Ok... I rode from Los Angeles California to the southern tip of South America, and back. I started out with a friend from Alberta Canada - Larry is a rancher whom I met when I rode to Alaska a few years earlier and had stayed in touch with. He had recently bought a new bike and wanted to go for a ride. So we set our sights on Tierra Del Fuego. But, he had to turn back in Colombia. Then I rode with Brian from England, Patrick from Ireland, and Damon from New Zealand, from Columbia to Santiago Chile. After that, I was on my own.
This was an exciting trip for a number of reasons. It was over 30,000 miles thru Latin America and the Andes mountains, and I didn't speak much Spanish. There was also the small detail of the Darien Gap. And, then there was "Death Road" in Bolivia - supposedly the most dangerous road in the world.
Anyway, I blogged about the entire journey right here.
I arrived in Buenos Aires and was ready for a break. Before I knew it I’d been there over a month. During that time I met a few new friends and caught up with a few old ones. The guys I had ridden with thru Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, eventually caught up to me here. They stayed for a bit and each moved on. Patrick went back to Santiago Chile. It was the end of the road for Brian and he shipped his bike back to England. Damon shipped his bike to Germany to continue his RTW ride. And me? … I took Tango dancing lessons and did a lot of just plain chillin. I also had some bike issues to work out. One problem with the bike that cropped up on a short trip across the border into Uruguay. The bike stopped charging the battery. And, the bike would stop running when the battery died. This turned out to be a broken wire on the voltage regulator which I was (eventually) able to diagnose and repair myself. Another issue was the starter. It really needed to be rebuilt or replaced. There was an auto shop down the street from my hostel where I had my battery charged several times. The mechanic there said he would rebuild my starter if I removed it from the bike. So, I brought it over and he rebuilt it as I watched. After about 15 minutes he had it back together again and pronounced it “New”. And for his services he refused to take any money. He said I was a guest in his country.
The Recoleta Cemetary - a most unusual graveyard for the rich and famous
There's dancin in the streets, Sunday evenings in the
Ok. This was my second trip into Bolivia. The first trip lasted a full month and included, Death Road, the Amazon, Lake Titikaca, the Potosi Silver Mines, the Salar de Uyuni and tracking down Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Many of the miles I rode thru Bolivia were on dirt roads of varying condition, sometimes in wet weather, making for much slower than usual progress. Why should I have thought this time would be different? After crossing the border from Paraguay, the poorly maintained paved roads immediately turned completely to dirt. To make matters worse, I ran out of money before reaching a town large enough to have a bank. But they did have a Western Union - Go figure! Anyway, I was stuck in a tiny Bolivian town for a day without any money. Thankfully my sis was kind enough to send me enough to make it to a town large enough to have a bank. So, what was suppose to be a one day ride from the border to Sucre, tuned into 3 days. But, it was interesting! That’s Bolivia for you.
The Bolivian Immigrations Office at the frontier border crossing