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Old 04-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #211
T.H.E OP
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It’s most amusing that in 3 years of writing these stories, not once I got a comment half as long even for the “noble” things that I have done, and not once in all my life, I was judged and executed based on two paragraphs that was clearly and open ended story without the ending revealed. And most certainly not once have I had a commentator to post the exact same comment on two different forums, HU and ADV for no apparent reason. Here’s a lesson for you, next time write your comments backward, and omit the first million sentences and only leave the last part.
“Is there another part of the picture that we as the readers cannot see?”

For some reason you seem to have fixed your mind directly under your nose, and before you see the object that is there, you use a telescope upon the horizon to see where it came from and you get carried away with what you think I should have done.

“Again, let me say that you champion a very noteworthy and aspiring cause. You are to be complimented for that sincerely.”

So sincerely, how have YOU complimented me for start? I don’t recall a single word from you on that matter. I don’t recall seeing a single black penny coming out of your tight pocket attached to your big mouth when I was drumming up food and emergency supplies for the very same country when it was flooded less than a year ago. Where were you reading on “my Impressive website” that you miraculously blanked out on where I’ve been and what I have done? Or is it maybe your extensive dealing with the Bolivian government and people that put you in the position of their pseudo savior?

“So please do not take this as an affront against your goals. However, what I can't believe is why we haven't seen more of what is real about your charity, and what it is that you are doing for it currently.”

I’ve written double of what I have written on traveling on poverty and malnutrition, yet I don’t recall YOU ever bothering your fingertips to type a single word, let alone contributing to it. Then all of a sudden to justify your single minded criticism, you are all holy and you have the urgent need to put me down to justify your criticism by giving extra ammunition to yourself.

“Will you tell us what part of your charity involves the support of a secondary person whose function is at least slightly questionable and mostly unrelated to events, but simultaneously seemingly more so related to the stability of your personal character? A support team for your instability perhaps.”

Yes I could, but I’ll tell you that it’s none of your fucking business. How’s that for an “instable bigot?” No one is paying me in my charity; I don’t take a single penny out of the (non-existent) donations (thanks to giving souls like yourself of course), I don’t have an expense account with any god damn organizations including THC, and I have given thousands of dollars of my own funds to this organization, another thing that you would have know IF you actually read my “impressive website”.

So to sum it up for you so you can see it with your telescope beyond your nose again, I don’t get paid by the organization, I don’t touch a single penny of the organization’s income or outcome, I have given over $20,000 dollars to this date to this organization, I have worked as a non-compensated slave for this organization single handed day in and day out, and I don’t owe a soul a god damn thing. So when I say that it’s none of your fucking business, I mean it in the most polite fucking way.

As far as I’m concerned, I could travel in a limousine with gang of strippers and it still wouldn’t be any of your fucking business or anyone else, because it comes out of my own god damned pocket.

So you wanna know how I make my money? I’m a web developer and that’s what pays for my travels, not you, not anyone else. And to most of you that think I’ve lost my ways, please, either be a champ and pick it up and carry it on from now on, support it, or don’t hide behind words.

If you would have read my “impressive website”, you would have know that never in my life have I said a bad word about people or countries as whole, nor have judged anyone or anything without facts and firsthand experience.

If you are so irritated with my writing and my ideas as you clearly are, just click on that pretty little X on the op corner and save yourself from my “bigotry”. There are thousands of other posts here that you can marvel on or better yet, do something useful with your time rather than writing bullshit about subjects that have no clue about. When comes down to it, I say what’s on my mind and I don’t apologize or repent to no one.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:45 PM   #212
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The Damned Bolivia – Part Three

Unlike the majority who travel with sightseeing as their goal; I have no interest in museums, touristy spots, beaches, sky scrapers, nice roads, or historical sites. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy all these things, I do, but the drive behind traveling for me is to know the people themselves not what they have created or destroyed.

I was going to Bolivia to try to establish a local branch of our organization so when another fiasco like the 2011 floods happened, we wouldn’t be at the mercy of the utterly corrupt and incompetent government of that country to give a helping hand to their victims. But many things changed that idea and it wasn’t the hot weather or the bad roads either. It was the Bolivian people themselves who did that.

What I’ve written and will write until the Bolivian chapter is done is my first-handed account of this journey, whether you find it amusing, unbelievable or naïve, it’s the reality and I won’t apologize or change a single word of it. So if you are looking for beautiful pictures of majestic mountains and Indians in colorful dresses, you are in the wrong place. Not that Bolivia is not a beautiful country, which it is, and not that there aren’t any pretty things to see, which are plenty, but when it comes to hospitality, warmth, generosity, honesty and decency, Bolivia fails on a grand scale.

Ad this is not an opinion of a gringo in a strange land, this is the opinion of most anyone you meet in their neighboring countries, with Argentina being the champion for a damn good reason too. From the southernmost part of Patagonia to northern Jujuy, there isn’t a place that hasn’t been taken over by Bolivian immigrants and when I say taken over I mean it literally. Imagine the immigration chaos in the united states with all kinds of people screaming that these immigrants are taking over our jobs – well, now imagine these same immigrants take over your land or your house when you went on a vacation, and come back to see another family living in your living room and you can’t do a thing about it. That’s the reality with the Bolivian invasion in Argentina.

Not only the Bolivian immigrants abuse the soft and too welcoming laws of their neighboring countries, they do it with utter disrespect, destruction and air of arrogance that I have yet come to see anywhere else in the world. From parks to residential buildings, there isn’t a day that a Bolivian family doesn’t occupy someone else’s possession unlawfully and take it as their own. Take a trip to Buenos Aires alone to see it in action for yourself.

I was aware of these facts by my numerous trips to Argentina and even witnessed it first handed myself one day when my friend Tati and I were going to his (empty) uncle’s house in Mar del Plata and we walked in on a Bolivian guy already living in the house. But I dismissed this odd behavior as hardships of immigration and desperation, but to come to witness the same behavior in their own country among their own peers is something you can’t ignore.
From the moment we stepped foot in the customs office at the border and being robbed right off the bat, to refusal of water at the military checkpoint, to when we stopped at the immigration office, 200km deep into Bolivia, my mind was just dismissing one shity Bolivian act after another for a few bad apples in a bunch until we met the whole family of Bolivians who were to insult us to no end, for no reason other than that they could.

