Originally Posted by Kedgi
I'm way behind you, hanging out in Cusco. Altitude really kicked the crap out of me but I'm feeling better now. If the weather is good tomorrow I'll be riding up into the Sacred Valley
I am hearing stories of difficulties buying gas in Bolivia. I must confess I haven't had the time to read every page of your Bolivia experience, can you tell me if you had any trouble getting fuel.
Glad to see you're still headed south successfully, ride safe.
your readers can check out my rr here
Dwight, good to hear from you! Before I get into Bolivia, make sure that you take the Santa Theresa route if you are going to Machu Picchu.
Here's the skinny on fuel: Bolivians pay about 3 Bolivianos per liter; all forigheners pay three times that amount! The Bolivian government doesn't want people crossing into Bolivia, buying a bunch of gas on the cheap, then heading into Peru or somehwere else and selling it for profit on the black market.
Now, there's a pretty easy way to get around this. You won't get it as cheap as the Bolivians do, but it won't cost three times as much either. To make this work, you kind of need to be able to speak a little bit of Spanish.
Pull into the gas station (make sure it's a small less devolped one) and ask them how much the gas is. If you are lucky, they'll just give it to you at the normal price. Most likely they won't. If they tell you it's three times as much, just laugh and tell them that you paid 5 Bolivianos at the last gas station.
If they point at the survaillance camera, just tell them it's okay and that nobody will know. Also, tell them they don't have to do all the paperwork and give you a recipt. At this point, they should be in the barganing mood. They may want you to pull out of site of the camera and fill up your bike using a jerry can or even empty coke bottles, but that's a small price to pay for the money you are saving.
Essentially, you're bribing them. You get gas cheaper than you normally would, and they get to skip the hassle of filling out paperwork, plus they get to pocket the difference in price. I'd say that's pretty win win. This little proccess has worked every time with me so far.