1. eNewsletter Sign Up

One man, one moto, the True Adventure!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by XR Valdeez, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Having a blast! Where you been? Don't be stranger and chime in a bit! Hope all is good and say hi to the FAM for me!
  2. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Hello all from Copacabana, BOLIVIA! The wee fee here is horrible, which is something that could be common here as we have been told. We'll see.

    We stopped off at the local Honda shop where the mechanic there, Jesus, dropped what he was doing and came out and adjusted the front axle on my bike because the kid in Arequipa didn't do it right. Arjan adjusted his chain, bought some motor oil and we were done. If you are in Puno, look this place up! Jesus is the only mechanic there and a real nice guy!


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    So, we left Puno and set course for Juli. I was low on gas and when we pulled in, all that was available was 84 octane. FOOK. I had seen a gas station 16 miles back that had 90 and 95 but figured there would be good gas at Juli. Well, we pulled into town and immediately saw TONS of collective vans loaded full with people ready for a big time political rally. FOOK again. We rode further into town and where our hotel was, there was this HUGE tower of speakers right in front. It looked as if Juli was getting ready to go off! We rode to the exit of town and decided to go a bit further south to get gas, then come back and sort out the hotel.

    We rode, and rode, but no gas station! I was pissed at myself for passing the one earlier and I was getting real damn low, a friggin' rookie mistake! After I had a "vapor lock" episode, also known as a booger fit, we decided to ride to Yunguyo, get gas and lunch, then decide our next move.

    Here's some of the scenery on our way to Yunguyo! That's Lake Titicaca in the background.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    We both topped of with gas and had a great lunch. We saw that Yunguyo had a couple of options as far as places to stay, so we looked around. We found a decent and simple place right on the plaza that had great parking! We're in!

    Here's a couple sunset shots of Lake Titicaca. We walked to the shore and it stunk real bad from what I think was raw sewage. There was trash all around too, very sad.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    That evening before we called it a night, we bought stuff for our breakfast in the morning because of the lack of breakfast places we had noticed while walking around town.

    We were both up early, the excitement and apprehension of a new country wouldn't allow us to sleep in. We loaded up and rode the 1.3 miles to the border. Here we are coming up to the Peruvian side. You can just see the chain across the road ahead. We hit the immigration office first and were stamped out in less that 5 minutes. We then walked across the street to the Aduana office and were done there in about 10 minutes! Fastest exit so far!


    [​IMG]

    Here we are inside Bolivia! Country #11 for both of us!

    [​IMG]

    A happy Arjan!

    [​IMG]

    We pulled up to the rope, parked and got busy with checking in. First was immigration, about 5 minutes including filling out the form! Only a 30 day visa to anyone! Next was Aduana which took about 10-15 minutes, I was given 120 days for my bike, while Arjan was only given 30, the same time as his visa. Weird.

    [​IMG]

    Once done, it was a short ride to Copacabana and our hotel. We looked at 4 and settled on the one with the nice balcony overlooking the lake!

    Here's our view!

    [​IMG]

    And that brings up to date. We bought new sim cards for our phones which took about 5 minutes a piece! Easiest cell phone shop experience yet! We're staying here a total of two days, then off to La Paz before we tackle the infamous "death road". From there we're still formulating plans for further down the road.

    Both of us only have a 30 day visa, so we're not sure if we will re-new them or not. Time will tell.

    Thanks for coming along on this little motorcycle journey!

    Until next time,

    Esteban!
  3. Meatloaf

    Meatloaf Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    BFE
    Bolivia.....Nice. Back to the "Booger Fit." What do you have go buy to replace what you threw? Because we all know, it's not a true "Booger Fit" without something being thrown and lost forever. Good to see you guys are rolling good. Stay safe and keep the rubber side down. Keep up the awesome pics too.
  4. Rennis

    Rennis Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    36
  5. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Thanks for the concern, but nothing was lost! I was on the bike and didn't have anything to throw! :lol2
    The_Scottsman likes this.
  6. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Copacabana...….

    Yep, we're still here! Woke up yesterday to a pourin' rain storm and to a massive hailstorm today! Tomorrow looks good for our departure to La Paz and then on to Coroico to stage before we do the death road!

    We haven't been doing much here because of the bad weather, but here's a small taste of things here.

