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Old 01-14-2011, 08:34 PM   #46
Doogle OP
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I remember you talking about how great the people were south of the border.I thought it was just talk.But I now think it is some of the best stuff of the trip.



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What a great ride! Keep it up!
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:04 PM   #47
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After spending the night in Puna with my new biker buddy's,We rode to Copacabana,Bolivia.The border crossing was about 5 miles before Copacabana.The crossing went quick and well for most.No costs for my Brasilian friends.$135 visa for the American.We ate lunch at the busy beach of Lake Titicaca.No swimmers at 12,500'elevation.But lots of boats.

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After eating,we went to load our bikes on a ferry.The short ferry ride to the other side of the lake is a better route to ride to La Paz.It cost each of us about $1.40.Loading and unloading was an experience.You either pull in and back out,or back in and pull out.Either way you have a footing problem.There are a lot of missing planks.We all managed.But there were some tense moments.

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The ride by the lake was very scenic.Amazing how peaceful this place is,and only about an hour from La Paz.

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We rode into La Paz about 8pm.It was chaos.People everywhere.They aren't afraid of cars and motorcycles.We finally got a taxi driver to lead us around to find a hotel.And it isn't easy to find a cheap hotel with parking.And we didn't find one.But we did find an expensive one.You get to the point that you don't care what it costs.You just want to take a shower and lay down.And that's where I am right now.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:51 PM   #48
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I left my friends from Brazil this morning as they headed home.I went to the Yungas road.Supposed to be the most dangerous road in the world.Maybe with a semi in the rain.I wanted something to give me a scare.And other than standing on the edge looking a long way down,I didn't get it.Most traffic uses the new bypass now.So you don't have big trucks and buses passing each other on a narrow lane.

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My real excitement for the day was in Oruro.While I was getting money from an ATM,and 15' from my bike,my tank bag was stolen.I lost rain gear,batteries and phone chargers,a Hero helmet camera(with videos of the death road),maps,spanish books,and papers for Central America return.Got to go now.Internet cafe is closing.

Doogle screwed with this post 01-20-2011 at 09:16 AM
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:43 AM   #49
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Bummer man. Don't let it drop your spirits. You're still living the dream. Figure out what is critical to replace, then ride on. Still plenty of adventures to come!
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:29 AM   #50
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I left Oruro feeling stupid.Other riders wouldn't leave there helmet on their bikes for a short time.I know better now.I was going to file a report at the police station,but that department was closed on Sunday.I don't know what problems it may cause when returning thru Central America(if I do).I lost all the paper work from them countries.I always keep my passport and current country papers on me,so they weren't stolen.I lost copies of my credit card and debit cards.The credit card was canceled.The debit cards are under a watchful eye until my wife brings me a new one in Santiago.

Before leaving Oruro I needed gas.I had gone 329 miles on this tank so far.The first station had a long line.And I wasn't going to wait that long.The next 2 stations were out of gas.Back to the first place and wait 45 minutes for my turn.This is one of the places that bikes don't go to the front of the line.I couldn't find a place to eat either.But I did find Oreo look alikes and water.That was good enough to get me to Potosi.The roads were all good to Potosi.Other than being at 12,000-14,000 feet most of the time and cold.Temperatures were from 42-58 degrees.And all I have now is my summer riding gloves.Loaned my cold weather gloves to Joelmir last week.We didn't see each other in Cusco after I loaned them to him(he is going to mail them to me in Santiago).Then my medium weight gloves were stolen with my tank bag.

I was flagged down by a biker and his wife near a small town.He was broken down.I checked his battery(10 volts).He had some loose electrical connections that I tightened.I don't know if he had a bad battery,under charged from the loose connections,or a bad HONDA alternator.I know trying to push start at 13,500 feet is hard on the lungs.And it didn't start.He found someone else that was going to jump start him from a car.So I was on the road again.But still breathing heavy for a long time.

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Riding into Potosi reminds me of the red rocks and mountains in Colorado and Utah.But not quite as scenic.

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1/16/11 19,938 odometer. Arrived in Potosi at 2:30 pm.
Potosi is a nice town and I would probably have stayed another day if the internet were better.I stayed at the Hotel Jerusalen for $20.It's a nice place.But I payed $3 for the Wifi that didn't work in my room.And in the lobby it was very slow.This place is all about mining.And they have tours of the mines.I passed on the tours.If they have them in Uyuni,I may do it.So I am off to Uyuni.

1-17-11 20,104 odometer,trip total 9,793.In Uyuni.It took me an hour and a half to get out of Potosi.GPS sent me the wrong way.Came back into town and all the traffic on one way roads.I finally escaped and it started raining,lightning,and hail for the 4th straight day.Yesterday I must have been moving with the front,because I had hail for a half hour.Most of the road to Uyuni was new black top.Then you were back to the real adventure world of sand,dirt,and following the grader putting down new gravel.There were a lot more red mountains today.