Not only the immigration person (I don’t think you can call a no shirt fat guy behind a desk an officer) insulted, ridiculed and bullied us around, he was joined by his wife, a bigger bitch than himself, and two other con artists who joined the prey. I asked the guy to take out or void the visa out of my passport as I had no intention of going into Bolivia anymore, but he refused. He wanted money and refused calling the embassy as well. He kept calling us any profane word that he could remember and wouldn’t null the visa. Then the good cop bad cop started, one guy came over and said what valuable do you have on you? And this was my time to give them back a little taste of my land. They called me an Iranian terrorist not knowing that in 7000 years, among many things like art, mathematics, civilization, poetry,… which these jungle duelers were clueless about, Iranians have also mastered selling feathers to Indians and making them believe they got a good deal.

I brought out two video cameras out of my tankbag, one a worthless broken Canon that I should have trashed a long time ago, and another a good but cheap HD camera that worked. I told them that the canon was $250 (a big lie) and the small HD was $130 (also doubled the price), but I’m not giving them the Canon for $130. That automatically fixated their greedy eyes on the broken camera. But would they just take the camera? No way. They were worse than that. The negotiation took over an hour and Lourdes once heard them saying that they have some money, take the camera and all their money too! And she relayed the message to me in English.

First they wanted all the money (we had just enough Paraguayan money for a tank of gas), and both cameras in exchange for the visa. I said hell no. Then they said that deal was off again and we were captive once more. Then the negotiation went on and finally we agreed on the gas money and the Canon camera. I handed them the camera and the change, got my passport back and told the guy one last time to at least say welcome to Bolivia. His reply was “you are not”. I wished them happy filming with their wonderful new camera and we jumped on the back of the bike and got the hell away.

They had a smile on their face as we left and we had a bigger smile on ours. I wonder if they ever understand why they got screwed, but I doubt it. I wonder if they ever figure out why their next event is filmed on a broken old camera with no sound that cuts off with the smallest shake. I doubt it. Best of luck to them anyway. When you deal with hyenas, you got to put the decency aside and treat them the way they treat you. That’s the law of the jungle and in Bolivia it’s the only law.

Now that I had my passport, I decide to put as many miles as I could behind us so I rode like a bat out of hell. Instead of going on the detour road again, I hopped on the fresh asphalt of a new road on my GPS and rode straight-shot without stopping until we came to a disheartening stop. The road was blocked completely over a bridge, and this time there was no going around. To the left was a giant drop off and to the right a jungle. Going back was not an option as we had to go all the way back to the immigration office to take the other road and even if we could sneak by them, we had no gas left to double back the past 80km.

We looked around and found a blue tarp in the jungle with a family living under it. These people turned out to be the only nice and helpful Bolivians we have met on this trip. The women got to work with a shovel to bring down the wall but it was too risky to go over that 10ft hump as if the bike rolled back, I would fall at least 50 ft into the bottom of the jungle below. Then a cheerful drunk old lady came along and suggested to bash through the jungle on a single track and go around the obstacles. Everyone thought she was crazy but frankly that was a much safer and somewhat doable alternative.

So I turned around and headed down the hill on the single track. It was hell maneuvering this giant bike through, but I came out the other side in one piece. I gave the lady a couple packs of cigarette, dumped the last bottle of reserve gas in the tank and bid farewell to the north, away from the immigration office.

Low on gas, transmission gear oil and with no money we made it to the town of Villamontes. The only gas station in town didn’t accept credit card of course so we went bank hunting. Two ATMs were out of cash, and the third one only had American dollars which I happily took. I exchanged $60 USD to local money and headed back to the gas station to fill up. The gas pump said 3 Bolivianos (name of the currency) per liter and I got 23 liters which should have come out to 69 B or roughly $10 USD. But I was charged 207 B or $30 USD, that’s $6 dollars a gallon. No this wasn’t the gas station attendant being a crook (nice for a change); this was the set price from the government of the West-hating Evo Morales to overcharge the gringos with foreign plates triple the price for gas. (See, Bolivia has a lot of good ideas for attracting tourists)

And to clarify something, I have no problem paying the extra “tourist tax” at poor countries for different commodities as the money compensate for the cost of the living difference, but in Bolivia? Extra tax for what? For the amazing roads? For the non-existent hospitality? For the daylight bribery at the customs or for the world class welcome we received at the immigration? You could have stabbed me and you wouldn’t see a drop of blood.

This is getting a little too long so stay tuned for the next part.











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Old 04-13-2012, 01:58 AM   #213
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The Damned Bolivia – Part Four

We made it to Villamontes and after an early dinner of really bad chicken and rice, we found a lubricant shop to buy some gear oil. As I was coming to stop in front of the shop, my left arm went completely numb. I could neither move it nor hold it up, and an excruciating pain started to shoot up from my wrest. I pushed the kill switch and stopped the bike and got off holding my arm. Lourdes thought I was having a heart attack and was hysterical, but I had no chest pain. It was just my arm that was a dead limb and I had no idea what was causing it. After about 15 minutes some sense started to come back and I could move my fingers again. I filled up the transmission and called it a day as I couldn’t risk riding with something like that happening at high speed.

Our options as finding hotels weren’t great, there was a whorehouse for $8 a night without a fan (I really felt sorry for the whores), a rundown Favela looking motel with fan for $10 and a Holliday-Inn looking hotel for $150 a night. We settled in the Favela as it at least had a yard with a gate for the bike. After a shower under a cold 6-trickle-a-minute showerhead, I headed downstairs to take care of the poor bike after this hell. I pulled out the air filter and with it came out the whole Arabian Desert. How this bike survived through this dust and sand is beyond me but special thanks goes to Jeff at Z1 Enterprises for sending me a K&N air filter instead of the original foam one. Not a particle of sand was anywhere passed the filter.

I washed the filter with soap and toothbrush for half an hour and hung it to dry, topped off the oil, cleaned the bike as well as I could, and crashed in the oven-like room to the sound of the mosquitoes whizzing by.

Now that we were inside Bolivia and well rested, we went out for lunch before heading north. On recommendation of the locals, we stopped at a little seafood (actually just fish from the muddy river below the bridge) restaurant and took the first swing at the Bolivian cuisine. We kept it simple, fish, rice and a salad of lettuce, tomato and onions. We ended up with cold fish, salad with rotten tomatoes minus the lettuce, and a bowl of boiled cold popcorn that was impossible to eat. We asked the waitress for the rice and got an evil eye and she disappeared and never came back.