    Yesterday we decided to go see one of the floating islands! We found a boat and we were off. We had been looking forward to seeing one of these floating villages as we had been told by a few people that it was not to be missed! Here's the floating island we were taken to....

    [​IMG]

    A friggin' tourist trap! The bring you here and have you buy a plate of lunch which is farmed trout. The pens on the left of the "island" are where they grow the trout. The boat skippers each get a small kick back for bringing people out here. We were just slightly disappointed! We didn't have the lunch plate either..... Here's some shots of the lake while we walked around waiting for the hour we had to stay there ended.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Does Bolivia have a navy, you betcha! Here's the local navy base on Lake Titicaca!

    [​IMG]

    Later on in the evening, we were treated to a spectacular light and thunder show that went on for a couple of hours!

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow's forecast looks pretty good to head to La Paz! We are both ready to get out of here!

    That's about it for now! Thanks for coming along!

    Until next time, keep ur raincoat close by and don't fly a kite!

    Esteban!
  7. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Just a quick message from La Paz!

    Made it here easily. Got turned down for gas at three places! A local on a DL1000 took us to place that sold to us. They used his plate # , but charged the international rate of 8.50 BOB per liter!

    Guys name on the bike was Pablo, great guy! Led us to our hotel as well!

    Tomorrow we're heading to Coroico! Hopefully when we get out of La Paz the fuel situation will improve.

    And yes, we asked for it "sin factura".

    That's it for now!

    Esteban
    powderzone likes this.
  8. Rennis

    Rennis Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    36
    :dutch
    XR Valdeez likes this.
  9. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Back in La Paz! We survived the "death road"..... But I'm gonna back up this bus a bit..

    Here's a better shot of the Bolivian Naval Base in Copacabana....

    [​IMG]

    And another of the cool storm we had on our last night!

    [​IMG]

    The next morning was bright, sunny and cool, a perfect day to get on the road!

    [​IMG]

    Here's Arjan all ready to roll!

    [​IMG]

    We took a detour out of town to miss a police checkpoint that has a bad reputation. On our way out, we were treated to a cool view of Copacabana and Lake Titicaca!

    [​IMG]

    We arrived at Tiquina and our mode of transportation across the water!


    [​IMG]

    If you look close, there's water in the bilge and while we were underway, an old guy was busy bailing with a 5 gallon bucket! The whole barge flexed as we crossed! You had to hang on to your bike!

    [​IMG]

    Here we are as we prepare to land on the other side. Yes, that's a full size bus in that other barge. We had to back the bikes off the barge, but we were good to go! The price, 15 BOB, about $2.00. We made it to La Paz, found our hotel and settled in for a night.

    [​IMG]

    The next day we went to Coroico to stage for our ride up the "death road". We rode up to an elevation of over 14,500' No trees up here, just grass, rocks and some snow. From here we would wind our way down to 6000' to Coroico! It went from 50 to 90 degrees in about an hour!

    [​IMG]

    Once in Coroico, we had lunch, then set about finding a place to stay. Our first try was a no go and had a sign on it saying the attendant would be back at 1700. It was about 1330 and we weren't about to wait that long. Another one we tried said they didn't have any water, but recommended one around the corner. We pulled into the very secure garage, and checked in. Here's the view from our room.

    [​IMG]

    A short time later, the weather rolled in! Thunder, lightning and heavy rain for a couple hours, then it let up.

    [​IMG]

    The next morning, today, we had beautiful blue skies and cool temps! Another good day to go for a ride!

    [​IMG]

    We headed to the death road and when we were on it, it had been recently graded! WOW! I did not expect that..... It was easy going, mostly 2nd and 3rd gear at first!

    [​IMG]

    After a bit, the road got narrow, waterfalls were falling on the road and the going got a little slower.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At over 6000' in elevation, this is high jungle, and beautiful!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Big red was having a good time on the death road. That yellow jug is my gas jug for when gas stations will not fill up the bike at the pump. Ona side note, we had no issues getting gas in Coroico and on the road to La Paz!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Proof that we were on the infamous death road, which is a big tourist attraction now, mostly for mountain biking.

    [​IMG]

    There were sobering reminders of just how deadly this road was at one time. The small cross on the left is a small motorcycle whose rider went over the side. These crosses were all over the side of the road!

    [​IMG]

    The one bridge on the death road!

