Bolivia is an incredible country. The landscapes are varied, changing from a cowboy westerns to salt flats to mountains to jungle. It´s so easy to escape into the wilderness. Only half the roads paved, but thats perfect for a moto adventure!
Combined with a friendly people soaked in culture and a conversion rate to make you feel rich. This country feels truely unique and is up there as one of my favourites.
First stop is Tupiza, a dust town but good for excursions. Such as the Cannon de Inca, a tranquil horse ride away… Or a much better off roading session! Following horse tracks and dung I cut through the serene countryside, bouncing across rocks while doing my best to avoid cacti.
Tupiza –> Uyuni
Beautiful 7 hour dirt road/off roading trek across the countyside. After 5 hours my welded rack gave in and cracked in three places. This ended up dragging my spare petrol tank and leaking its almost needed contents. Luckily my bike made the 210km, had it been another 40km I would have been screwed.. in the middle of no where, dark and cold!
Had an awesome time riding across the largest salt flats in the world. Rode 100km west, surrounded by sheer white emptiness. Turn round and headed east, back to civilizations and on to the el cementerio de trenes.
First hotel tries to charge my 300 Bolivianos, get next one for 35 Bolivianos.. a mear £3.5. So the reason I´m here is the same as everyone else, the mines!
First stop is the shop to buy gifts for the miners. Get to choose between drinks, coca leafs, 98% alcohol or Dynamite! For only 3 pounds, god knows why I didn´t buy any.. redneck in me would love to play with explosives.
Tour is excellent, really fascinating but a sobering experience. The conditions are terrible, akin to medieval times. Back breaking work, carrying rumble by hand through semi flooded shafts without electricity. Guide tells us the average life expectancy is 50, with children as young as 14 working the mines. Didn´t see any children but a lot of the miners had nasty coughs.
Ride to Surce with a friend, my favorite city in Bolivia. On the way we stop to chat with farmers, who teach us how to separate the corn from the sheath by fling it up into the air with a pitch fork.
From Surce I head north to CoChaBamBa (gotta love the names here), 2 day ride across dirt roads without a road sign in sight. I end up taking a wrong turn and riding along this tiny farmer’s road across the hills. Beautiful. Talk with lots of the locals who are surprised to see me. Fantastic experience.
The food in Bolivia is a little disappointing; their national dish seems to be cold fried chicken and chips. Everything has to be served with chips.. even rice. Best eating is on the markets, hearty soups and stews. Damn tasty!
South of CochaBamba is national park famous for dinosaur fossils and footprints. Chat to a local who offers me some freshly stolen honey. Go caving, surprised at how small the gaps are we have to squeeze though.
La Paz isn’t my favorite place, super touristy and the locals like to overcharge tourists. Death road was fun on the moto but not nearly as death defying as I expected. Would be a lot more scared if I did it in a car, the passing points are way too narrow! But on a bike, loads of room.
Ride to Copacabana, beautiful trip but the destination is a little overrated. Often the way, that it is the ride it´s self, not the destination that was the best part of the trip.
Getting out of Bolivia into Peru was an absolute nightmare with corrupt officials. A story best told in person.