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Old 08-22-2014, 12:32 PM   #616
Jaguaraz
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Thanks

I am a subscribed reader of your posts since the beginning. Thank you for the hard work of keeping up with reporting such a fantastic adventure. You are an inspiration to those of us older folks that still dream of adventure. Your outlook on life and your ability to be at home wherever you find yourself truly make you a citizen of the world. Ride safe and keep having fun.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:18 PM   #617
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Thanks for all your kind words and birthday wishes. It's you guys that keep me writing, as on these forums, you never really are riding solo. Glad you all are along for the journey.

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Old 08-22-2014, 05:24 PM   #618
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Originally Posted by cejnys View Post
Happy B-day mate!!!
Reading your posts and enjoyed every single one of them. Noticed that you have garmin sixty series GPS....how is it looking with map coverage when riding these gravel roads.
Stay safe!
Hey cejnys, I really like the 60 series, it never fails to impress what it'll put up with and keep trucking. Got the internals soaking wet today and the whole thing shut down. Let it sit in the sun for an hour and she was up and running again.

The maps I use are from here, and I'm pretty sure you can load the image file right onto most garmins: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

They have maps for all over the world, they are more thorough than google maps in most rural places, and everything is opensource (free). I have found them to be the best available so far. Hard to be FREE too.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:35 AM   #619
Erik500
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Happy 26th !

And thank you for sharing the adventure. You have a great outlook on life.
God speed!!
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:51 PM   #620
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Happy 26th



GREAT RR
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #621
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114. Sticking w/ Dirt and Finding La Paz

The next morning I walked out to the bike to grab my laptop. I went to turn on the comp and it was so cold from being out in the bike, that it wouldnít even turn on.



The town has llamas roaming around. In the morning, they find themselves in our parking area. Funky animals they are.



The volcano sitting above the town is rich with colors. Pretty cool place to plop a town. Not sure if the volcano is active? Canít imagine it is though.



I was going to cross towards Oruro via a dirt route, but I decided to head back towards Uyuni and ride up to Potosi via a paved road. Normally I prefer the dirt, but the guides yesterday convinced me that the road to Potosi is super pretty. Aaalright, Iíll give it a go, my suspension could probably use a break. Catch you later Llamas.





I headed back out onto the salt flats and took a bearing towards Uyuni.





I ran into one of the main trails, these seem to act as highways across the flats. Every year after it rains they are wiped clean, and new ones are created as people start to visit the salar again. It was cold, real cold. I rested my forearms on my center cross-bar so that I could tuck my hands in behind my fairing. Still too cold. I dropped my speed back so that the wind chill would smooth out, at least down to a level where I could keep the olí digits working.



I found my way back to the road and into Uyuni. On my way through I saw Dave out working on the bike. I thought they would have been in Potosi already, as they were headed there yesterday from the flats.



I stopped to chat for a minute and he said they had changed their minds and decided to take the dirt route towards Oruro, and if Iím interested, letís roll that way together. It was just the excuse I needed. ďSaweet, letís take the dirt then.Ē We chatted with a guy whoís been travelling around in his VW van, and ate some bomb street grub before heading out.







As soon as we get away from Uyuni and start kicking up dust, Iím glad we made this decision. Bolivia is best enjoyed out on these shit roads I think. It would be easier on the pavement, but we would miss the grit. There will be plenty of pavement later on when Iím hauling ass north.













They are in the process of building a much bigger road and it constantly starts and ends based on where they are at in itís progress. Weríre not supposed to ride on it, but itís smooth and we jump on wherever we can. In the future this route will probably be paved all the way to Oruro. Glad we get to run down it when itís like this.



The road switched to more of a valley or step like landscape. Open, baren, quiet. Nice riding.



Every now and then thereís a small town.



We spot a river with snow on it and stop for a minute. Dave is from the land of Oz and doesnít see much snow.