    [​IMG]

    It's kinda hard to tell, but that's shear cliff next to big red there!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looking back at the road carved into the rock in the jungle!

    [​IMG]

    Stunning views!

    [​IMG]

    At the pavement, we had a coffee and both of us left our mark on the road sign!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overall, the road was a bit short and not as dangerous as I was expecting. The views were absolutely stunning and it was fun to do. We only had a few bikes come at us as they all go downhill, and we were going up. As we were having our coffee, lots of vans full of tourists headed down to the unloading area for the road, so our timing was perfect! We relaxed a bit then headed back to La Paz.

    Here's a view going back up to the cold mountain pass!

    [​IMG]

    We went back to the same hotel we stayed at before. We'll probably be here for a couple days while Arjan sorts out a new international driving permit.

    After La Paz, we're looking at Potosi for a few days, then Uyuni. After that, we're not sure just yet!

    I want to thank you all for coming along on the adventure!

    Until next time,

    Esteban!
    The_Scottsman, HiJincs, DaleE and 9 others like this.
  10. kingofZroad

    kingofZroad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    464
    Location:
    Montrose, CO
    Great report, I’m all caught up now!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    bbanker likes this.
  11. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,768
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Hey buddy
    Great updates and photos and rides look stunning. I'm very excited for you and envious for myself

    In my time in the corner I did a fair bit of research into S America ancient history. And Bolivia is loaded with some of the most important... La Paz included.
    I'll post about my finds a bit later and hopefully you are still in Bolivia.

    The ancient culture is far more interesting than just Machu Picchu, which the Inca's were only a short lived tribe at the end of it all. Kinda like the Aztecas of C America. But the Inca were only around for less than a hundred years and proves that the media is responsible for corrupting our mentality and feeding the tourist industry.
    Finding information on the internet is very challenging and a pain in the arse. The best way is to ask the locals as you go. That's how I found so many that aren't even listed online.

    Cheers mate
    Shawn
    MrKiwi and dano619 like this.
  12. DEPCHIN

    DEPCHIN DEPCHIN

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    SO CAL
    Cool pics and great narrative Esteban. You are going to have to write a book when you get back.

    Your Spanglish has improved significantly. Even better if you can write your book in half Spanish and half English at random times. Awesome.

    Looks like you are having a great time.
    I had a real hard time not getting involved in the "Booger fit" conversation.
    I see a common theme.
    You always have an upstairs room with a view. HHmmmm.. Getting it done in style brother! Stay safe.
  13. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,768
    Location:
    British Columbia
    First, let me apologize in advance as this is going to be lengthy.
    I thought about putting it on my RR and just post a link, but doesn't make any sense to post it on my RR when you are the one in S America and hopefully people will want to learn a bit about ancient S America.

    Let me start by saying that I was as surprised to find this information as I hope you will be. When most of us think of S America and it's culture, we think of the INCA's and Pablo Escobar and the drug trade. Well there's a LOT more to the ancient civilizations than the Inca's (who were basically a small blip in time).

    I'll start in Bolivia because that's where you are and coincidentally that's where my story begins anyway haha

    Lake Titicaca and the Tiwanaku (Tiahuanacu) people's. (Check out the Tiwanaku Museum in La Paz and see for yourself more insights than I can provide).

    The Tiwanaku people were the most important civilization in western South America and believed to have settled circa 2000BC and spread their powerful domain from Bolivia to Argentina. Their power reigned til about 1100AD and believed to have been wiped out by a huge drought system (El Nino). Glacial studies proved there was a drought period in this region.
    What's fascinating is that these were a truly peaceful people and spread their power through the influence of BEER !!!! YA MAN I SAID BEER !!!!
    CHICHA is an ancient maize beer made in COCHABAMBA, Bolivia and a Chicharia is a bar of modern day life. Go check one out man !!!!!
    The Tiwanaka spread their happiness and formed a completely peaceful widespread civilization where all people seemed to be created equal and treated with respect that lasted thousands of years.
    Un freakn believable eh? :clap :photog:photog:photog

    Acapana Pyramid
    [​IMG]