I am staying at Hostal Sajama ($5) in Uyuni.It is as basic as it can be.But it comes with breakfast and has in the hall parking.Wish I could do a video of backing it out and up the curbs in the morning.I went to the railroad cemetery before I got my room.There are a lot of old engines and other cars sitting on the tracks that have been stripped of parts.And it looks like they have been sitting here a long time.

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I ate Italian tonight ($7).Seems sinful to spend more on a meal than on a room.

1-18-11 20,184 odometer,trip 9,873.I rode into the middle of the Salar de Uyuni.It is the largest salt-flat bed in the world and is at an elevation of over 12,000'.It is almost magical looking.It looks like you are riding on ice.I rode to Isle Incahuasi.It is a small mountain with cacti in the middle of the salar

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.A few miles before getting there,I was waved down by 2 bicyclist.The only vehicles I have seen in 50 miles.They are from Switzerland and France.They are getting low on water and want to know if water is available at this mountain.I said I thought there was a restaurant at the Isle.I would wait for them there,or come come back to them if there wasn't.

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I was eating a llama burger when they arrived.I would liked to have tent camped by them in the salar,but needed to be getting closer to Santigo before my wife arrives.Need to allow time for the what if's.Leaving the Isle Incahausi I didn't see a clear track to follow.From my GPS,I decided to go in a straight line towards the border at Ollague.I followed some tracks for a while.But they soon disappeared.I am going about 60-65 mph,as I had the previous 50 miles.Then the surface texture got a little rougher.Then I slowed some to see if I had a low tire,because it was feeling a little odd.When I looked behind me,I saw my tires were sinking in the surface.I was in damp salt.I slowed some more to make an escape u turn.But it was too late.The rear tire sunk to the axle.Not much traction from a street tire with 10,000 miles on it.

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For a half hour I tried to get it on semi solid ground.I took off my panniers and emptied my tail bag.Eventually the bike fell to its side.And I couldn't lift it.When I tried,my boot would sink in and slide away from me.My foot came out of my boot from the suction when I tried to move it.At 12,000' you get tired really fast.I decided I better save my energy for the 13 mile walk back to Isle Incahuasi.That was a 4 hour walk that started out warm and ended cold and sweaty

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.The Isle is a daytime touristy place.So most people are gone at 8:30pm.I talked to a guy with a truck about my problem.He had a house there that his mother stayed in.She sold things to the tourist during the day.He said I could stay at the house that night.

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He would come back in the morning and rescue me.In the morning he and a young guy took me out to the bike.With some boards we made a simple extraction.$100 later and I'm on the road.

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2 hours later I am waved down by 2 bicyclist from Austria.These are the only people I have seen in 120 miles.

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They started their journey 18 months ago in Anchorage,Alaska.They want to know if the border crossing has an immigration office.If not,they would need to get a bus back to Uyuni to exit the country.I said I thought there was from what I read on ADVrider.I guess mistakes are really painful if you are pedaling.I gave them a little gas for their food stove.There was a problem with the gas they had.The immigration office is not easy to find at Ollague.I had to climb over and around rail cars to get to it.But it and customs went fast.They are mostly used for rail cars leaving the country.The custom guy into Chile was very nice.As we talked,I told him my previous night problems.I said I was anxious to get to the bank for money so I could eat.I had eaten nothing but some cookies since the previous morning.He took me to their back room and gave me 2 apples.And he showed me the label that said "USA".Now this is the border crossing you like to see.No costs either.

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This is mining country.Mountains and rough roads.And no gas station or ATMs.Infact,I think I saw 10 cars in the next couple hours.Now I'm not worried about food.I am concerned about my gas.I started from Uyuni with a full tank of gas.And I finally filled my spare gallon container because gas was $2 a gallon.Well,I had gone 300 miles and used my reserve.Now I was down to my last gallon.Gas leaked out of the bike when I dropped it the previous night.I don't' know how much.I gave a little to the bicyclists.And I was riding into some ferocious winds and getting terrible gas mileage.60 some miles to Calama,and I knew I wouldn't make it.I thought I had a problem.Then 30 miles later my butt sinks down in the seat in an odd way.I stop.I'm thinking my shock has broken.It was the top subframe bolts that broke.