Itís cold and dry here and the wind cuts through the lips real quick. I canít stop smiling at the views and nice riding, so my lips are cracked and painting my smile dirty red.



Somewhere on the washboards Dave and Jessís pannier crossbar gave up on life and cracked off into the dirt. We tied them up to the passenger grips with some climbing rope to minimize the wiggle and kept moving.





We got closer and closer to where the pavement starts, and as evening came we found ourselves on the home stretch.



We had about an hour or so of riding after dark. Definitely try to avoid riding at night, because of the animals, but also the fucking cold. Maaaan it gets much colder as soon as that sun goes down. By the time we got in, we found a cheap hospedaje and then went straight to hunting for street food.



The options were many, and it all looked pretty good. We went with a bolivian version of the hamburger. The meat flave, egg, cheese, and bread were quite the combo.



Wanted to put down a couple, but decided to spread the love and save space for some pastels and mais drink stuff from another stand as well. Nom nom nom.



We filled up, walked around the night markets a bit more, found some chocolate covered fruits for second desert, and then hit the hay. In the morning we were up, rested, and hungry again for grub. We went back to the market to hunt for something new we havenít tried.



We bypassed the llama fetus carcases and opted for something more edible. These are supposedly taken from dead mother llamas while still enutero, but with there being so many of them, I find it hard to believe that they are ALL taken from dead ones. Canít help but think the mothers are raised and then killed while they have one in the olí belly, but thatís just me speculating. Apparently they are bought and put under houses that are being constructed for good luck.



We find a stand with lots of locals and ask to have whatever it is that everyone else is munching on.



Canít remember what itís called, but it had a bit of everything in it. Rice, pasta, meat, veggies, and a thick soup type liquid. It was a heavy breaky, but sure tasted good.



Full and satisfied we headed back to the hospedaje to pack up and hit the road. These places arenít built for people of foreign sizes.



Jess said she had heard there was a hotspring around here and we decided to roll by that for a good warm soak before the short trek to La Paz.



A short ways outside of Oruro and down a side road we found the hotsprings.







In the parking lot we found this sweet rig. It was a couples who had been travelling around latin america for 1.5 years. They were on their way south towards Argentina.





I donít know about Dave and Jess, but I was ripe and ready for a good shower and soak. The water was the perfect temp, and we spent a couple hours lounging and soaking in the heat.



We had lunch and then got to boogyní when the school of kidos showed up. Back on the road the clouds were out in full form. I like you Bolivia, you are quite the place.









In the afternoon we ran into a Colombian on a BMW1200 on his way back from a run around Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. We were all headed to La Paz, so we rolled that way together. Meet Alex.



Shortly thereafter we got bagged for speeding by a handful of cops with speed guns. I looked around though and quickly realized this was not a normal stop. Yeah you guys got all the clothes and gear, but Iím looking at your civilian car, and I know you guys arenít on duty. You are just out looking for some friday night beer money with the boys. I looked at the guy and told em, ďwe got all day manĒ. He quickly realized that it wasnít our first rodeo, and we werenít going to be giving up any bribe money. Convinced him to take our photo instead.



We kept moving and soon darkness fell with still about an hour or so to go until La Paz.



Again it was cold, but with these sunsets, Iím not complaining.



After a painfully slow and heavily trafficked entrance to La Paz, we found ourselves on the south side main entrance overlooking the city. La Paz sits in a big bowl, and the entrances are a handful of super windy roads. This south entrance, made for one of the most impressive roads into a major city Iíve ridden on. It switches back and forth, with only two lanes, for what seems like 30 - 40 minutes. Itís packed wall to wall with shops and houses, and gives you a feeling of everyone wanting to be as close to the prize city as possible. If you could feel what it might have felt like to roll into an ancient city on horse after crossing a barren desert, this is what it would feel like. There is a vibe to this city that is overwhelmingly impressive. My hairs were put on end.





