundings. Keep up the great work and may God bless!
Hey Mark, question for you: How have you dealt with money and currency exchanges as you pass through various countries? How do you anticipate how much local-currency cash you'll need? Do you use a credit card? Are ATMs available and do you use? Cheers.