Note to self: Never ask for food recommendation from locals in Bolivia again.
The road going north was paved with a nice coat of asphalt which was refreshing. The scenery started to change as we climbed up to higher altitudes and the weather cooled off. We rode passed herds of horses, wandering cows and beautiful pastures with the mountains in the distance. But something kept bothering me. Every so often I would start to smell a strong stench and shortly after a village or a town would pop in the view. It took me a while to figure out the pattern but it was horrible. I would start to smell the garbage before the city sign was in view and long after the urban area ended. My goal became racing for the countryside as soon as possible for some fresh air.

The triple price for gas was getting on my nerve, and I being still pissed off at the treatment we received so far, decided to not obey the gringo pricing. We found a few empty 2 liter coke bottles (not a hard task at all, considering there’s a pile of garbage at any given human settlement in Bolivia) and we set to work. I would park the bike out of sight and Lourdes would go to the gas station to fill up the bottles at a normal price. Then we would dump the gas in the tank and repeat the process until it was full. We needed a few big jugs to be able to fill up the 6 gallon tank in one shot so we looked around for some. The first 4 liter jug we found was an empty oil jug, and the guy happily gave it to us. We thanked him and we were about to leave as he stopped us and said, $2 for the jug. $2 for a used plastic oil jug? From then on, I learned a very important lesson. As a tourist, you are a walking dollar sign in Bolivia.

The next jug shopping proved to be the same, this time a 7 or 8 year old girl asked for the extortion fees for useless plastic jugs. I wonder if it ever occurred to these people that giving away a piece of their garbage for a reasonable price or god forbid for free would help out another human being?
Armed with 2 five liter, 1 four liter, and three 2 liter coke bottles, we solved the gas prices for good. Although I wouldn’t pay a penny for the industrial sewage they called gas in any modern country, we had to live with it. It broke my heart every time I dumped this dirty gas into the tank as I could see the stuff floating in it that didn’t belong in refined petroleum. I would let the bottles settle down and I always dumped the last part out as it had way too much crap in it.

Around 7 pm we arrived in a remote village and bought some very questionable meat from a lady with no teeth for dinner, and hit the road. The plan was to camp out that night in the countryside and we started to look for a suitable spot. Both sides of the road were farm lands with a few shacks here and there. We stopped at one of the houses to ask for permission to camp on their land and the answer was no. So we went further down to the next farm and asked for the same and the answer was no again. Not only we weren’t welcome in the country from the start, now the regular people would deny a 4 foot by 6ft ground to travelers for a night sleep in their own tent. Something so uncustomary in Latin America.

Needless to say, we had no luck finding a spot to camp and quite frankly I was hesitant to camp anywhere knowing how inhospitable these people where. I saw a sign to my left for Vallegrande, where Ernesto Guevara was killed some 40 years ago and wondered about the very same people who ratted him out. Hospitality and decency is a rare commodity in Bolivia so we stopped searching for it.

We made it to another stinky town called Cabezas, and looked for a hotel. The only joint in town was a big open style motel with a courtyard in the middle. It had a safe spot with gates and the rate was 25 Bolivianos per person. We took a room and I went from the back alley to bring in the bike. The alley was filled with the all familiar soft sand and I fell on my ass right in front of the gate. When the bike fell, my tankbag was pressing against the horn button and the hotel owner, a very big guy (equivalent of a Bigfoot sighting in Bolivia), walked out to see what was going on. He saw me struggling with picking up the loaded bike, took one look at me and without a word turned around and went inside. I suppose I would be expecting a help in any normal country, but by now I was used to it. Lourdes came out and we picked up the bike and settled in.

Our room had no fan, the water was shut off, the beds were filled with moldy corn husk, which were harder than rock with a permanent hole under our backs, and as a lullaby you could hear the bugs moving under the sheets. Still better than begging a Bolivian peasant for a grave size space on their land for a night. I always thought that posted signs in countries are the best indicators of human development. These signs always show the level of civility, ignorance and social issues and Bolivia is full of signs. The sign behind our door read:

“Forbidden to take the covers or sheets
Do not stain the beds
Do not scratch the furnitures or the walls”


As much as I tried to like this country, they always came back with something more to change my mind. Stay tuned.





































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Old 04-17-2012, 03:10 PM   #214
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The Damned Bolivia – Part Five

As you can tell from the last four posts, I grew steadily more skeptical of finding a trace of hospitality in Bolivia, but as everything in life, we don’t evaluate the facts at hand and we always search for a better or more acceptable answer. To not believe the duck syndrome, we went deeper and deeper into Bolivia hoping to prove ourselves wrong.

When we arrived in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the city was in high fever for the upcoming carnival, the most extravagant event of the year. (I have to mention that Santa Cruz is a center of all things happening in Bolivia. It’s the most “modern” Bolivian city and supposedly this city holds the most educated, most open minded Bolivian population.)
Every year in Bolivia, people from all over the country organize the biggest party of the year, an ancient 40 days long Andean religious ceremony which with time has turned into a Catholic driven Virgin worshiping madness. And of course the Bolivians celebrate the last few days with incomprehensible amount of free flowing alcohol, nudity, fights, destruction and to cap it off, by showing their immaturity and rudeness in the truest possible way.

Watching this display of pandemonium on TV is one thing and being caught in the middle of it is another. Whether to blame these odd behaviors on Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Isozyme deficiency of the Bolivians who can’t have a drink and not be walking on their heads, or their general assholeness, this is a party to be avoided at all cost. It sorts of tries to mimic the famous Rio Carnival, but not really, as at least Brazilian girls are not miniature sized nor implausibly revolting. The performances are poor at its best as the whole group of dancers run wild with no imaginable coordination or grace, and to enhance the madness, children and adults of any age stand ready with water cannons to spray toxic un-washable paint at every living soul. The religious and ancient meaning of this event gets lost in devil dances, virgin miracles and other imaginary acts of valor from nonexistent figures that Bolivians wholeheartedly devote their life and respect to.

The biggest and most famous version of this lunacy happens in the piss-poor mountain town of Oruro, where the legends all come together to make the basis for this embellished event. This carnival costs hundreds of thousands dollars in each city and according to the locals; it’s not uncommon for the participants to spend 400 to 500 dollars on their splendid costumes – a big fortune in a country like Bolivia. A country where 80 percent of its population live under poverty, 23 percent of the entire population sufferers from severe malnutrition, and is second in human development, corruption, diseases and mortality rate only to the post apocalyptic Haiti in Western Hemisphere. I guess coming second to a country ravaged by earthquake calls for a celebration of this magnitude.

