ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Regional forums > Latin America
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-08-2009, 06:48 AM   #1
Martincito OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Oddometer: 368
Uyuni, Laguna Colorada and Verde. Mini Report

Hi guys,
I just finished riding the south of Bolivia. This part was my biggest concern in my whole trip. I spent a lot of time asking about road conditions. Here is my report about this area. English is not my first
language, sorry for any mistakes.
I'm riding a BMWR1200GS two-up without knobbies. We rode that area along with our friend Brendan on a KLR650


Potosi to Uyuni: This section is around 220km. We hit this road with rain. The first 60km were muddy and we got some small patches of sand. Due to the rain the sand was wet and was easy to pass on. But we had to ride
very slow in the muddy sections. After this the road got dryer and the conditions improved. It looks like they are going to paved this road. Thus a big part of it is packed dirt ready for the pavement and easy to ride, anyway sometimes the road becomes very narrow. It took us about 5 hours. In comparative with Casma to Huaraz in Peru, I would say that Potosi-Uyuni is way easier.

Salar de Uyuni: My first concern about Uyuni was finding gas in that town. I got the phone number of the local gas station 693-2291 call them and ask if they have gasoline.
We were in Uyuni on January the 2nd, the rainy season had started a week earlier and the town was full of big paddles. The night before going to the salar there was a heavy rain storm. Next morning, We took the bikes and before heading to the salar we asked many people about the conditions there. Everybody told us that the salar was full of water and the road to Colchani (the entrance to the salar) was flooded.
We chicken out, left our bikes on the hotel and hire a 4x4 to takes us to the salar.
The road to Colchani was in good condition except for a huge paddle in the middle of the road were we saw a Landcruiser stuck with the water at doors level.
The salar had just two inches of water and the bottom was rock solid. The guy on the truck was driving slow, but without any problem. The concentration of salt is enormous, the water on the surface was way more salty than the sea. A single drop crystallized in salt grains. Our boots and the bottom of our pants got caked with salt. I can't imagine the consequences of this salty water getting everywhere into your bike.
I'm glad for not taking the bike to the salar. The fun of riding there would had soon been away due to the consequences for the bike.
A good way to really know about the salar condition is to ask to the tour operators if they are taking tourist to "Isla Pescado", if there is a lot of water they don't drive all the way to there.
When it rains on the salar the water is eliminated just for evaporation, the soil doesn't absorb it. So, once the rainy season starts the water stay there for months. Some friends of Brendan were on the salar a week before us and it was totally dry and they rode around the salar without any problem.

Bolivia to Chile: The easiest way to cross to Chile is riding from Uyuni to San Cristobal, from here to Villa Alota and then to Ollague. There is a big mine in San Cristobal so they keep this road in very good condition to transport the minerals and the machinery. This road is quite new and many maps doesn't show it. It's a hard packed surface. We were riding at 50mph. There is a gas station in San Cristobal.
We didn't ride all the way to Ollague, in Villa Alota we headed south to visit Laguna Colorada and Laguna verde.
The first town after Villa Alota is Villa Mar. Some sections of the road are full of coarse sand. We fell once. After Villa Mar we rode to Capina. This road was a nightmare, just a path full of rocks. After the rocky section we got a lot of sand, mix with little bumps created by the trucks or sometimes those corrugated surface covered with sand. Riding in this conditions was extremely hard. After a few hours we arrived to a booth in the entrance to Laguna Colorada. We paid the entrance to the guard (this guy was the first person we had seen in the last four hours excepting some 4x4 we crossed on the road) The guy pointed us to a group of shelter/hostel on the other side of the lake. We rode to there on even more coarse sand. at some point I buried half of my front wheel. We arrived to the shelter at night totally exhausted.
Next morning we rode to Laguna verde. Again sand, sand, sand. At some point the road just becomes a bunch of 4x4 tracks. Sometimes we had to stop and wait for a truck to asked where to go.
On Laguna Verde there is more shelters and a nice house with touristic information, from there to the border with Chile are 7km. On the Chile border there is a Migration office but not Custom, the Customs are like three hours away on the sand. We just skipped customs, I'll send a letter to the Bolivian embassy with my bike papers.
Taking the road to laguna Colorada and Laguna verde is a whole experience. The landscapes are incredible but the roads are very, very bad. Those two riding days were the hardest in our trip. I try always to encourage people to go anywhere, but this is really bad. There is nobody living there, if you have a problem could be bad.
Anyways if you have a light bike and full knobbies go for it!!!!!!
After we crossed the Bolivian border the road was perfect.
__________________
NYC-Ushuaia Two up Ride Report 2008/09
Trans-Lab 2010
R1200GS 2006
S1000RR 2011

Martincito screwed with this post 01-08-2009 at 07:19 AM
Martincito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #2
Pockethead
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Oddometer: 197
Hi Cool RR, do you think you could draw me a map of the route you took? I´ll be that way in just a couple of days
__________________
Evil Adams Epic Adventure

