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Old 08-26-2014, 08:06 AM   #631
E-Bum
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I've spent a few months in La Paz on a couple occasions. I completely agree with your assessment. It has the most unique and bizarre vibe I've ever felt from a city. The way you plummet down into it as you ride up upon it from the altiplano and find these sprawling concrete houses spilling down into the canyon is incredible. At night, when you're in the center of the city, at the bottom and look outward you see the canyon walls filled with lights, it feels like a stadium or a planetarium.

Anyway, awesome report man. Keep it up.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:08 AM   #632
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Originally Posted by IDWPUNK View Post
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.
Fortunately I have no work! That's actually something that I need to find somewhere in the near future.... This map is just the general regions I want to see.

Budget is my main concern, doing the TAT wooooullld be a great way to camp the whole time, get out in the boonies, and it doooooes cut across the places I want to see. I smell what you are stepping in IDWPUNK, and I like the aroma.....
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:13 AM   #633
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Originally Posted by E-Bum View Post
I've spent a few months in La Paz on a couple occasions. I completely agree with your assessment. It has the most unique and bizarre vibe I've ever felt from a city. The way you plummet down into it as you ride up upon it from the altiplano and find these sprawling concrete houses spilling down into the canyon is incredible. At night, when you're in the center of the city, at the bottom and look outward you see the canyon walls filled with lights, it feels like a stadium or a planetarium.

Anyway, awesome report man. Keep it up.
"A few months in La Paz", "on a couple occasions"...you lucky dog . I didn't get enough time in La Paz, it's one of the cities that I wish I could have really explored it's different barrios and less ventured places. What a fascinating place.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:07 AM   #634
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Originally Posted by SeanPNW View Post
"A few months in La Paz", "on a couple occasions"...you lucky dog . I didn't get enough time in La Paz, it's one of the cities that I wish I could have really explored it's different barrios and less ventured places. What a fascinating place.
Yea I did a volunteering thing on my own time a couple years back in a prosthetics clinic, then ended up going back a year later to do another volunteer thing with Water for People there and in Cochabamba. Bolivia is amazing man, it was easily one of the most interesting places I've ever been too. Epic mountains to climb as well.

I remember going through the Uyuni desert in one of those tours and telling myself that I'd go back there with a motorcycle one day. However I do also distinctly remember that the washboard roads would be absolute fucking hell on a bike in that desert.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:41 PM   #635
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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
Still pretty long way to go before you hit your home town; and definitely very interesting places on your map so see. I would defo stay away from motorways. Good luck and stay safe!
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:37 PM   #636
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Only noticed this report a few days ago and I'm now on page 7.
Man you do an excellent report ! I like your style of writing and the pictures are fantastic !
Every page is making my mouth water with all that delicious Mexican food !
I'll keep playing catch up untill I'm right where you are.

Cheers, Ard
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:07 AM   #637
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Only noticed this report a few days ago and I'm now on page 7.
Man you do an excellent report ! I like your style of writing and the pictures are fantastic !
Every page is making my mouth water with all that delicious Mexican food !
I'll keep playing catch up untill I'm right where you are.

Cheers, Ard
Don't forget the first part going north. It's been fun following along.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:56 AM   #638
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Originally Posted by E-Bum View Post
I remember going through the Uyuni desert in one of those tours and telling myself that I'd go back there with a motorcycle one day. However I do also distinctly remember that the washboard roads would be absolute fucking hell on a bike in that desert.
Thoooose waaaaaasssshboooaaards

Quote:
Originally Posted by cejnys View Post
Still pretty long way to go before you hit your home town; and definitely very interesting places on your map so see. I would defo stay away from motorways. Good luck and stay safe!
I'm super stoked to see the rural side of the country. IDWPUNK mentioned the TAT, after running up to NH, thinking about doing some of the TAT on the way back. As always, no plan, but I'm liking that idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchgit View Post
Only noticed this report a few days ago and I'm now on page 7.
Man you do an excellent report ! I like your style of writing and the pictures are fantastic !
Every page is making my mouth water with all that delicious Mexican food !
I'll keep playing catch up untill I'm right where you are.