The city of Santa Cruz was a fascinating city and not in a good way either. Leaving the ungodly stench aside, the city is cut with an invisible line. One part is filled with the lower class, selling anything and everything from cell phones to chicken milk with their malnourished children either begging or eating garbage off the ground wearing shredded cloths with their stomach the size of a blimp, and the other side, only a few blocks away, the rich drove their Mercedes, talked on their iPhones, and snaked on the food that they would throw at the poor like the pigeons. It’s no coincident that Bolivia is a high roller when it comes to income inequality to add to their distinctive “qualities”.

In this mayhem, we found a somewhat decent hotel and checked in. The constipated looking receptionist could have not been less rude or helpful. She downright refused to let us park the bike inside the garage, reasoning that there was not enough room to get passed by the only car that was parked inside and when we asked her that if she could move it, she claimed that it was broken and it never moved. After 15 minutes of arguing she finally agreed with an attitude that I could bring the bike inside only if I could get it in from the front door (so she didn’t have to move here ass off the chair). There was no way I was leaving the bike in the jungle outside so I cleared it with only millimeters on each side and parked it close to our room. (The next morning the broken car started right up in front of my eyes with no problem.)

If you remember, my camera box broke from the constant potholes in the first 200km in Bolivia, and I had been strapping it down and keeping it light until I found a shop that I could get it fixed. The problem was that I had an expensive camera in that box, and with the walls of the box collapsing, the strain was on the camera and with every bump the walls came in a little further. While riding around Santa Cruz, I found a metal and welding shop five blocks from the hotel and asked them if they could fix it, as I wasn’t going another mile with the box in that condition. They said “of course”, “no problem”, they even gave us a quote and told us that they would be open until 9pm.

As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we got to work and unloaded everything inside the box, unbolted the million bolts that were holding the box on the rack, and took it to the shop for repair right away. As we walked out of the hotel, one of the obnoxious drunken Bolivians that were standing on the corner sprayed us with his water gun full of paint. He saw us coming with a giant box in our hand, we had no carnival clothes on nor did we have any painting on our faces or clothes, yet he proceeded to shower us with paint.

We made it to the shop and to our disbelief (well we should have known by then), they refused to fix the box. Claiming that they didn’t have the right material first, and when I pointed at the pile of aluminum angle that they “didn’t have”, they just said we don’t wanna do it. When we asked them “so why in the hell did you say to bring the box here?” they just put up their shoulders and went back to drinking. This was new to me as refusing paid work takes a different kind of assholes than the ones I’ve already got used to in Bolivia. We walked back the five blocks, box in hand, and the same son of a bitch sprayed us again with paint gun.

There are a few times in my life that I truly hated a place, but I can’t think of single place that even comes close to Bolivia. I was done spending another dollar in this shithole of a country, we were going to get the hell out or at least try by sunrise.

When it’s in front of your eyes, don’t try to reason with it, fight it, or sugar coat it. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck – it ain’t going to be what you hoped it would be – it’s a fucking duck.
Stay tuned.















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Old 08-26-2012, 03:04 PM   #215
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The Damned Bolivia – Leaving the hell behind

The alarm clock went off at 6 am and I sprang up from the bed. It usually takes me a dozen snoozes to get rolling but leaving Bolivia was too exciting to sleep through. As I opened the door, I saw a thick cloud of smoke coming from the middle of the hotel (an open area between the rooms) from a bonfire only meters from my bike. With four 5-liter plastic jugs of gasoline strapped to my bike, the hotel staff decided to have an open fire right outside of our room at 6am to celebrate another bogus Bolivian ritual.

When I asked the woman in charge of the fire what was going on, she grunted that “it’s a Bolivian thing, foreigners wouldn’t understand.” And she proceeded to put more shit on the fire. Well she was right; foreigners don’t have a comprehension of why there should be a bonfire outside of their hotel room next to a vehicle! We packed the bike in record time and got the hell out of the hotel. I was determined to leave Bolivia that day - no matter what - and I chose the shortest direct route out of this godforsaken country. Not wanting to go back through the same border crossing that we came in from; the only route was going southwest towards Argentina.

The distance was 900km but I didn’t care. Town after town, we filled up the bike and proceeded towards humanity. The sky opened up and a torrential rain started to come down and if we stopped anywhere, we got showered with water balloons and paint from the passing cars and trucks. Each tollbooth was a shakedown scene as the corrupt Bolivian police tried tongue in cheek to collect bribes and each gas station was a highway robbery of charging $9 a gallon for gas. At one of the checkpoints, one of the “officers” bluntly asked for “contribution” in a bright daylight with no shame at all. My answer was always a hell no.

After 16 hours of riding finally we got to the border town of Yacuiba and we found the town flooded. Water was running like rivers in narrow streets with garbage floating on top. There was no sign as where in the hell the border was, and I tried for almost an hour following the misdirection of the locals - wading through waters as high as my exhaust pipes to no avail. Against my will, we had to stay one more bloody night in this country and hope for the waters to go down in the morning. We found a very questionable hotel, parked and triple chained the bike and settled down for the night.

At 9 am, we packed our soaked gear, and after another hour of looking for the invisible border crossing we arrived at the immigration. The stench of the town was truly unbearable and as the sun came out it got even worse. This last Bolivian outpost was a scene straight from a Mad Max movie. George Miller should have filmed Mad Max in Yacuiba and would have saved millions on studio sets and extras.

The paperwork for getting into Argentina was done in 5 minutes, but the Bolivian office took their sweet time. They took the passports and closed the door and told us to wait for another two hours to put an exit stamp in my passport. At last we were free. We rolled into Argentine side of the town and it might sound like an exaggeration but everything changed in a blink of an eye. In only 1km, the streets got cleaner, the stench went away and we saw smiles on people’s faces again.

We had a delicious lunch at a super clean restaurant for less than $8 for two people including desert. The owner even sent out one of his boys into Bolivia to exchange our useless Bolivian money, and sent us away with best wishes. Five miles down the road we stopped at a police check point and after a friendly chat we were welcomed into Argentina. The officer actually apologized for taking our time and stopping us.