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Before this trip,I replaced them with larger 3/8" grade 8 bolts because I read that they are a problem.There is nothing I can do without a drill and an Easy Out.So I wait a hour for the next car that comes by.It is a French couple that are bicycling the area.They take me to Calama,and drop me off at an ATM.I get money and get the first hotel I see.$66 and I am happy.While my English is struggling with the receptionist,a guy that speaks fair English trys to help.He and the 2 receptionist are calling around to get a truck to haul my bike to civilization.Gustavo actually spent 6 hours with me.He even went out with me to get the bike.The truck and 2 men did good also.But they made $240 for their efforts.By the time we unloaded the bike at a parking area and got back to the hotel,it was midnight.Gustavo has an hour and 20 minute ride to work in the morning.I think I will stay another night so I can buy him a few beers.

This morning I went to the parking area to get some clothes.Then I went to a bike shop several blocks away.The guy says he can work on it today and probably have it ready by 1-2pm.I told him I would like to use one bolt straight through.That way,if it breaks again,I could replace it on the road.If it doesn't do any other damage.I hope tomorrow is cheaper.$340 for transport bills yesterday.I don't know if my wife can fill the debit account as fast as I'm draining it.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:07 PM   #51
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Nice adventuring
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:29 PM   #52
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Doogle

Really enjoying your trip reports.

Ride Safe.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #53
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I remember the border agents at Ollague checking my luggage for fruit. I bet you tasted some sweet confiscated apples
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:21 PM   #54
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Laugh Wow!

Quote:
I was in damp salt.I slowed some more to make an escape u turn.But it was too late.The rear tire sunk to the axle.
Hey Doogle,

Thanks so much for all the hard work in creating this wonderful ride report ... really enjoy your writing style ... and the KLR!

Have fun!
-- SFMCjohn
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:20 AM   #55
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Hi Doug. I'm Evandro, the brazilian guy that joined you from Cuzco to La Paz. I'm at home now. Now I am just a observer.

Keep going man!
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:50 AM   #56
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I remember the border agents at Ollague checking my luggage for fruit. I bet you tasted some sweet confiscated apples
You're probably right.When I filled my form,I indicated no fruits.Then he pointed to the apples and smiled.But he let me go with the probable contraband.

Took my bike to a bike shop to have the 2 subframe bolts drilled out.3/8" grade 8 bolts I put in before leaving home.I guess I thought they were mechanics because it was a bike shop.7pm they are closing shop and it isn't done.And what is done is very sub par.He is going to work-11pm-7am in the mines.I am going to try to find a real mechanic this morning and relieve him of the effort.If my bolts failed,his misaligned drilliings probably won't get me to the next city.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:55 AM   #57
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Hi Doug. I'm Evandro, the brazilian guy that joined you from Cuzco to La Paz. I'm at home now. Now I am just a observer.

Keep going man!
I really enjoyed riding with you guys.Sorry you all had to go home.Sure could have used some company the last couple days.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:02 AM   #58
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Hey Doogle,

Thanks so much for all the hard work in creating this wonderful ride report ... really enjoy your writing style ... and the KLR!

Have fun!
-- SFMCjohn
I get behind on this thread.And internet service is not always available.After Skyping home,or texting,many times I just need to go to sleep.I can ride forever.But when I stop,the body is just ready for an instant recharge.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:59 AM   #59
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Not sure where you're at exactly, but I bet if you get to Antofogasta you'll find a good mechanic. Perhaps is the closest big town.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:18 AM   #60
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You're probably right.When I filled my form,I indicated no fruits.Then he pointed to the apples and smiled.But he let me go with the probable contraband.

Took my bike to a bike shop to have the 2 subframe bolts drilled out.3/8" grade 8 bolts I put in before leaving home.I guess I thought they were mechanics because it was a bike shop.7pm they are closing shop and it isn't done.And what is done is very sub par.He is going to work-11pm-7am in the mines.I am going to try to find a real mechanic this morning and relieve him of the effort.If my bolts failed,his misaligned drilliings probably won't get me to the next city.
I learned in Guatemala City to not trust my bike with anybody. Then Lone Rider chimed in with a gem, somthing like, "Nobody, not even the baby Jesus, cares about your bike like you do." So Don't Leave Your Bike With Anybody. If they're going to work on it, stay right there. Don't just be an observer- stay actively involved, even directing the work if you're not doing all of it yourself. Be involved in every bolt, every screw, every alignment of absofuckinglutely everything.

I learned this in Guatemala City when I had my front brakes repaired. The mechanic did a great job on the brakes. I was there the whole time, but for a little while I got distracted by a German guy who was having his old R100GS fixed. The next day, in El Salvador, I realized that my mechanic had broken my GPS mount, and then tried to patch it up. And he fucked up my right handguard, so badly that I ended up throwing half of it away.

"Nobody, not even the baby Jesus, cares about your bike more than you."
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