Free GPS/GPS Tracking using your mobile phone and google maps


“Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place that it’s drawn to. I don’t suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway.” - Ian Hibell
Pockethead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2009, 04:08 PM   #3
j_seguin
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Superior CO
Oddometer: 736
Thanks Martin!
__________________
South America Until Our Luck Or Money Runs Out:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=377792

j_seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2009, 04:22 PM   #4
bananaman
transcontimental
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
Oddometer: 6,436
This I'll link in the Ride Report thread.
bananaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
H-Jay
Mo 2 C
 
H-Jay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
Wow, nice write up and thanks for the report. I hope to be in that neck of the woods soon.
__________________
H-Jay

2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420453

Alaska Ride Report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250239
H-Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
Martincito OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Oddometer: 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pockethead
Hi Cool RR, do you think you could draw me a map of the route you took? I´ll be that way in just a couple of days
I don't know how to draw you a map. I tried with google maps and with msn maps but I didn't find the road. I also tried taking a digital picture of a map that I got there but it was useless.
I'll try to describe the route and then when you are in Uyuni you can read this with a map of the region.

Potosi-Uyuni 220 km Difficult level Medium (5 hours)

Uyuni-San Cristobal 90km Easy 90 minutes

San Cristoba-Villa Alota 60km Easy 50 minutes

Villa Alota-Villa Mar 50km Hard 120 minutes (lot of sand) You have to get into the town Villa Alota and ask for the road to Villa Mar. At the beginning the roaad is just a path hard to see. There is a river crossing with a muddy bottom.

Villa Mar-Laguna Colorada 100km Very Hard four hours. The first part is just an stone path then sand. You'll arrive to the park gate from there you have to ride to the shelters if you want to spend the night there. From the gate to the shelter is 10km of a very sandy road with no signs and hard to follow.

Laguna Colorada-Laguna Verde 50km Very Hard three hours Lot of sand.


Your options for sleeping are Villa Mar, Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde. there is nothing between those places. It's very cold and windy at night to stay out there
__________________
NYC-Ushuaia Two up Ride Report 2008/09
Trans-Lab 2010
R1200GS 2006
S1000RR 2011

Martincito screwed with this post 01-08-2009 at 07:49 PM
Martincito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
Martincito OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Oddometer: 368
If you want to see some pictures check this page of my ride report

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/showt...=440021&page=7
__________________
NYC-Ushuaia Two up Ride Report 2008/09
Trans-Lab 2010
R1200GS 2006
S1000RR 2011
Martincito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
Martincito OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Oddometer: 368
One more thing.
The last gas station is San cristobal. We put gas in two 2liters bottles of water. With that extra gallon we were able to get to San Pedro de Atacama
__________________
NYC-Ushuaia Two up Ride Report 2008/09
Trans-Lab 2010
R1200GS 2006
S1000RR 2011
Martincito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
Pockethead
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Oddometer: 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martincito
One more thing.
The last gas station is San cristobal. We put gas in two 2liters bottles of water. With that extra gallon we were able to get to San Pedro de Atacama
Are you in San Pedro now?? I´m typing this from an Internet cafe in SP
__________________
Evil Adams Epic Adventure

Free GPS/GPS Tracking using your mobile phone and google maps


“Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place that it’s drawn to. I don’t suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway.” - Ian Hibell
Pockethead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 04:03 AM   #10
Martincito OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Oddometer: 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pockethead
Are you in San Pedro now?? I´m typing this from an Internet cafe in SP
No, I'm in Tucuman, Argentina riding around and waiting for the Dakar to come back here.

Did you cross to Chile trough Ollague or the Lagunas route?

If you are coming to Argentina Crossing in Paso de Jama is very nice, scenic, twisty and good paved roads.

A nice route to take on the Argentinian north is
Paso de Jama - Purmamarca- Tilcara (You have to ride a little north) - Salta - Cafayate (wine country).
__________________
NYC-Ushuaia Two up Ride Report 2008/09
Trans-Lab 2010
R1200GS 2006
S1000RR 2011
Martincito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 12:39 PM   #11
Pockethead
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Oddometer: 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martincito
No, I'm in Tucuman, Argentina riding around and waiting for the Dakar to come back here.

Did you cross to Chile trough Ollague or the Lagunas route?

If you are coming to Argentina Crossing in Paso de Jama is very nice, scenic, twisty and good paved roads.

A nice route to take on the Argentinian north is
Paso de Jama - Purmamarca- Tilcara (You have to ride a little north) - Salta - Cafayate (wine country).
Nooo I started in Santiago, riding North :)
__________________
Evil Adams Epic Adventure

Free GPS/GPS Tracking using your mobile phone and google maps


“Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place that it’s drawn to. I don’t suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway.” - Ian Hibell
Pockethead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 10:58 AM   #12
bananaman
transcontimental
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
Oddometer: 6,436
Bump on account of constantly wanting to ride Bolivia.
bananaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2011, 09:55 PM   #13
crashmaster
ow, my balls!
 
crashmaster's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Girdweed, AK
Oddometer: 5,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
Bump on account of constantly wanting to ride Bolivia.

The Bolivian Altiplano.

__________________
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Español
_____________________________________________

crashmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014