Maybe it’s worth mentioning that North-Western Argentina is not a rich region; in fact it’s one of the poorest regions in whole Argentina. The difference is the hospitality of its people, their warmth, their helpfulness and their open arms. A few hundred kilometers down the road, we rolled into a very poor town in hope of finding a shop to weld the broken box that Bolivians refused to fix. We found a shop and the guys got to work, and in no time, the broken mount was welded and ready to go. The Argentine mechanic refused to take any money for the welding as he said it was “nothing”. The Bolivian shop in Santa Cruz wouldn’t fix the box even for money!

We needed a place to stay for the night and since the small town had no hotel, a young boy on his bicycle tried to find us a place and when he couldn’t, he invited us to stay at their home. Home is an exaggeration to call that place. There was a metal roof, a few brick walls, dirt covered floor, an open cooking pit and a few threes, not counting the pigs and chickens. In this muddy place, I found some of the most generous, down to earth, and giving people that I could ever hope to meet. They were poor, but they put every Bolivian we met to shame with their generosity and their smiles.

We bought a kilo of fresh chorizos (Pork Sausage) from the Grandma next-door, more knickknacks to share with the family from the store and settled in. The boy and with his younger brothers and sisters proceeded to grill us to no end about what’s in the outside world. They were so eager to learn, so curious and polite, and so much full of life that it was hard not to answer their questions. They had no television, and they loved watching videos and pictures, and I had plenty of both. They were glued to their wooden chairs and watched pretty much every video on my computer.

We combined our chorizos with their dinner and we sat with the family and a few of their relatives. Given their situation, there wasn’t much to go around so we insisted that we weren’t really hungry and nibbled on the bread. I sharpened all their knives, and gave them my favorite diamond knife sharpener as a thank you gift. (I’m running out of things to give away.) We slept under open skies in their backyard and were relived to be out of Bolivia.

The next morning, we bid farewell to our gracious host and started the 950km long leg to the Paraguayan border. It rained on an off but we just kept on riding. Fifteen hours of riding put us in Asunción, the capital city of beautiful Paraguay and we could rest at last. I never get tired of the Chaco; it’s a peaceful place, packed with extraordinary people, and little gem towns that still have the old ways of being decent, hospitable and welcoming. This was my 12th trip to Argentina, a record that I don’t mind breaking at any time.



























































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Old 08-28-2012, 11:13 AM   #216
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T.H.E.,

Amazing trip, you have captured some fantastic pictures! I am glad your experience is improving now that you have entered Argentina. After all, it is a long country.

Thank you for posting,
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:18 PM   #217
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Touring Brazil on Motorcycle – Part One

Once out of Bolivia, there was much work to be done. First the expedition funds were dwindling to oblivion so I had to design a few websites and write a couple of programs to get the ball rolling again. Then there were my troubling teeth which took a few painful visits to the dentist to dig, cut, dress and fill. Then it was the bike that needed a few maintenance such as beefing up the camera box, fixing a few leaks here and there, and a good tune-up – not counting the painstaking job of getting the Bolivian dust and mud out of every hole of the bike. All said and done, I was in a position to start back on the road again.

The plan was to visit Brazil, but since Brazil is a gigantic country I had to break it into two trips. One trip would cover the southern and eastern parts, the next and big trip would cut through the western parts and through the Amazon jungle and finally crossing into Venezuela. From Caracas in Venezuela, I’ll ship what is left of the bike to western Africa and the journey will continue inland from there.

Taking on the first voyage to Brazil, Lourdes was my passenger, and we packed very light. We left out every piece of winter clothing as weather in Paraguay and all over Brazil was in high 70’s and 80’s. Also I wanted to lighten up the load since Bolivian roads almost destroyed the bike’s suspension and I was going to fix that after the first trip. The weather started perfect and on the hot side, and we covered the 400km to the Brazilian border the first day. Crossing the border to Brazil was a pleasant and very professional experience. The Brazilian custom officer spoke English, and she took care of all the paperwork by herself. This border crossing was a treat indeed.

We spent the first night in Foz do Iguaçu, at Lourdes’ cousin’s and I passed out at 8pm from being so tired. The next day came bright and sunny and we packed the bike and headed out going east. While we were packing, I had the bike parked on the sidewalk out of the way in front of the apartment. For the first time, a police officer gave me a warning for bringing the motorcycle on a sidewalk. Parking bikes or even cars on the sidewalk in Latin America is equivalent of the god given right to breath! No Police Officer will ever bother to say a word about it unless it’s blocking the whole sidewalk and even then, it’s unlikely. But Brazil is different.

Although counted as a Latin American country, Brazil is not Latin in any sense that would be associated to the rest of the continent and it shows it in its laws, art, culture, race, language and food. First the language is Portuguese not Spanish. People are taller and fair skinned, cities are very clean, and stop-lights and traffic signs actually mean something. I was amazed at the architecture and city planning of Brazilians and this is not based on big cities, even the tiny nowhere towns are well laid out and extremely modern. There is no shortage of street and highway signs in Brazil and public roads are very well maintained and in my opinion even better than the US highways.

We quickly got off the tolled interstate and hopped on a series of short and tangled highways that went through the less traveled parts of Eastern Paraná and Santa Catarina states. These roads were absolutely beautiful and packed with so many twist and turns that after a while I was wishing for a straight stretch. The only problem was that navigating through these roads became a chore as they all intersected here and there and they had no numbers or name. I had to memorize the name of the towns for the next 50 miles as all the signs pointed towards the towns and since pretty much every settlement in Brazil is named after a Saint somebody, to me they all sounded alike.

We spent the second night in Francisco Beltrão, the biggest city in Eastern Paraná. We got there after dark and most hotels were full and my GPS was taking us on a wild goose chase through the hilly city. A nice motorcyclist stopped and helped us find a cheap hotel and we settled in. For some reason, the town seemed deserted. Even though it was the weekend; all shops and restaurants were closed at 9pm. For the next two days everything stayed closed all day long in every little town we wandered into.

The weather started to get colder and colder until we were shivering. The high 80’s turned into low 40’s and drizzling rain and cloudy skies made for some beautiful but teeth shattering ride through the Santa Catarina mountains. We put on everything we had with us which were all short sleeves and I gave my rain gear to Lourdes to use as wind breaker. Our traveling hours changed dramatically as we waited for the warmest time of the day to start and we got off the road before 5pm when the temperatures dropped to almost freezing.

We looked high and low for some warm cloths but not a single store was open on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, we found a few stores in a small town but the asking price of $60 for a not-so-warm sweater sent us back on the road. The cold aside, the route that we took was a beautiful section of Brazil which not many people travel to because there is nothing touristy there. The people were friendly and talkative without exception and since Spanish and Portuguese are very similar, they somehow understood what we said and we tried hard to understand what they said. This worked out well until I had to fix my banged-up suspension and I wished for a Portuguese translator.