By the time we made it into the center Dave and Jessís brakes were done and had given up. They had lots of pad left, but the liquid and caliper had heated up so much from the constant breaking while winding into town that there was no more function.



Fucking cool entrance to a city. We sprayed water from my camelbak on the caliper for a bit until it stopped burning it off into a steam.



We pretty quickly found a cheap place with space for us and plenty of parking for the three bikes.





We were laughing at Dave for being so tired, but little did we know he was on the first leg of a good olí stomach war.



The war was early enough to still be able to put down a big dinner though. Welcome to La Paz.

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Old 08-24-2014, 09:34 PM   #622
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That is a fantastic trip you're on!!! Been reading this from the start and enjoying every post. You are sure running into some interesting people.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:41 PM   #623
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That is a fantastic trip you're on!!! Been reading this from the start and enjoying every post. You are sure running into some interesting people.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:47 PM   #624
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Late to the party

Well done sir, I'm planning on 4 months in SA starting in November. I Plan on shipping the bike down that way to get in as much as I can. Thanks for taking the time to write this opus up, it's going to be my road map of sorts.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:55 PM   #625
SeanPNW OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFR View Post
That is a fantastic trip you're on!!! Been reading this from the start and enjoying every post. You are sure running into some interesting people.
The places sure have been interesting, but it's the people that really have stood out to me. It's those brief, random, yet genuine interactions with strangers that have been a much appreciated and unexpected part to this trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PDX Alamo View Post
Well done sir, I'm planning on 4 months in SA starting in November. I Plan on shipping the bike down that way to get in as much as I can. Thanks for taking the time to write this opus up, it's going to be my road map of sorts.
That is going to be a blast. You sure won't get bored. I just loaded the bike up today for her flight to Florida from Bogota.



I don't fly out for a few more days, part of that time will be getting the report back up to present, still a couple weeks behind, but getting closer.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:14 PM   #626
mopulga
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I really have enjoyed your trip report. Outstanding.

I enter Colombia just as you leave. Your trip has been an inspiration.

i
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:16 AM   #627
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loving this report- definately tagging along for the ride!
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:19 AM   #628
cejnys
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Originally Posted by SeanPNW View Post
Hey cejnys, I really like the 60 series, it never fails to impress what it'll put up with and keep trucking. Got the internals soaking wet today and the whole thing shut down. Let it sit in the sun for an hour and she was up and running again.

The maps I use are from here, and I'm pretty sure you can load the image file right onto most garmins: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

They have maps for all over the world, they are more thorough than google maps in most rural places, and everything is opensource (free). I have found them to be the best available so far. Hard to be FREE too.
Thanks mate, this looks like a really good source of maps for Garmin. I am heading south in 3 weeks and these will be handy.

Sad to see you shipping your bike back to US. I really enjoyed your reports and photos!
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:29 AM   #629
SeanPNW OP
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Originally Posted by cejnys View Post
Thanks mate, this looks like a really good source of maps for Garmin. I am heading south in 3 weeks and these will be handy.

Sad to see you shipping your bike back to US. I really enjoyed your reports and photos!
Yeah it's weird to be shipping out of Latin America, but I'm suuuuper stoked to start seeing the South and rural US. I still have a fair chunk of content to get posted to be caught up with the present moment first though.

Here's what I'm thinking for a general route back to the best-coast.


View Larger Map
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:47 AM   #630
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Crossing the U.S.

I realize there may be extraneous limitations at work, but it looks like you are planning a lot of highway miles in the U.S. Have you considered finishing your trip with the TAT? Might be a nice bookend.

I have been following along since before AK, and have really enjoyed your people centric way of traveling. Most travelers never really leave home because they stay in comfortable resorts and hotels, eat food they are accustomed to, served by people who speak their native language. I have really enjoyed your descriptions of the connections you have made with other people and cultures by living like a native. Thank you for the time and effort you have put into this report.
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