Border to Salar de Uyuni

Amigos!!!!

Already two weeks in Bolivia. Time really flies. Soooo much to tell…. That’s why we do it in two posts. We are now in Potosi, but first: border to Salar de Uyuni.

Bolivia, land of the extremes. It’s one of the coldiest and warmest places in South America. It has the driest and saltiest landscapes. It is the poorest country in South America, but is richest in terms of natural resources.

Bolivias Alto Plano

On friday august 27 we did the Bolivian bordercrossing. The easiest so far, there was no one else.

Welcome in Bolivia

We spent two nights in Copacabana, a little village at Lake Titicaca.

Copacabana

We enjoyed the sunny weather during daytime and tried to stay warm after sunset. Bas and Steve climbed the religious hill with nice view over the Lake. A lot of local people do this climb, buy some stuff at the top and have a religious ceremony with beer down the hill.

material things

The funny thing is, that it has only to do with material things. Houses, cars, money, everything on scale they could buy on top and have a beer ceremony whishing it would become theirs. This might be the solution to our budget problem….just ask for more money.

mini motorbike and dollars

So, we bought some fake dollars and a mini motorbike and asked for good luck on our bike trip and a budget miracle. The drunk priest did his thing and about four bottles of beer were used.

beer spillage

Some might say it is spillage of beer. But, don’t worry Ab, it wasn’t Heineken.

Sunday morning we drove to La Paz, worlds highest capital at 3600m. The easiest way to get into this chaotic metropolis, hoping everyone would be in church. Indeed it wasn’t that bad.

La Paz

In La Paz we stayed 5 days with our main goal to do some maintenance on our bikes. Some people consider La Paz a not so pleasant place (to say it nicely), but we sort of liked it. It is just a chaotic big city, but it has its charm.

La Paz

Maybe you can compare the chaotic La Paz life with its power supply. It works, so no one complains.

power supply

On every corner they sell dried lama fetuses. They say it will bring luck, when burried under your house. We thought of buying one for some luck along the road….

dried lama fetuses

We met some travellers we met before and had a few beers with Vince…..again. We also wanted to do the death road, the worlds most dangerous road. This ofcourse is mainly to attract tourists, but we wanted to decide for ourselves. Unfortunately we were stopped by the rain and snow while climbing to 4800m. Besides, Steve and Bas’ bike looked like they were dying. No power, since the day we entered Bolivia our bikes ran like shit. Combination of bad fuel and the altitude. We decided to do something about the carburettor because we would be riding high altitudes the next few weeks (the Alti Plano: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altiplano). Went to an old mechanic and he did the trick we heard from Charlie in Amsterdam….adding the tiniest piece of copper wire to the main jet in the carb. After that the bike drove smooth like riding at sealevel. WOW! Sorry ladies for getting too technical….

Road to Oruro

We left La Paz friday september 3. Next goal was to ride the Salar the Uyuni, the worlds largest salt flat at an altitude of 3700m. We made it to Oruro, famous for its carnival, but we were 5 months too early. We had our first coca tea there, made of coca leaves…..also known for the white power.

Mate de coca

Next day we drove to our Salar startpoint. A long day of dirtroads through beautiful Bolivia.

dirtroads

dirtroads

dirtroads

At nightfall we made it to Salinas de Garci Mendoza, (north of the Salar) and were very surprised to find a neat place to spend the night in this little desolate village.

Next morning we woke up to ride one of the highlights so far, Salar the Uyuni (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salar_de_Uyuni). But before we got there, there was a terrible road of thin sand. Not all of us were able to keep the bike in the right position.

sandy road

But after that……….indescribable. We entered the Salar and had 12.000 square km of salt flat for ourselves. We felt like little boys again.

Entering salar the Uyuni

Riding the salt flats

playing on the salt flats

In the beginning we were not sure if it was salt or snow. Our salt expert did a close examination and concluded it was 100% pure salt.

the salt expert

Dutch dangleberries riding salar the Uyuni

Ok amigos, soon the rest of our Salar the Uyuni experiences and more .

Chao Chao

This entry was posted in Bolivia.

12 thoughts on “Border to Salar de Uyuni

  1. Ja, ik ben de eerste!! Jongens wat een prachtige dingen zien jullie en het lijkt inderdaad net of jullie in de sneeuw staan. Wat gaaf om mee te maken. Alleen dat kleine dooie lamaatje…..waar is die gebleven?
    Veel plezier en wat genieten wij van jullie verhalen.
    Dikke knuf voor alledrie.
    Mam-Roel

  2. Hallo Doorzetters,

    Ik ben op deze nieuwsbrief geabonneerd sinds jullie vertrek op 11 februari ,geattendeerd door Steve zijn pa ,Gerard,volg jullie trip met veel genoegen en ik wens jullie veel geluk en plezier op de volgende ritten en dat het materiaal ok blijft.

  3. You guys are still going strong, I see. Nice pictures, awesome trip sofar. Keep the shiny(?) side up!

  4. Gasten,

    ziet er weer goed uit, maar waar is die vierde vent op de foto (callsign Berks)? Volgens mij rijdt ie met jullie mee!! Marleen vindt het trouwens wel erg leuk! Geniet er weer van en tot horens….

  5. Great pictures and prose! What was the carb trick for us moto nerds out there? I’m riding a carbed bike now and it is a dog at altitude. I wish it had a lever to adjust the mixture like an airplane

  6. Steve, zo te zien moet je je nog ff melden voor een lesje “mul zand”
    Ik was heel even bezorgd toen ik jullie met de theekopjes zag maar gelukkig stond ‘t bier al in de backup op tafel.

    Nice!

  7. Femke (GL) is langs geweest,want ze hebben al spaarlampen!!Als de electrician van de MAHU klaar is,kan’ie naar LaPaz.Thee uit een pickwick zakje? Sinds wanneer drinken thee en bier tegelijk!Genoten van verhalen en plaatjes.SFSG.

  8. Ja Steve, had je nou maar zo’n lief klein dood baby-lamaatje aan je helm hangen….dan was je nooit gevallen!

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