Click on the picture, below the waving flags on the left and right, to see relevant photo's of the individual countries and trips throughout the years!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

We didn't know this would be our last day on the moto's!

Day 41 (388 km)

      Had an early breakfast outside the hostel around  7 am and an half an hour later  we were on our way to Cusco. The road went high up through the mountains and at one given time we passed 4700 meters. Had a local lunch for a dollar, but it was good and continued our way to Cusco and we're waved through some police checkpoints and was glad about that, because it seems you need insurance for the bikes and you can get only one year and of course, it takes days to get it! Just before Cusco it started to rain agin and we held up for an hour or so and then made it dry to Cusco.

    When I was asking directions in town to a particular hostel, the guy told me there is one right here and you won't find any cheaper in town and when I looked inside I saw 2 motorcycles and thought, it must be good and it started to rain again, so I made up my mind quick and went inside.

One old guy showed me the room which was large but basic, with no heater and with shared bath rooms outside. I asked him if he would store 2 bikes for 10 weeks with our luggage and he said he would do that for a little less as $ 1.75 a day and they also had  good wifi and a kitchen we could use and it had a refrigerator to store our beer and other things. So we were sold very quick and decided soon after, that we would pick him up on the storage deal and made the decision not to go to Lima, but stay a few days in Cusco and then go to Machu Pichu by train and fly later in the week to Lima to connect with our flight to Roatan on the 22nd of December and then we had enough time to clean the bikes, do some maintenance, sort out our luggage, what we leave behind and what we carry home and not last, rest our body's from the 13000 km trip through rough terrain in the last 6 weeks.

Just booked our free return trip on points back to Cusco for the 3rd of March, to bring the moto's back to Honduras

Friday, December 13, 2013

Puno, Peru

Day 40 (265 km)

  To get out of La Paz was easy this morning and a few blocks later we took the auto piste " La Paz~La Alto" to the top and soon were on our way to the Peru border about an 100 km away.
   Halfway there were some famous ruins of the Tanawaku era, who ruled there before the Incas and after a 2 hour stop we reach the border place, which was a chaos. We passed Bolivian procedures quick as well the Peruvian immigration and then the hassle started with customs.

   First they say come back 2 pm what I did and after seen a German got rejected to bring his car into Peru, because the title was not in his name even thou he had signed certified letters telling them he had permission, I already thought the worst for Scotty, who had a similar case. When it was finally my turn, my bike was processed quick and the customs guy told the German, who kept hanging around that this is how it has to be! Then when I did Scotty's paperwork, the guy said that Scotty' bike could not get in and arguing the case that the criterium is that the bikes owner can only bring the bike in, according Peruvian law, I showed him so many papers, that he finally agreed and made an exception and entered Scotty as the owner, instead of "Utila Dive Centre" what the title said. 3 hours later we left with some paper work and 2 hours later reached Puno on lake Titicaca, which is shared by Bolivia and Peru and is believed the biggest lake in South America at an altitude of 3750 meters.

      Puno was a good size city with thousands of people on the street and an half an hour later we found an hostel in the center and we're able to park our bikes next to our room in the kitchen area, so we did not had to unpack nothing and soon hit the town to get something to eat. Tomorrow if we make it Cusco!  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yungas road, also called the "death road" and considered the most dangerous road in the world!

Day 39 (222 km)

  Picked up the bikes in the parking lot and rode it back to the hotel to pick up a rucksack with some small items to take on our side trip to Corioco. To get to this place you had to take the Yungas road and this is the only road to get to the tropical lowlands of the north east of Bolivia. This road is considered the most dangerous road in the world and in the past has hundreds of fatalities, due to trucks and cars falling of the mountain edges which have shear drop offs of more as 1000 meters and the road is not even that wide that trucks can not pass each other. Lots of documentaries has been made in the past about this road!

     Few years with funding of Unesco, they made a second paved road on the other side of the mountain, what solved the amount of fatalities this road had each year. This new road we decided to take down to Corioco about an hundred km away and it took us almost 2 hours to get through traffic and asking directions in this insane city with congested traffic and soon after that we reached La Cumbre at 4700 meters and the rain start pouring and turned into hail. The fog was so thick that you could hardly see anything , especially the scenery.

