South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

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Slowlycatchymonkey
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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by Slowlycatchymonkey » Fri May 17, 2019 9:17 pm

Sounds a bit hairy!

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gbags
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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Sat May 18, 2019 9:54 pm

Sorry for the delay but we arrived back in the UK a couple of days ago and have no WiFi for a while yet.
I’ll send more pics and notes as I get to coffee shops or friends’ houses.

TBH I’m sending you the interesting pics but the riots were more fun than dicey for us. We were all held up by the police, thankfully at a place selling food and drinks, and then when we got the green light from the cops, we bombed through. It had a party atmosphere and was great fun. Some of the cars were jockeying for first place but our Peruvian mates were having none of that and we just stuck with them. A great day.

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Wed May 22, 2019 4:08 pm

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Leaving Arica, the last town in Chile, we headed up the road to Bolivia. I took a ‘short cut’. It was a really stupid thing to do. We ended up on the wrong dirt track, hours away from our planned route. We finally got back onto our road four hours later. This is in the Atacama desert, the driest I think on earth.
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This is what the fertile part looks like.
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Back on the road and yet another truck had cornered his way to disaster. This is a gentle bend. I don’t know how they do it. This spill could represent a financial catastrophe to an owner driver

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Wed May 22, 2019 4:32 pm

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Way up high in the Andes, we came across the volcanoes that run from Mexico to Chile. This road goes from Arica, zero metres above sea level up to Potocamaya at 3764m.
There was virtually nowhere to stop in between and this was higher than La Paz. We’d spent so long on the road that we couldn’t go further. I had a crashing headache, and was dizzy and breathless. These effects took many days to diminish. I know people might think this is dangerous but I’ve climbed to 5,400m as a younger man so knew I could take altitude. All I had to do now was take care of Yenni and head back down to lower altitude if she got into trouble.
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Bloody sand! Diversions around roadworks are a constant problem and picking up big, laden bikes in seriously hot weather is a bummer. If there’s a way to keep a big overlander upright in soft sand, I didn’t learn it.
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La Paz! We dropped down to the city, which is wrapped in mountains all around. There is a wonderful system of modern, highly efficient Austrian gondolas that ride up and down the sugar bowl, from lip to bottom, over about six ‘runs’. I thought they might be wildly expensive and only for tourists but not a bit. Peanut sellers an gringos rub shoulder going up and down to the lip. This is the best way to move about and you get a bird’s eye view of the city.

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Wed May 22, 2019 4:52 pm

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We left La Paz after a few days and headed for Lake Titicaca. Simple enough ferry; ride on one end and ride off the other. What could go wrong?
Well, they drive on one end and then reverse off. Difficult again with a monster trailie but that’s where new found friends come in. Every biker we met loves to help out, as we did with them, so we huffed and puffed and pulled all the bikes off backwards.
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Copacabana on lake Titicaca at sunset. Very lovely. Months on a bike can make you pretty sedentary so we always climbed and high beauty spots we could find. I did regular exercise too, to keep up.
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And so to Cusco. The old town is really pretty. I was here about 30 years ago, having backpacked south from the US so this felt pretty good, having come north. There was a vast military pageant going on, whether for themselves or tourists, I don’t know. Being ex-army I enjoyed it all. It was around this time that I passed my sixtieth birthday.

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