09 July 2012

Southwestern Bolivia

Ride report on one of the most incredible off-road sections of the last 7 months in South America on the DR-200.  Pictures of the last few months in Chile are coming later.

sundown in the chilean desert

you think you're remote until google streetview rolls by.... shit.

when they tell you need a big bike, they mean if you are in a hurry.  Adrian is headed for Alaska on a 150, and Ole rolls 70cc.  Me on my macho 200 on the right

Ole has over 12000 miles on his Honda 70cc, bought new in Pakistan.

Ole's Honda 70 in all its glory

If you want to host this amiable German nutcase when he comes through the USA, contact me...


Headed for the Chile-Bolivia border, and high altitude

All the truckers rest after making it over the pass

the only snow was on the road!

Bolivia immigration lets me in

Laguna Blanco and Laguna Verde  Altitude 4300m (14,107 ft)


Laguna Verde.  I fell crossing a river and was riding in below freezing with soaked jeans and boots


This is what I look like loaded up with an extra 2 and a half gallons of fuel


Desierto Dali

Thank god for hot springs

Customs at 5020m (16,470 ft)

It was so cold (-5 Farenheit) they let me sleep inside

the nice poster on the wall had been inspected by the controlled substances unit

customs, super official


you can ride anywhere you want, as long as it is full throttle

Laguna Colorado with a geyser

the jeep tours can be seen from a great distance, so i turned off on some back roads to escape the dust

flamingos at 4000m


quality time with Suzi Smackdown, when I should have been tightening bolts

the set-up

endless washboard roads

and gone is the drive sprocket retainer screw...  luckily it is the same thread as the brake drum brace, which can be replaced with a different thread pitch bolt...  how exciting

nothing like being broken down out here

dusty deserted towns

nice gas station

IH barn find
rough roads continue

the reveal incredible landscapes

llama crossing

i rounded a bend and caught some campesions bringing their herd in for the day


lots of little lakes around

and shepherd's huts to break the wind

every morning i had to run my stove under the motor to get it warm enough to push start since the battery is dead


when it turns to llama tracks, i start to wonder if this is the main route

nobody really knows how far it is to uyuni or tupiza, my destination

they all have colorful ear adornments.  more creative than number tags

llamas on the ridge and rock houses tucked in the cliffs

sharing peanut butter and rock throwing techniques with the local kids


good place for a flat tire.  slime didn't work well below freezing.

mineral deposits in the riverbed

into the great wide open

and the patch didn't hold...  time for a new tube in san pablo de lipez


i stopped for the night at this little hut.  note the size of the bike alongside.

it was too small for my 5'3'' frame to stretch out

but it didn't stop 2 smugglers from squeezing in to pass the cold night huddled under alpaca blankets


some forks in the road necessitate using the force to decide the route


here, a mine bypasses the tailings pools and dumps straight into the creek

i wanted to see the place where two wild west legends were gunned down
San Vicente, Bolivia.  I ate lunch in the mine cafeteria


you can just see the road i took


i came around a turn and looked down to realize how close the road was to a long way down



big truck battles donkey train


coming into Tupiza 4 days later with a broken frame (3 places)

here, they don't have your normal acetylene setup

they drop calcium carbide into water to make the welding gas.

i was checking out their custom 2 stroke Kawasaki chopper.  it's so small!

i couldn't resist some SWEET new graphics.  I look so sponsored now!

goats ahead...  lots and lots of goats...

6 comments:

Paul Coleman said...

Fantastic journey Matt. Thanks for the photo`s, wild indeed.

Troy said...

Nice ride! Keep in touch, maybe we'll see each other down the road. You can always find me at www.TheAdventureBegins.tv

Sylvie Detaille said...

Love it. as usual. Thanks Matt.

Mark Dennis said...

Excellent pictures as usual. The more I look at your trip, the more I realize I need to toughen up if I'm going to continue that direction.

Matt said...

Thanks everybody! It's great to get some feedback! More to come!

Lozza said...

Catching up on your post, after too many months of living the corporate dream. Ok, many months, as I didn't know you had switched to a motorbike. You really must have been thinking of our motored machines all the way through Mexico and Central America. I have another 3 month trip in Canada, USA and Mexico in August, can't wait! Stay upright. Loren. www.steelhorsetour.com

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