    TIWANAKU ruins located in the town of Tiahuanacu (tiwanaku) (very important ceremonial centre)
    Located at 13000 ft above sea level
    There is a small village there and people seem to be very friendly from the documentary I saw.
    The ancient people had no written history and only left some petrogylphs and heiroglyphs that are not understood.
    The people had elongated skulls (a sign of the Elite).... Ya just like the ancient Maya did.
    There were no signs of warfare but seems signs of child human sacrifices were found. It is believed that a sacrificed child will be the carrier to the gods and carry the requests of Earthly needs, such as rain.
    These stones (some 8 ton) were quarried and transported from a location 25km's away on Lk Titicaca. Believed to be transported by boat for part of the way and physically dragged the rest of the way. Now.... remember I said this was a peaceful society, so this was not slave labor work.
    [​IMG]


    PERU

    In Atacama the CHACHAPOYA people emerged around 900AD and lived high in the mountain tops.
    These people reigned as another peaceful civilization after the almost extinction of the Tihuanacu peoples.
    These mountain people were seen as sorcerers of their time, delving in hallucinogens.
    This is an extremely interesting culture and are responsible for the cave burial sites on the cliffs. These cliff tombs still have mummies in them and are unique to these people.
    Today we still don't know how the ancient people built these or accessed this 300ft vertical drop cave burial site.
    And again... NO Royal tombs were found. Everyone seems to be on an equal playing field of the afterlife status.
    1,200-year-old ceremonial site in the Cotahuasi Valley with 200 mummies discovered.
    Now.... many of these discoveries in this area were found by chance. It seems only about 1% has actually been discovered due to the region of very mountainous terrain and jungle. So much more is yet to be discovered but very difficult to do so.

    Yalapay ceremonial cliff tombs
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    PERU cont...

    THE most famous and considered the masterpiece of the ancient South Americans is in Kuelap, Peru ---- a walled settlement located in the mountains in the southern part of the region of Peru. It was built by the Chachapoyas culture in the 6th century AD on a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba Valley.

    These 60ft high walls are part of the largest ancient settlement in South America

    KUELAP (500yrs older than Machu Picchu)
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    200 skulls were found here and believed to be the result of an Inca invasion.


    Chachapoya people and the KHIPU (knotted single strings that could be a form of mathematics or documentation of some sort?)

    [​IMG]

    If you look online, many threads will associate these with the Inca.... this is pure bullshit information once again !!!!
    And... no one to this day knows for sure what these Khipu really are.


    Northeast Peru.... the CHIMU (people of the desert) located in Chan Chan of the Chimor region.
    This is the FIRST Empire of S America (c.900-1400AD)

    But first...
    This region was inhabited by the Moche c. 100-700AD (said to be the most violent tribe of their period) and then ruled by the Lambayeque or Sican tribe c. 700-1400AD. But it's also been said that these 2 tribes could have been one and the same.... so who knows for sure?
    In the 14th century the Chimu defeated the Sican tribe. But again, some believe they amalgamated.

    This is the site of the La Leche Pyramids (built by the Lambayeque/Sican culture)
    26 separate pyramids were built here
    [​IMG]

    CHIMU EMPIRE
    they obtained vast quantities of Gold and Silver and lived a rich life feeding of the Sea.
    The Spondylus shell was seen as a highly precious item and buried with the elite.

    This is the largest "adobe" complex in the world.

    They made an irrigation system and water canals for cultivation in this valley of waterways that came from the Andes.
    Their gardening systems were successful because they imported rich soils from the jungles and transplanted it in the desert to produce a very grand system.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    In 1463 the Chimu went to war with the Inca, and in 1470 the last Chimu King was defeated and so began the reign of the Inca culture in South America.

    And in 1527 the Spanish invaded S America and defeated the Inca.

    So you can plainly see how little amount of time the Inca reigned in S America, but when 99% of people talk about S America, you can sure bet that they only know about the Inca. Sad, very sad but very true. I myself had no idea the history was so diverse and more expansive beyond the Inca.

    It's also important to note sources of information.
    When ya look at general Inca Google searches, you will find many sites with information that associate the Inca to many things. Most of what you find will be BS !!!! The internet is full of crap information, so be aware. It gets quite frustrating to keep hearing the BS spread through our culture and so the lies spread as if they are truth.
    This report was written on the sources of real archaeologists who actively work on these ancient sites I posted. And the information I wrote is the information they have found and believe to be true.
    And so I share this work and my time with you in hopes it helps people understand more.