Cheers, Ard
Glad you jumped on board Dutchgit, more to come.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:58 AM   #639
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Originally Posted by Rockmuncher View Post
Don't forget the first part going north. It's been fun following along.
Alaska and Canada are heavily underrated, fabulous region to ride. That trip is what changed my whole mentality about travelling via bike.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:32 PM   #640
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Got into Florida yesterday and just picked up the bike. So stoked to be riding again. Should be able to get some writing done in a few days and start getting caught up from Bolivia.



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Old 08-30-2014, 07:35 AM   #641
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115. La-Pazzing La Paz

Jess, Alex and I stayed up shooting the shit over a couple beers and bullshitting about bikes in the hostel bar. Neat little place.



The next morning Alex was up and ready to roll out. Alex is used to covering lotís of miles and heís more or less in transit now to Colombia. I ask him how long itíll take him to get to Cali which is where his family is, he responds with a casual ď6 days.Ē



I like La Paz already, and I already know my time here is going to be too short. Daveís gut is now in full force attack mode so heís MIA today. Jess and I go walking around a bit to see some of the area. We are in the touristic center so we walk around and scope a few digs. Itís got the typical things, plazas, street art, and old buildings.







I spot a line of KLRís, all the cops are scooting around on these.



The stomach starts grumbling telling me it needs filling. If I donít eat soon the Ďhangerí is gonna start in. We drop into one of the many lunch places that fills up during this hour as the locals all scatter from their desk jobs to fill up at their favorite lunch joint. There isnít a menu in the typical sense, just a cycling list of food for the different days. The flaves and the main dish may vary slightly, but you can always expect a bowl of soup, a plate of carbs with meat, a tasty juice drank, and if you are lucky, a small desert.



By the time I got midway through this soup my stomach was still making angry noises, but I could tell the hanger was something else brewing. I slowed down, confused as to what was happening in my stomach, then kept on trucking. Itíll pass, I think?



I tried to power through the second plate of food, but my ability to put the food back and maintain coherent fluid conversation with Jess was waning, something in my gut was starting to demand that I pay attention. I try to finish my food but my stomach is slowly tightening into a knot. ďAlright, letís get out of here before I canít.Ē We start heading back to the hostel. The further we walk, the slower Iím going. We pause for a minute to take a breather in a plaza.



ďShit, what is going on here? I wonder if Iím getting a taste of whatever it is that Dave has?Ē My stomach is really starting to hurt now. I have zero nausia, but fuck this is becoming annoying. Jess helps me back to the hostel and I climb the last stairs up to the room and drag myself into bed. ďFuck it feels good to lay down.Ē After getting horizontal for about 30 minutes my stomach starts to unknot itself, and just like that, Iím back in action. ďFuck, well that was weird?Ē I think I might have gotten just a little flave of what was currently turning Dave into a sleeping zombie as his body battled to keep his internals. With my stomach feeling normal and a new found lust for life again I got to my main concern for the day, my rear suspension. After 20+k unserviced abusive miles, my rear shock had lost most of itís dampening. I borrow some wood and throw the bike up on my makeshift stand to get a better look at things..



The days and days of endless washboard mixed with my neanderthal-esque unwillingness to ride the bike like a normal person had drove the last nail in the coffin. After some thorough inspection, I know itís not leaking, nor does it have any blown seals. Itís a Cogent Moab shock from Cogent Dynamics with a 500lb Ohlins spring on it. The spring is doing 90% of the work now, but I donít think Iíll be seeing much more dirt before getting back to the US, and the big Ohlins seems to be handling the load at speed on pavement just fine. Rick (the builder of the Moab) is up in NC, so I mind as well just drop on in when I get stateside for a quick service from the man himself. I crank down the pre-load a bit to help pick up some of the slack and call erí good enough for now.