Brazil is by far the bumpiest country I have ever seen. México can’t even hold a candle to the number and size of speed bumps that Brazil has to offer and México is a pretty bumpy country. The good news is that every single bump is clearly marked at least by 100 meters but my sagged springs didn’t like all the ups and downs. The bike kept bottoming out at every bump to the point that my back started to hurt. In Medellin, Colombia, I had a great machine shop make a set of custom shock-absorbers for the bike which worked extremely well until my Bolivian odyssey, but I used the springs from the old shocks.

Now I needed to adjust the tension on the old spring further than normal to limit the free travel and for that I needed a hefty hydraulic press. Relaying what I needed to the mechanic shops was fruitless so I kept looking around until I found a shop that had a honking 20 ton press. We found a hotel across the street and I took off the shocks in their garage and went back to the shop. They guys at the shop were really cool and left me alone with the machine to do what I need to do. They refused to take money for the use of their equipment but I insisted anyway. Thanks to their press, the bike is not bottoming out anymore but it needs a new set of springs sometimes very soon. Stay tuned while we inch our way towards the Atlantic coast and hopefully see some sunshine soon.















































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Old 08-29-2012, 11:25 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by poolman View Post
T.H.E.,

Amazing trip, you have captured some fantastic pictures! I am glad your experience is improving now that you have entered Argentina. After all, it is a long country.

Thank you for posting,
Thanks mate, my pleasure. Stay tuned, a lot more to come as i'm posting back dated stories.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #219
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Touring Brazil on Motorcycle – Florianópolis

The weather stayed cold and we kept riding through small mountains towards the coast. It was crucial to stop every half hour to drink some Mate to warm up our bodies and we nibbled on local salami every time my right hand wasn’t twisting the throttle. Brazilian salami is a bit different from Argentine or Italian salami. They don’t use garlic or peppercorn in the mix hence it’s milder. For the brine, they use their local wines and that tends to make it a bit sweeter too but they are delicious nevertheless.

Santa Catarina is a big state and is most famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and cooler climate compared to the rest of Brazil. Some of the best oysters and seafood comes out of its waters and when sunny (or when you have a sweater), it truly is a wonderful place. The weather started to warm up as we descended from 1100 meters to sea level and the sun came out for a minute or two. As we rolled into Florianópolis, it started to drizzle a bit so we stopped at a Subway sandwich shop (the first I’ve seen since leaving US) to use the internet to find a hostel. It turned out that they had no internet but we had a great time with the kids who worked there. Ordering a sandwich at Subway in English is a long process but doing it Portuguese is just pure comedy.

Finding a hostel in Florianópolis center turned out to be impossible and the rain made it even worse. Florianópolis is tourist destination and everything is priced as such. A run-down hostel was asking $25 a bed in a shared room and I wasn’t going to pay this kind of extortion. As we searched we got soaked and finally settled in a beautiful ocean view hotel for $55 including breakfast.
The next day the sun came out in full blaze and temperatures went up to high 70’s. For the first time we could appreciate the beautiful Brazil without shivering and being wet, and we decided to make the best of it. We went out hostel hunting and the prices started to go down and the scenery turned spectacular. We stopped at a seaside restaurant for lunch and we lucked out.

After a few beers, I met a local named Clayton and we got to talk. He gave me the rundown on how to survive in the expensive city and told me about the house next-door which was owned by the restaurant owner. After a short talk with the owner we moved into our beach house, no more than fifty feet from the water and best of all, we got it for $15 a day. The house was fully furnished, with complete kitchen, shower, and it was at the end of the road.
The food at the restaurant was exquisite and I had the best seafood I had in a very long time. Live music every night on the beach and a roof over our heads was a nice retreat from the cold days of the week before. Florianópolis is a wonderful city and packed with warm and beautiful people. This is a place that I wouldn’t mind calling home.

Beach and good food out of the way, we had to start heading north but my motorcycle didn’t quite agree. We were ready to get on the road but the ignition switch wouldn’t turn and the bike was not going an inch without fixing the issue. In any other place, I would have been bummed but break-down in paradise is just an excuse to stay longer.

I got to work and removed the ignition switch and the steering lock and with my meager tools, performed the required surgery and fixed the broken lock. I won’t bore you with technical details but if you find yourself in this situation, I wrote a complete tutorial on it which you can find here.

Now that everything is fixed, we have no excuses and have to leave the paradise behind and head north. I’m very impressed with Brazil and can’t wait to explore more of it. Stay tuned.



















































































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Old 12-13-2012, 12:30 AM   #220
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December 12th, 2012 - Touring Brazil on Motorcycle – Curitiba

I know I’ve been away for an eternity but I’ll try to catch-up with the back stories as best as I can. My laptop took its last breath and finally gave up and left me hanging. I ordered the best mobile workstation I could find which took over a month to build and 40 days to ship down to South America. Now that I have no excuses, here is the rest of the story.

After the ignition switch repair, it was time to pack up and leave the beautiful Florianópolis but I was told to visit the south of the island or I was going to regret it. With that in mind, we rode south to see what all the fuss was about.

South of Florianópolis is the oldest part of the island with colonial houses and cobbled roads, and in more ways than other, it reminded me of fishing towns of the northeast except that it was tropical. The whole town revolved around one commodity and we soon found out why. The shallow waters of the bay produced some of the biggest oysters I’ve ever seen and the sheer size aside; they were the best I’ve ever tasted to this day. Again with the suggestion of the locals, we found our way to the best oyster joint in town and walked in. The restaurant was way too fancy for my traveling budget but the smell of seafood won the battle. They had nothing but seafood on the menu and the cheapest item was $15 which luckily was the oyster plate. I could write pages on how delicious these oysters were but pictures should do the justice.

Belly full and beautiful blue skies in sight, we headed north to my friend’s house in Curitiba. The 400km ride was beautiful with the blue ocean on the side and lots of twisties and the weather was the warmest in days. I started enjoying the ride until we took the first rest stop. The oil seal on the back of the transmission was leaking and it wasn’t a small leak either. My entire rear wheel was covered with slippery gear oil and the rear brake was useless. I could go without rear brake, but the condition of the slippery tire was unnerving and we were still 200km away from Curitiba.

