What a ride.....
right now we are in Sucre, the official capital of Bolivia, after pushing ourselves and our bikes pretty dam hard through the Altiplano region of Bolivia.....but boy was it worth it.
The colours, the light, the scenary, the landscape.....were all like something out of a Jules Vern novel. We dreamt for so long about being in this region it felt strangely surreal to finally be here.
Like so many of us we saw first pictures of this remote landscape when the r1100gs adventure was launched and the brochure and advertising campaign were shot here. We can tell you....its even better in the flesh! Getting to the Arbol del Piedra (rock tree) felt wonderful.
We left San Pedro de Atacama on 8th August both a little nervous of what laid ahead. Simon's having problems with his 1100gs and we'd already spoken to several friends in Salta (Mike and John, Katrin and Ralph) who'd warned us that they'd had to turn back on one sandy section, that and the fact that neither of us have been atover 16,000 feet let alone ridden a bike that high ....the Bolivian Aduana is at 16,522 feet!
As we rode higher the temperature was dropping by the second, and even in the midday sun our sexy black thermals were hard at work.
By the time we'd reached Lago Verde we'd comletley forgotten about the temperature.....as our eyes feasted on the turquoise/emerald green waters sitting at the base of the snow capped volcano, Licancabur. The hairs on the back of our necks were stood to attention, for so many reasons the both of us there was more of a 'buzz' and sense of achievement getting here than there had been arriving in Ushuaia.
The days came and went as did the long sandy sections of volcanic dust and grit, the rocky tracks and the flocks of candy-floss pink flamingos that call this area home. It's almost pointless to try to verbalise this incredible landscape so instead we'll let a few photographs do the explaining.
As you know we've ridden through some pretty tough terrains over our 3 years and 3months on the road......however, the last section from Laguna Hedionda (see photos) over the mountains to the 'so called' main road before the small pueblo of San Juan was still testing stuff...as we clumsily bounced our over-laden heavy machines up and down boulder-ridden tracks at over 15,000 feet.
Sillly mistakes were made with tiring consequences. We were getting little sleep at night as temperatures plummeted to minus 20 deg C. and during the day our unconditioned lungs were struggling with the thinner air.......and still it was all worth it.
hope you enjoy the photographs, if you want to read more our diary will be up in the next few days at www.2ridetheworld.com
along with the re-worked and NEW gallery!
see you on the road,
Simon and Lisa