I play around on the computer for the rest of the afternoon looking at maps and thinking about where I want to go with the time I have left. Man itís weird having the idea that Iím headed towards a destination, I think I even have something of a general goal and timeframe. I shake it off and tell myself not to think about that, ďJust think about where you want to go next.Ē Later that night Jess and I go grab some grub with a swiss girl and walk around for a bit. La Paz has a vibe to it very different than other large cities of similar stature. It feels distinctly Bolivian, and itís not common to have a large metropolitan city feel unadalterated by the mass of people from different areas and cultures all congregating in one spot. Maybe thatís just it though, ďmetropolitanĒ, it really doesnít feel metropolitan at all. Yeah it has modern flare, fancy shops, and developed cuisine, but there is still a true grit to this place that most other big capital cities lack. Even with all the people and hints of modernity, it still feels raw, natural, and no bullshit...it feels Bolivian. I like that.




















We find a guy slanging bolivian hamburgers like it aint no thang. When there is a high flow of people stuffing their faces with someones grub, you know that shit is taistey.



All his meats were hand mixed with spices and herbs. The smell was pretty top notch. You pick out what sort of bread you want and what veggies. I ordered up two different combinations, and had him throw an egg on both for good measure.



He also had a bunch of hand mixed sauces. Some spicey, some sweet, but itís the creamy garlic thatís the killer option.



We walk off the grub strolling around back streets and night markets then find our way back to the hostel. The owner of the hostel bar is separate from the hostel and heís got a passion for old antiques. Heís from Argentina and came to Bolivia with the idea of making a better life for himself. He found his way to La Paz and eventually got into the bar business and has turned this bar into what it is today.



Itís taken him years to find all of the little items in the bar. From old dentist chairs, to antique record players that can still spin a track. All the items are picked by him, and he spends many hours strolling through old markets and sourcing items from specialty antique dealers. A lot of time, and a lot of money, has gone into obtaining each little item, and they all have special meaning to him.



Hereís a shout-out to my mom, he had found an old singer sewing machine, my mom had the exact same one when I was growing up.



We sat for a while, putting back different Bolivian beers and shooting the shit about La Paz. He has been living here for a while now, and knows a lot about the different barrios and how the city is divided up demographically and geographically. He likes it here, but his dream is to open up his own bar that isnít inside of another persons hostel. He wants his own place where he can have full control of how things are done, and not be told by someone else where he has to cut corners or draw limits based on bottom lines. Heís obsessed with quality, and is passionate about creating an experience for people that isnít driven by the underlying idea of turning a buck. Really interesting guy, I would love to see what he would create if he had full freedom. I hope heís able to go to that next step, and bring his ideas to fruition at his own place independent of a hostel.



We head up to the rooftop to check out the view of La Paz before calling it a night. I could easily spend several months here exploring this city. It seems like it has so much to offer, and so much to try and understand. Tomorrow though, Iím gonna be headed out. If I donít get out of here now, I probably wonít anytime in the near future, and I do have a few more places I want to see before starting the bomb north. Catch you later La Paz.

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Old 08-31-2014, 11:29 AM   #642
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welcome back, red dog
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Originally Posted by SeanPNW View Post
Got into Florida yesterday and just picked up the bike. So stoked to be riding again. Should be able to get some writing done in a few days and start getting caught up from Bolivia.



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Old 08-31-2014, 09:14 PM   #643
SeanPNW OP
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welcome back, red dog
Ccclkkgggkkk, roger that Brown Bear, good to be here cccllkkggggkkkk

I crossed into Georgia today and have been told I'm officially in the 'south'. I can confirm the smoked chicken is very good. More to come.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:42 PM   #644
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Man I can't believe how well the mighty KLR has served you on this trip.
On another note, I'm sure your folks are relieved you're back in the states.
Welcome back! Keep the tires rolling.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:20 PM   #645
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Hey Sean,

Great trip, following you for a while now. If you'r Goning to be ridding thru Jackson Hole on your way home shoot me a line. I'd be honored to hook you up and buy you dinner and some beers to hear more of your story. Great trip and thanks for taking us along. Must be a bit of culture shock to be back in the USA.

Congrats on a great trip thru the Americas.

Eric
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