        La Cumbre was the highest spot and just before Corioco it was only 1200 meters altitude, so everything was down from here fast with hundreds of winding curves. All the heavy trucks were doing only 15 km p/h due to the steep roads and 3 hours later, we reached Corioco in tropical weather and sunshine to get lunch in a German restaurant with a Dutch woman running the place!

   We dried all our clothes and 3pm took off for La Paz again and the intention was to take the old road back. But the weather conditions of the last few days, the road was so bad, that people told us not to do it and it was to late anyway to go back that way and reach before dark La Paz. So we took the same road back, but this time there was no rain or fog all the way to La Paz and rode through stunning scenery and saw the other side of the mountain clearly. So late around 7 pm we reached the parking lot and late had a good dinner in a Dutch bar restaurant and had bitter ballen and Swarma with pita bread and all the good ingredients and tap beer. For sure I will have a Dutch breakfast here tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

la Paz, Capitol of Bolivia

Day 38 (352 km)

    Somehow we had to make it today to La Paz to stay on schedule and we left before 7 am, had some coffee and an egg sandwich. We drove all day @ 3800 to 4200 meter altitude and of course it started to drizzle a little bit, but on the end of the day, we did not get wet like yesterday.

  The highlight of the day was reaching La Paz in the afternoon and looking @ the city from the top of the mountain and see the soup bowl where are the buildings are deep down
  We decided to stay 2 nights, parked the bikes in a parking lot and went looking for a Chinese restaurant . We did not see one our whole trip yet! Later came to find out that my laptop is not starting up windows, so using Scotty's iPad, but in that one I can not upgrade the map and upload photos for some reasons.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

No progress today in Bolivia

Day 37 (230 km)

  Looking out of the window, all I saw was clouds and rain squalls, but we still packed the bikes and hoped for the best. Went through the same hassle again to get fuel and the first one did not want to sell any and the second one did and we paid her 7 bolivar for a liter ( $ 1.00)

   Took off in the rain and after get out of town, we were all ready soaked and the luggage as well.
After about 30 km we ended up on the wrong road and decided to turn back and then Scotty's moto stalled out and did not wanted to start anymore in the middle of nowhere . After emptying the carburetor she started again and made it to a village and could work on the bike, but no mechanic!
So the little knowledge I had, we decided to take of the carburetor ourselves and play with it.
After cleaning it, I lost the pin from the float and was never be able to find it back, so we made one from a needle, then reassemble everything and it worked, I could not believe myself!

   So finally we left 2 pm, still raining to the next town Chalapata and reached there cold with frozen fingers and feet. Checked in the only shitty pension there was and took a hot shower and start unpacking the motos, to see what all got wet. After all it was not to bad.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Potosi and the first 10.000.00 km are done

Day 36 (257 km)

      We needed gas, so there were only 2 gas stations in town and we already saw a long line with cars and after inquiring a little bit, it seems there is no gas and everybody is waiting on the tanker truck. Anytime fuel gets subsidized by a government, gas stations always run out of gas, same thing happened in Venezuela were gas is FREE, at least in Venezuela it is free for everyone, tourists included, but in Bolivia the official rate is 3 times more for foreign plates and in the bigger towns this is monitored with surveillance cameras. In smaller towns, the gas attendant charge only twice as much and pockets the difference.
So the local price is $ 0.50 a liter, foreign plates pay $ 1.50 and the crooked gas employee charge $ 1.00. 

 We drove to the next gas station 80 km away and filled up using a crooked gas attendant for $ 1.00 liter and soon again, we were up to 4700 meter altitude and were cruising 80 km p/h on an empty paved road to Potosi, 250 km further away. The moto's on this altitude loose at least 25% power and mine was sputtering up hill if I had it wide open,  I guess it was short of gas or the carburetor was dirty or set wrong!

   Over 4000 meter all you see on the roads are Lama's by the hundreds and they are not much smarter as cows, so we had to try to avoid them. Midday we reached Potosi for the second time this year, so we already knew the hotel and her parking lot and knew where to do our laundry. After a good lunch, it was siesta time and then do a little maintenance on our bikes.

 Tomorrow to Oruro, what supposed to be a dump high up, but it is the only place 5 to 6 hours away between Potosi and La Paz.

  Our friend Vicente, the Spanjerd sent us a nice picture, what happened with him in Chile, after we left!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bolivia, 4000 meter high again!

