Day 65 to Day 85 – Bolivia and Peru
This part of the route I very much looked forward, not that others are less interesting, just many riders often talk about Bolivia and Peru, countries that you must not miss when you travel in South America. I cannot agree more.
During this time frame of my ride, I covered the Andes range of Bolivia (Potosi, Sucre, Potosi, Oruro, La Paz, Coroico, ) and Peru (Puno, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Machu Pichu, Abancay, Nasca, Pisco, Lima, Huarmey, Trujillo, Chiclayo and Piura). On average I traveled at height of 4000 metres above sea level where man and machine could suffer high altitude effect.
April Fool! - Episode at Potosi's fuel station
On 1st April 2012, in Potosi, due to my own careless and that stupid pump girl, my bike took in diesel! Full tank! I almost wanted to slap that idiot girl but I came to my sense and composure quickly. Laugh at that episode and lost a day ride. Was it an April Fool? You may think so.
La Paz - The highest city in the world
La Paz is recorded to be the highest city in the world. From a distance of about 100 km I can see the mountain ranges bordering La Paz. The high clouds and cold temperature with regular frost and icy road towards this city denote the high altitude that I am in.
Fuel is a control item in Bolivia. Fuel stations near the borders are closely guarded by armed security forces. For foreigners, getting fuel can be difficult but not impossible. The rate is 3 times higher than the local. But I was lucky to paid the international price only twice; the trick was fuel at some outskirt stations and never at big towns or near borders.
Yungus valley in Bolivia is another interesting and breathtaking route to take. I cannot express enough how hair rising experience when two vehicles pass each other at a narrow bend.
The town of Desaguadero is split into half; Desaguadero, Bolivia and Desaguadero, Peru. The dividing line is marked by a small river running across the town flows into the Lake Titicaca. I took 2 hours to cross from Bolivia into Peru at this Border Cross. Not it was difficult, just that there are always many traders crossing with their goods. I would imagine there are alots of smuggling activities too. This important town is very dusty and small traders and market places are everywhere. Bustling with trading.
Next town – Desaguadero Bolivia/ Desaguadero Peru
This way to the Immigration
Welcome to Peru, Good bye Bolivia
Isla Urus, Lake Titicaca, Peru side is a man-made floating island made of jute type plant (dry pulp). A sailing ride on one of the Titicaca pulp boat was an experience.
|Lake Titicaca, Peru side|
Isla Urus, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Machu Pichu is one of my place to go list. I am so glad to see it myself. There are many tales and stories about this Inca City. What remain to be true is that the stone ruins are still standing strong battling the weather all these years. I agree with one opinion that Machu Pichu was not discovered by the American Professor rather it was make known as the Inca City was there all the time and one of the guide actually led the Professor to the site. Don’t be mistaken with history.
One of the 7 Wonders of the world
The ride Cusco – Abancay – Nasca some 500km route I considered as another bikers paradise route. It is long, winding, up and down mountain, mix tarmac and gravel, magnificient view and natural beauty of the Andes only to be experienced by two wheels. The sight, smell, touch and hear the Andes are just worthwhile hard long ride. This is what they called “Four wheels drive body, two wheels drive soul”
The long and winding road
Restricted visibility as altitude catches up
Raging water cross your road
Continuous climbing and winding
That’s the way it is along Cusco – Nazca, Peru route (The Inca route)
Peru and Bolivia are the most historic countries in South Americas. The fight for their Independence was last fought in places like Pisco, Chiclayo and Guayaquil. Their heroes like Simon Bolivar, Sucre and San Martin are remembered, noticeable by streets and major roads bear their names.
More ride report follows.