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Day 387 – 30th December 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 30, 2009

Wednesday – Potosi, Bolivia

Rider down today 😦

We got away to an early start after organising an early breakfast, which was stale but anything is better than nothing. We were glad to finally leave La Paz and be on the road again and were soon on the alto plano doing a fast rate of knots 🙂

We got into the city of Oruro which had some very nice metal art work all over town, what a shame about all the rubbish and litter lying around. It was also a nightmare to get through, at one stage we were riding up a railway line and through a market place, but we got stopped because some market lady just squatted down for a pee in the middle of the tracks!!

We rode around for a while in circles, like normal, basically trying to find somewhere to eat as we needed food because breakfast was so bad. After a lot of mucking around, we finally found a place to eat and sat down to a great meal, I was impressed by the food and for once the service was excellent 🙂 After this early lunch we headed off again, Gino looks like he is still hungry for something 😉

For the next two hours it was just fast roads, straight for the most part and of course still high up at just below 4000m, but eventually we came to some hills and twistys 🙂

And where you have hills you will eventually find rain, so we soon had to stop to add some wet gear.

And after all this fast paced stuff on the straights, the rain caused a massive drop in speed, especially amongst the curves, and the rain turned to hail, that was cold, but it did clear up a bit on the other side where the views were back on the menu!

Somewhere along here we had waited for Johannes, Judi and Gino, but they did not show up and we made the stupid mistake of carrying on. So, it was around 3.30 we found the turn off to the Hacienda which we had been told about as a nice place to stay, it was about 15km short of Potosi itself. The turnoff was easy to find as a chap was standing there with a sign which we recognised 🙂

We now had to ride a very bumpy cobblestone road for about 10km and then some very dodgy mud clay road, which although dry looked like a Queensland farm track when the rain hits and the ruts were very pronounced.

I was not that interested in staying here as there was no internet and they had no rooms anyway. But, after some chit chat with the owners we felt a bit guilty as they had bought extra food and beer for 12 people! In the end they found an extra room and a heater, so I decided to tough it out.

We were all a bit concerned by now about the whereabouts of the missing bikes. Apparently Gino had a bent section on his front rim and although the tyre was put back on with sealer Chris seemed to think this could be an issue. We were hoping for the best, but dark thoughts did appear in our heads. By this time, Graham had gone to the road junction to wait as they would not be able to find this place without help anyway. After an hour, Chris also headed off and decided to ride back the way they had come to where we had last seen them. Eventually Gert turned up and he had been in Potosi and not seen any bikes along that section of road, so they were still on or off the road to La Paz, the rest of us sat around a fire and had some beers with a Dutch couple.

It was during this time a massive thunderstorm hit and I knew the dirt road in would be treacherous. After some more time, Chris returned and the news was all bad. Gino had suffered a blown front tyre while going around a corner and crashed, this was just at the time we had stopped and waited for them, but we had continued on with them behind us. Lucky for Gino, Johannes is a doctor and Judi a nurse and it turned out he was not badly damaged, just a lowside, but the bike did lose some bits. They patched him up and got the bike sorted out and rideable again and headed in. At this point Chris found them and advised they go straight through to Potosi as he knew they would not be able to handle that road two up and being sore. Chris managed to dump the bike in the mud as it was on his return and suffered a sore back getting it upright, they are heavy bikes the GS1200’s!

So, we had dinner and changed the plans again, tomorrow we would go to Potosi for the trip to the mines, as planned, but the possibility would be that we would stay in Potosi for New Year rather than ride to Sucre. That would be a shame as Gert had lined up a few things for us in that town, but that is for another day. Most people crashed out early, but myself and the Dutch couple drank on until after 11 🙂

Day – 342 miles and 550 km
Trip – 47,937 miles and 77,147 km



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8 Responses to “Day 387 – 30th December 09”

  1. ybg said

    I hope Gino’s doing well today, and the bike is still vertical.

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