Day 35 (456 km)

   Sunday morning we left the outskirts of Salta for the Bolivian border about 350 km away on route 9 north. This road was paved and the first 100 km went through a forest road high up on the edges of some mountains and the road was not wider as 4 meter and had a curve every 10 ft.
    I could not go through the curves as I wanted, because my bike is top heavy with luggage and with very low speed the front tire feels wobbling and hard to steer! So finally coming out of the woods, the road climbed very quick to 3500 meters and we stayed the rest of the day at that altitude.

   We reached the border around 2 pm and between Argentina & Bolivian,immigration and Customs, I passed with flying colors and 5 minutes later I had done all my paperwork.
Scotty was not that lucky and the guy gave him a hard time and did not wanted Scotty's bike to enter in Bolivia, because the authorization letter, he had, had errors in it, wrong passport number and a mistake in the vin number. After I had a little "discussion" with the official, he let us go and told him to take the rest of the day off!

  Once in Bolivia, we wanted to get away from the border and after changing some money, we took off for Tupiza, a place 100 km away on a paved road with of course no traffic and looking in a distance we thought for sure this time, rain will hit us, but missed us by seconds after arrival.

Add caption

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Salta, we left Route 40 finally!

Day 34 (560 km)

    We trying today to do another 500 km to Salta and took off early and the first 100 km went fast through a more or less straight road through the desert, no shade or trees are around and the paved road was fairly good, but then the ripio started and not having an idea how long this ripio is going to last. 2 hours later, we reached asfalt again and had an hamburger for lunch in a small village.

   Then the spectacular road 68 branched off to Salta and went through a narrow canyon for about 100 km and it remembered me to Bryce Canyon or Zion National park in the Utah, but this one even more impressive!

After the canyon it took another 100 km to reach Salta and drove towards the center of town to look for an hotel, but did not com across any and before we realized we were on route 9 North towards Jujuy. It started to get dark nd me still not having front lights was getting desperate to find something quick and it looks that it was going to rain. Just before dark, we found a place with Cabanas and pulled in and 5 minutes later we had our first 1 liter beer for the evening, had some empanades and tamales and 10 pm, I called it the day.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Still on Route 40 to the North, longest road in the world!

Day 33 (536km)

  Today, we trying to make a big jump to the north, otherwise we never make it on time in Lima Peru.
One lesson learned long time again is, do not ask locals for direction or ask them how the road is, because none of them know or tell you the wrong thing. So I choose to continue on 40, even though I might get some more ripio, but then the scenery will be always good, so we left 8:30 and before 1 pm we already did 300 km and had an extensive asada lunch. The owner told us the road will be closed till 7 pm, because there is heavy road work on the 2000 meter pass, which was coming up and there is no-way to get around this. I saw the road was blocked with empty drums, but no sign "Alto", so on our way back from lunch , I told Scotty to keep behind me and when I make a left just follow me and reaching the crossing, I took the police man off garde and on the last minute we disappeared on the forbidden road and Scotty did the same thing!

  After a 45 minutes we reached the pass and another guy stopped us and we were arguing for more as an half an hour and then they let the 2 loco gringo's go and told us to be be careful, there are a lot of earth movers on the road.

  Reaching the top, the road became very windy, steep and no more as 6 ft wide and everywhere you so dynamite explosions, to clear rock formations and Caterpillar had a couple of million of material here present, but the sight was incredible!

   After we reach the bottom of the mountain, we continued north and ended up tired in a small hole called "San Blas". We ended up actually in a cheap basic hotel, but it had all the good stuff.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Flat tire again in the desert!

Day 32 (402 km)

             I decided today to change my sprockets and chain, I been tightening up the last 4 weeks and there was hardly any teeth left on the sprocket, found a mechanic in San Rafael and 2 hours later all was done and we were ready to make another 500 km 

  2 hours later passed through Mendoza, filled up with gas to make another 200 km to San Juan in 35 degrees C. The landscape, we drove through was dry, empty and a straight line and the mountains kept on our left side.

   Then of course about 75 km before I had another flat tire, a thorn penetrated my tire and punctured my pneumatic tire. This was I believe flat tire number 13 against Scotty none!

   Anyway, a local guy helped me with carrying the whole wheel to a Gomeria, 5 km down the road and 2 ours later, I was ready to go again and reached San Juan late in the evening and called a day and it was too hot to go any further and was burned out of all the mishaps today.