At every opportunity I got on the sandy shoulders to clean the tire and topped off the oil. We limped away with me clinching my teeth and waiting for the deadly slide which never came. As a result the 200 remaining kilometers took almost five hours to cover and we got to Renato’s apartment well after dark. Renato is a mechanical engineer and university professor who I met while I was hired to develop a website for him. Renato and Patricia welcomed us into their home and a new friendship was born. They are awesome.

I started my search for the oil seal and as it was already the weekend, we put the work aside and went out to the countryside for a perfect Saturday picnic at Renato’s friend’s farm. Lush, beautiful, and rustic, this little farm was a place I could stay at forever. The festivity was not short of the 4th of July and we ate seemingly nonstop until the sun went down. Brazilians sure know how to BBQ and good company always make it doubly better.

When I finally came out of the food coma, with Renato’s help, we located the oil seal and got to work. To get to the rear transmission oil seal, I literally had to disassemble half of the bloody motorcycle to get to it, but it had to be done. In the process, I also found two broken bearings from the swing-arm pivot points. One bearing was completely destroyed and the other was broken in multiple places. At this point, I was glad the transmission started to leak as I would have never known about these problems.
We had to put everything on hold again until we found the right size bearings locally or have them shipped from the US. Stay tuned.

P.S. It was brought to my attention that the website contact-form is not working. If any of you have tried to contact me through the website for the past few months, I never received your message so my apologies. I’ll look into it ASAP.






























































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Old 12-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #221
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You certainly have an eye for a photograph, I'll give you that.

I'm happy your mood seems better than during your time in Bolivia.

Plus those oysters look special.

Do you regret the weight you added to the bike with all those metal boxes at all?

J
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:02 PM   #222
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Well Brazil is awesome and it's impossible to be in a bad mood when traveling there :) As for the boxes, they really don't bother me. I don't even feel the weight plus they are not as heavy as they look.

Thanks for sticking around , stay tuned :)
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:48 PM   #223
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December 16th, 2012 - Touring Brazil on Motorcycle – Santos

With two useless shocks, leaking fork seals, broken swingarm bearings, and a leaky transmission; the possibilities of going further into Brazil was growing dim, but you just have to keep fixing and rolling. After a few visits to different shops with Renato, we finally located the bearings and the oil seal. The problem was that we couldn’t find the right bearings as the original bearings had built-in rubber dust caps and the ones we found*didn't.*Since Renato taught a machining course at the Curitiba University, we headed to the university machine shop and we built our own. Taking off the old bearing races turned out to be a time consuming job without a welder, but nothing that a turret head milling machine*couldn't*handle. Finally, we cut two aluminum caps for the bearings and it actually turned out better than the original ones.

Curitiba is a nice city, with a very cool climate. Compared to the rest of Brazil, Curitiba is rather a cold place and when the rest of South Americans were in short sleeves and shorts, we bundled up with everything we had. We had a great time with Patricia and Renato and as much as they tried to teach us some basic Portuguese, I’m afraid I’ll never be able to pronounce a word correctly. Portuguese is an easy language to read but as soon as they speak it, all hopes go out of the window. From their apartment in the middle of downtown Curitiba, you could see a large flock of Herons that had made the tall trees of the city their permanent home. It was fascinating watching the giant birds, maneuver in the air so gracefully. Three feet tall with wing span of 5 feet, Great Egrets were almost driven to extinction at the end of the 19th century so that their feathers could decorate ladies’ hats, but they’ve bounced back in numbers and now they rightfully shit on hat of others.

We visited a local fair and a cool classic car show while there and passed time drinking Chimarrão (Brazilian version of Mate) and coco water. In good company, the time flies by and by the weekend, the bike was back on the road and we had to head north again. We were all set to head out on Friday but a sudden invitation back to Renato’s friend’s Farm was too good to resist. If I thought that the first festivity was the best that Brazil could offer, I was in for a surprise. Back at the farm, we ate and drank to a level which will be hard to beat, even by South American standards. As it turned out, Anderson also made homemade liquors so a tasting session was in order. All in all, when I tried to put on my motorcycle pants on Sunday, I*couldn't*button it up, no matter how hard I tried. I must have gained at least 10lb since entering Brazil. We said our farewell to our gracious friends and they sent us away with beautiful local woodwork gifts and Chimarrão for the road.

We headed north along the Atlantic coast for the coastal city of Santos in São Paulo State. Traffic started to get heavier as we got closer to São Paulo and it came to a halt 50 miles outside of the city. With 12 million souls in the city limit alone, São Paulo spreads out seemingly to no end and sheds its population on weekends to the nearby beaches. Those who have money go north or south, and the rest go straight for the beaches of Santos. Covering the last 50 miles to Santos became a Nintendo game of lane splitting between rows of cars with less than 5 inch clearance on each side.

We arrived in Santos around 8pm and found the city unnerving. With a long stretch of beaches, giant buildings, rival gangs, drunks, and drug dealers; Santos mirrors Miami in every sense except the language. Santos is a city that you could very well be killed for a nice pair of shoes if in a wrong place at a wrong time. As unnerving the city was, the people we met were extremely helpful and hospitable. Our couchsurfing host was a guy named Valmique and he bent backward and forward to make us comfortable. He arranged for the bike to be parked inside the garage, we chained it down and unloaded every piece of gear and hauled them up to his apartment on the 12th floor, and then we went to his friend’s house for a little party. It was at Shirley’s house that I remembered that it was my birthday so we doubly celebrated it. We had a great time in Santos, thanks to our new friends and we stayed another day. Lat day on the way down to the garage, a naked drunk guy walked in the elevator and rode down with us 12 floors in complete silence while staring at us. It was definitely time to leave Santos for a less happening city. Stay tuned.





















































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Old 12-16-2012, 03:18 PM   #224
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You know where you are, where you have been, and how long you have been there. What the HELL is going on in your mind that can even begin to let you be so uncivil as to call Bolivia a shit hole?

Can we set the story straight?

It seems from your last two posts that your entire ire and dislike for Bolivia stems from one very bad road, and a ridiculous border crossing.

Can we suffice it to say that you chose BOTH of those options?

What else? You are attempting semi-adventurous overland travel on an overloaded motorcycle not suited (in the least bit) for ANYTHING that you are attempting accept carrying your excess of equipment and passenger load down a tarmac road.

You are in the Chaco my man. It is as hot as a witches tit in a brass bra in the middle of an Arabian summer. No shit. We ALL know that. At least you are ATGATT. But you have to deal with it, not bitch to the masses about it.

