to Uyuni 1

Riding out of La Paz was an adventure. You have to be on your ‘A-game’ anywhere in Peru or Bolivia. In the city or out in the country, it’s all the same: a day rarely goes by when you don’t have something happen to think about. For example, in the country the trucks overtake whether you’re coming the other way or not. Motos have zero rights anywhere south of Equador. The motos have for the most part disappeared off the roads. My friend Alvaro says people think they’re too dangerous. This makes no sense to me given how dangerous everything else is, like the roads. We’ve long ago had to forget what seems to be the way life logically should be and accept the way things are out of pretty Vancouver or wherever without complaint, except to other riders, which often makes up the bulk of our f-bomb-laced emails to each other.

It hasn’t been a good while for riders south of Panama. There have been four accidents, one expensive bike stolen, a couple of quits and one guy (Toni, who I met in Belize) who was attacked by two guys with machetes (and escaped). Lucinda and I realize we need a bit of luck to keep this up for the length of the plan. It’s normal to worry about harm to the bike, you just can’t worry about harm to yourself from wherever it may come from or you’re prey. There are much harder places elsewhere in the world than South America. But we won’t talk about that in case Lucinda overhears.

The day’s track
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We’re still above 12,000 feet
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Anyway, no stopping for pics until we’re long out of the city. The road’s under construction to Oruro and there seem to be an unusual amount of checkpoints and toll booths
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Road diversions constantly, which slowed progress
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Pass through small towns
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And across cold empty plains
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Hills here and there, rain on and off
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Past a crash or two
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About twenty miles from our destination there’s a big Unimog and a Dutch couple tell me the road is not passable for the last 10 miles, so I back-track and find another way in. I get a nice photo of them but they don’t want any pictures of themselves or their huge truck on the internet

Stop at the outskirts of town and get bearings
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Into Oruro. This is on the bad-places list but the diversions have slowed us down so don’t have a choice but stay. Anyone following – don’t stop
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Ride around until we find a safe place for Lucinda
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A lot of dogs in Oruro. But there are a lot everywhere south of Colombia. A friend said the other day that they seem to get meaner the further south you get and an Aussie I met in Caraz says he was constantly being attacked. They roam the streets in packs going through the garbage. It may be Lucinda’s size, but we haven’t had problems other than being chased 4 or 5 times a day
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I normally would have lumped this lousy day in with others, it doesn’t deserve a post, but the next day was almost the opposite so decided to keep them separate.

Saludos
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Comments

2 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Tom,

    A bad day but interesting insights.
    Looking forward now to Uyuni 2…

    Merry Christmas – wherever you are!

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