Published: March 27th 2010March 27th 2010
Entering the City
Hi from La Paz.
We left Uyuni, around 9.am as we had a lot of mucking around with the sale of fuel to foreigners, of which category we fit into, after using our contacts, we managed at least to fill the truck with local priced fuel.
The Road from Uyuni to Oruro, has only marginally been improved since we were here 12 months ago. One of the wet land areas that they were building a concrete ford last year was still not finished, even though there were large gangs of workers there.
Further up there was a deviation in place, as they are building and sealing a large section of this road, but again, we could see no improvement from 12 months ago. And what a mission this ‘Diversio’ turned out to be, as the sand had just got deeper and deeper through here and of course we all still had our luggage on the motos.
Jane was riding the BMW 800GS, as Vince was still feeling a bit poorly and was riding in the truck, but she did just so well and I was very proud of her.
Further up there is a river to cross, the first
Up in the clouds
time in 2008, we got there in the dark, but managed to find a concrete ford, which we also used last year, as the river was too high.
This year, the whole region has had minimal rainfall, so we were able to ride across for the first time.
We arrived in Gerardo’s most favourite (not) Bolivian City of Oruro, we were to regroup outside the city, So Scott, Jane and I, pulled in for fuel and waited about 30minutes, with no sign of the rest of the group, now with thick rain clouds forming and the wind getting up into storm mode, we decided to make a run for our hotel, on the way we were sucked into an amazing dust storm, that picked up all the local rubbish and threw it skyward and at us, I could hardly breath as the dust was mixed with diesel fumes from the big tucks, we made it to the hotel before it rained at least.
About half an hour later the rest of the group arrived, BUT with Marcus’s KLR on the back of the truck.
It turned out that the mainframe centre bolt had broken and it allowed the rear
Corioco lunch break
frame to move backwards, separating the air box from the carburettor. This bolt needed to be drilled and use an ezyout to remove the threaded bit left in the frame.
So it was off to find a fixit man, this was achieved with little fuss at around 4.00pm. I supplied a spare bolt that I had taken as a spare. Marcus went and picked it up at 8.30pm after dinner, they had even re welded his crash bar mounting that had broken, all this for about NZ$40
So Team Kawasaki was back on the road again (for a while)
We left Oruro a bit late as our motos and the truck were blocked in the parking area by other vehicles, after a game of chess to move all the vehicles we were on our way to La Paz.
The open road speed limit is 80kmh, but as we were travelling about 110km, at the last minute I saw a police with a hand held Radar Gun, as I approached, he sort of waved at me, so I waved to him as I had 5 other motos close behind, I made the decision to continue, as his radar gun had
Road of Death
Repairing a slip
no bullets, the others all followed, mean while the chase truck was hot on our tail, and Fillup had the red flag waved at him, but also made a run for it.
A couple of naughty riders also got a good flashing and a siren, when they passed on a double yellow line with an oncoming police car, naughty, naughty bikers!
As we were entering La Paz a good tight group, I said we would pull up at a vantage point to view the city, when I pulled up I only had Scott and Jane with me, looking back we could see the rest of them parked up, we waited and after a while the truck appeared with the red KLR on the back again.
It turned out that it had overheated in the tight traffic entering La Paz and had blown the fan motor, so off to find another repair man.
We had to clean the air filters on our motos again, after only two days on the road, so that gives you some idea of the dusty conditions we are riding in.
While Marcus’s moto was being repaired, we took the day and road to Coroico
for lunch, this is a 200km loop, down the new road and back up the Yangus Road (Road of death)
We left the hotel confident that I could find our way out of this massive city, Vince decided he would ride his moto for the first tim since his ‘off’ in the sand a few days ago, so with Jane and Marcus riding shotgun, off we went.
Well it didn’t take long before we were lost in the jungle, along with Vince dropping his moto in a very busy intersection, breaking his mirror and leaning against Scott, with the help of the local police, controlling the intersection, they got him up right and we were sent in the right direction. It was still confusing, although we were, sort of in the right place, when a chap in Nissan Primera, stopped to see if he could help, he then said ‘Follow me” and he led us through the maze of streets and sent us on our way.
What an awesome ride this is, the temperature at the top as 8.1 deg, an hour latter we were on the edge of the real jungle, with temperatures in the low 30’s.
lunch was great, but the ride up the old road was just stunning, there had been a lot of rain, so a lot of repair was being done. Vince gave Jane her bike back at the lunch break and she rode it out with us, Vince riding ‘Dog Class’ again on the back of the truck, the waterfalls were just amazing, some we had no choice but to ride through them, Fill up,even had to drive slowly through a couple with Vince on the back, lucky he had his riding gear and helmet on, we even had a splattering of rain, while we rode up. I know Anne had some really EXCITTABLE moments, as she was on the outside, looking down !!
We arrived back at our hotel about 4.30 and Marcus went off to get his moto as it was all fixed and ready to go.
Breaking news....Vince has just returned from Hospital and after an xray, they found he had a small bone in his ankle broken, so now he is in plaster for a week or so, I guess Jane gets to keep her moto for at least another week....
Tomorrow, we leave Bolivia and
head onto Puno, in Peru.
There are more photos below