    Damn that was a lot of work and maybe I should have posted it on my thread.
    I must apologize once again for this being so long or maybe it's too short haha
    Trust me... I could have made it a lot longer, so be thankful :imaposer
    And of course, now I must ride S America haha

    Cheers everyone
  14. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Thanks @goodcat! Good information! We're still in La Paz hanging out. @Normlas got his IDP sorted so we'll see where to from here. We did a fair amount of ruins in Peru. Ur info ties it in nicely! I read ur entire post, wow!

    Not sure how many we'll see here in Bolivia. My passion is mines and mining which there's a lot of here. We saw that Potosi has some underground tours and such!

    Checking the weather today to see if we're going to move on.......

    Thanks for chiming in! :beer

    Esteban
    goodcat likes this.
  15. Chaz1

    Chaz1 n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Ventura
    Hi Steve , the Death Road looks like a cool road. Goodcat's history lesson was very interesting. Now that "Floating Island" thing looks like something someone from the Island would put in Avalon or Two harbors. Ha ha.
    XR Valdeez likes this.
  16. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Ya, the road was cool and scenery better! One thing i didn't mention was that all the vehicles that have gone over the side are still down there. They removed the bodies of the dead for burial reasons, but not the vehicles.

    That "island" would be at home anchored off the other Island! :lol3
  17. huguesfrederic

    huguesfrederic HF

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Ottawa, Gatineau
    Would you have any good read about this fascinating topic?
  18. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,768
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I have no books on ancient South America yet, as I'm more focused on the ancient Maya and Mesoamerican studies....

    However.... I can share my formula for finding proper literature and information

    Pick your topic on google..... in this case books Ancient Cultures of South America
    Or you can pick a specific ruins site and see who is or was in charge of excavations/restorations.
    Then look at the author.... make sure it's a real field archaeologist from a prominent University
    Always research the author's credentials

    If you You-Tube...
    Then again make sure you know who is writing it. There is so much crap on there, so weeding can be a chore.
    When I find a good professor, then I look up lectures from that person and Bingo your on your way to proper learning.

    DO NOT look at National Geographic video's !!!!
    They are under new ownership from many years ago and are known liars or benders of the truth. I got this information straight from real archaeologists. They are in constant battle with NatGeo for falsifying information... BUT.... they need NatGeo because they are one of the biggest funders for research grants. So it's a slippery slope.

    I hope this helps
    If you have any questions, feel free to pm me

    Cheers
    Shawn
    XR Valdeez likes this.
  19. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal

    Thanks Shawn! :thumbup
    goodcat likes this.
  20. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Hello from Potosi! All is good and I'm going to try to get this update posted while the wi-fi is decent!

    We left La Paz and after a very steep climb, we found ourselves on the Ruta Nacional 1 headed south to Oruro. We had a good, uneventful ride and made it to Oruro a little after lunch time. We checked into a crappy place, found some dinner then called it a night. In the morning, we had some yogurt and bananas and hit the road to Potosi!

    The first part of the road was flat, straight and not overly exciting. We passed a couple of checkpoints and we think we have them down. We approach at a reduced speed, go beside the cars in line, then go past, give the officers a little wave and continue on down the road. Most of these police checkpoints are set up at the toll booths and since we do not pay tolls, we just slowly ride by!

    Here's the scenery on the first part of our ride to Potosi...…

    [​IMG]

    A lonely highway in the Altiplano of Bolivia!

    [​IMG]

    Flat, endless expanses on the right side (west), and hills on the other side. The pampa grass is everywhere.....

    [​IMG]

    Arjan at speed in Bolivia! :ricky

    [​IMG]

    We had a coffee break in Challapata, and headed east, into the hills. We came across several of these herds of Llama and sheep along the way

    [​IMG]

    Ok, here's a good one. Instead of using big yellow signs to warn of an upcoming turn, we'll build 10' tall piles of rocks and paint them yellow! Get's the job done, but a LOT of labor..... :scratch

    [​IMG]

    Up in the hills, the scenery got real nice!

    [​IMG]

    Those lines on the hills are stone walls or fences made from stone. They are everywhere!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nice red countryside!

    [​IMG]

    We pulled into Potosi around lunch time, found our hotel, checked in, and had a bite. I made arrangements to take a mine tour the next day! We had an early night, and called it.

    Thanks for coming along on this journey! Coming up next, going into a Colonial Era mine that is still being worked to this day!

    Until next time, get your hard hat ready!

    Esteban!