Roads are not good in that part of the world. That road has been under construction for a long, long time (By Western Standards). You speak Spanish, or so it would seem, and your companion does as well. Are you trying to tell the Horizon Unlimited community that you are so naive a traveler at this point as to completely negate the benefits of asking about the road ahead? Even in spite of the ridiculous effort involved in interpreting the answers your are bound to get, you can nearly always get information from your questions.

Your bike has already blown an engine, become broken and battered, been repaired, cost you thousands of dollars (your donated dollars), but yet you blame the road? Allow us some time to consider that for a moment. A Ural Patrol with a sidecar would benefit you by now. You may be limited to 60mph on the open highway, but you can carry your lady friend and as much gear as you like. But each to his own. Carry on.

The border crossing of your choice is well known for it's lack of amenities, be it food, lodging, banking facilities, or even road side commodities. That is why, unless we are prepared for it physically and mentally and our gear is thoroughly prepped, we adventure overland travelers don't go to these types of places. And when we do, we go prepared.

I refuse to believe that you have allowed yourself to become so complacent as to not have carried US dollars to the Bolivian checkpoint that you were determined to receive your visa from. Especially as you admit to knowing in advance of it's requirements. Unacceptable.

As for the border guard / checkpoint officer / underpaid patrol man... They are all the same. You have crossed numerous borders, and seen it all. Or so it would seem, but yet you still allow yourself to be surprised. Common amigo! If they are nice, they are nice. If not, then it's time to bust out your Zen Buddha patience and settle in for the ride. You ride up hoping for something / expecting a visa without so much as the ability to pay for it, and then profess an inability to believe what has happened after the man locks up your passport? You express your anger towards a man that is obviously undereducated and unaware of the cultural differences that make the world what it is. Yet having had the opportunity for the last MANY MANY months of experiencing it first hand, you are still unable to accept it. Was he obviously biased against your Iranian birthplace. Yes. Was he ignorant to the fact that you are very clearly American? For the time being, of course he was. And yet, by some manner, you prevailed.

And I quote:
"He had to call for his wife, and all the other dimwitted short people he had around the stable to hold a council on whether to let an Iranian terrorist inside the “wonderful” country of Bolivia or not.
To say that I was furious is an understatement. The only thing kept me from killing this pest was the mere fact that I was out of gas and couldn’t get far."

Are you now "holier than thou" and have some type of manifest destiny behind you that allows you to doll out such public hatred? You insult not only the man, but his wife, and his fellow community members. They don't know you, they just know what little they see, and from what I see, I can imagine that it's not very impressive.


Give the man something to work with, and give us a lousy break dude. What kind of petty man would you have us believe that you are?

Will you tell us why you didn't just ride into Argentina and then up through Villazon and into Bolivia? The road is shit there too, but passable. At least the Harley rider on his 1600cc machine will tell you so. Why you didn't simply plan ahead and prepare for the worst is something that I am left pondering.

Will you tell us why you didn't have a couple of hundred US dollars on you in reserve? Or a stash of cash somewhere to keep you on track?

Will you tell us what part of your charity involves the support of a secondary person whose function is at least slightly questionable and mostly unrelated to events, but simultaneously seemingly more so related to the stability of your personal character? A support team for your instability perhaps.

And please, can you show us more of what you have done for your charity, and for your cause, and for your fight against world hunger? I believe that you are fully invested both mentally and physically, and I believe that you truly aim to make a difference. So please do not take this as an affront against your goals. However, what I can't believe is why we haven't seen more of what is real about your charity, and what it is that you are doing for it currently. Where do the donations go?

I've read your entire, impressive website. I know about your struggle to create your non-profit organization and the costs involved. I have at least read about your struggles, even if I don't fully understand them. Can you clarify though which funds you are using for your travels? Are they yours, or that of the non-profit that you are in charge of?

Again, let me say that you champion a very noteworthy and aspiring cause. You are to be complimented for that sincerely.

Yet in this last duo of posts you have simply succeeded in showing yourself to be as racist and discriminatory as your accused perpetrators; be it the individual guardsmen, or the country of Bolivia as a whole.

You have shown a lack of spirit, and an obverse lack of patience, humility, and personal pride.

You have personally, publicly insulted to the highest degree another human being and proven your lack of character in a moment of described injustice.

To me, sir, you are not any better than that man, and at most are his equal at the moment.

Your distinct disgust for what is not your norm is despicable.

Your voiced inability to allow flexibility is disgusting.

The negative vibe that is present in so many of your late posts as to describe as the majority; is disheartening.



Is there another part of the picture that we as the readers can not see? I hope so, for I read of personal failure when I read your posts, not success.


--Alex Smith

Having also done this trip I can relate with Chris's attitude during his time period in Bolivia. I do not think he honestly hates Bolivia or the Bolivian people and that he was just venting his frustrations.

This late in the trip it is hard to go back to a Nicaraguan lifestyle. Everything on your motorcycle starts to break and you are in the worst possible place for it. Running into a bout of bad luck just makes you hate everything about the place you are in, including the damn Bolivian grass hopper that you just saw.

Is is impractical to ride a 1000 pound bike to the tip of Argentina? Yes, but how boring would the world be if everyone did the exact same journey.

I think it is kind of a low blow to mention Chris's (donated dollars). He has spent countless hours of his time doing a charity that he is passionate about. He invested everything he had going into this. I am sure that you, and I, and most of the other riders on here would not have the generosity nor ambition to do something so selfless.

If I wanted to be a jerk I could rag on you for how you were only able to do your trip from a cushy government funded Alaskan delivery job, but there is no sense in acting like women.

Another difference between Chris's trip and your trip is that you were doing yours with a friend. It makes a huge difference in morale when you have someone else in the exact same predicament as you. You can help each other in lifting the bike over obstacles. If one person runs out of gas you just send the other to get more. Until you have done a trip of this magnitude by yourself you can not understand is my opinion.

I think it is great that you have a positive attitude in your travels Alex, but I just think you were sitting on a high horse there for a bit.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #225
T.H.E OP
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I'm always the nutcase just because I'm not riding a BMW or a KLR and the funny things is that I love breakdowns. I never get in a bad mood because something breaks, keeping this bike running is the real adventure for me.

I've learned to not even bother with these kinds of responses, but once in a while, I just can't shut up :)

Thanks for the comment.
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