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Thread: The Wife takes on Chlamydia. A South American Retrospective

  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post

    Checkin' the bins. If anyone wants to tell me the names of these mammals, birds, turtles and butterflies, please do!

    Pretty little fella

    A friend just identified these two:

    South American coati

    Boat-billed flycatcher

  2. #82
    Overview map of the route from Bariloche to Cusco

    While I have a moment, here’s another overview map of the leg from Bariloche in Argentina to Cusco in Peru

  3. #83
    After a home break, we’re off again: San Carlos de Bariloche to Santiago de Chile via the Argentine and Chilean Lake Districts

    During my 2 week break back in the UK, I took the opportunity to swap some items of luggage, collect a new clutch assembly and catch up with friends. Then a flight from London to Santiago de Chile, via Toronto followed by a long bus ride back to Bariloche and the Honda Patagonia shop. Within 24 hours the clutch was fitted and I was off.

    What glorious riding northwestwards along the Ruta 40 and Lago Nahuel Huapi. I attempted a off-pavement more direct route towards the border with Chile. It was so quiet, it was closed! So I had to double back and head for the main road and the main border. They were very efficient on both sides and I was in Chile in no time.

    Here are some impressions

    Lovely colours

    Off pavement often means more interesting views


    Calm at Pucon

    The next day. A lot less calm at Pucon...

    Three 2001 images:

    Then, a less developed infrastructure means more wild camping opportunities

    Here again with some German bikers

    The timing chain was rattling like hell. In 2001 I had parked the bike in Temuco and headed home to the UK too, in order to buy parts and mule them in. Here major surgery is happening

    After a few fun days at Hostal Casa Matte in Santiago, eating a lot of sushi (The cheapest and tastiest take away food, IMHO) it was time to head off again. Cristian is a super host! Chlym has various random new things bolted on now, including new soft bags on the back, a tank bag, a windscreen bag and a fender bag with a couple of tubes in it. This fell off somewhere on a dirt road in Bolivia, so if you found it, let me know

  4. #84
    Santiago de Chile northwards through Chile because the Andes crossings back to Argentina were closed…

    I had fully intended on crossing back to Argentina via the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores that allows views of Aconcagua (the highest mountain in South America) towards Mendoza. Even approaching the turn off from the main highway I had an inkling of what was going to happen. Miles of parked up trucks, many with Argentina licence plates. At the road block the policeman said the pass was well and truely cerrado (and would remain so for several more days) because of the stormy weather at 3000 meters on the pass. Oh bollox. My plan to continue riding the entire Ruta 40 had been scuppered. But to certain extent, I wasn't totally bothered: Since the southern 3500km was virtually all paved, it was now so boring and had lost any mysticism. I had ridden the northern most 1500km dirt stretch last December, so I wasn't really fussed.

    The ride up the Chilean version of the Pan-American Highway is long, paved and also boring. So disengage brain, turn on the mp3 player and crank the tunes. My music tastes are varied: Everything from country music (I once spent 2 months in Nashville, TN) to heavy rock, via funk, 70s disco and jazz. All genres got plenty of airtime at 55mph on the slab slog northwards. Here a vaguely pleasant view of the Pacific Ocean

    One night I wildcamped on the side of the road. I woke to a strange noise in the middle of the night: Rain! In the Atacama desert...

    The Mano del Desierto near Antofangasta in 2016.

    And in 2001:

    Similarities and differences? Answers on a postcard, or a tweet with multiple hashtags and emojis? :-)

    In 2001 I had travelled this road (albeit north to south) with Tini and Lars from Germany on their Africa Twin (That is the RD07 xrv750, not a modern day CRF1000 that Honda finally released when their top brass realised that BMW/ KTM /Triumph and Yamaha were generating huge amounts of $$$ with their faux-enduro offerings)

    In 2001 I also came across this Japanese bicyclist sleeping in the midday sun in a bus shelter. He spoke no English. I spoke no Japanese, so Spanish had to do... He didn't comment on the white and pink mx boots i was wearing! Nor the 1980s shellsuit paint-job on my helmet.

    In 2001 there were plenty of ways to alleviate the boredom by taking wacky pictures while riding. The damaged cooling fins on the airhead cylinder are the result of a crash in Canada. Also the repaired hole in the rocker cover. Following the repair with plastic metal I turned the rocker cover round. The other crash bar mod is a home made design manufactured in Ecuador.

    My fondest memory of riding the north Chilean Pan Am in 2001 was being severely reprimanded by a Chilean (Very Important, in his own lunchtime) Policeman for not stopping at a stop sign that intersected the highway. You could see left and right for 10s of miles and no train was approaching. Then even greater confusion as I rode past him again going the other way (northbound) 5 minutes later, before again passing heading southbound again 45 minutes later after having a slow puncture fixed a a gomeria (tyre-wallah). The 2nd and 3rd times, I of course stopped for about 10 seconds, looking repeated left and right just to make sure no train was approaching (you can never be too sure...). I think he knew I was taking extracting the urine ;-)

    From Arica I headed inland and eastwards towards Bolivia, rather than north to Peru like I had done 4 or 5 months previously. And 2016 is the year of the selfie: So why not a mugshot with a pleasant high altiplano vista? Some audience participation: Anyone want to translate the writing on the HD patch on my shoulder? It's in Russian.

    What magnificent views

    And more 2016 views

    Probably a similar location in 2001, with Lars and Tini

  5. #85
    Bolivia, the Fourth. Or is it the fifth?

    It's been a little while since I last posted a RR episode. One of the disadvantage of getting another (thankfully only temporary) full time job is that my employers require their pound of flesh for the dineros they pay me... Shouldn't complain, as the cash really does come in handy and will finance future jollies near and far. Motorcycle travel isn't cheap!

    I again crossed the border back into Bolivia, probably for the fourth time on this trip. This border was a bit of a pita. I did immigration, I did customs, but when I reached the barrier to leave the border compound, the random matey who greeted me, wanted to have some other document or other, or not, or bribe (=Donation to fix the church roof? Pay for a box of chocs for his mistress?) or whatever. As with all these things, it takes 2 to have a conversation: I didn't wish to speak with him any longer, so all his efforts were futile as I put the bike in gear and rode around his closed barrier and off into the distance.

    I have to admit I've lost count, but Bolivia is pretty magnetic with it's great vistas, riding and local people. I also knew where I could buy a new and less expensive than Chile/Argentina back tyre, get some luggage fixed and meet friends. Also, I wanted to get my bike blessed again by a priest at Copacabana at Lago Titicaca. When I passed through there a couple of months previously, it was the wrong day of the week. More of that in the next chapter...

    Illimani Peak catching the last rays of the day's sun. I was heading back to Oscar's in La Paz and as usual, running late. It's a laugh a minute riding in South American cities, particularly after dark. I try to avoid it, but sometimes needs must. Illimani is the second highest peak in Bolivia at 21,200 feet and overlooks La Paz and El Alto. Stopping for the picture made me even later than I would have been, but the big bus headlight on the Gen 1 KLRs put out a fair bit of juice ( I avoided the fashion farkles of extra running lights: Yes to inverted snobbery! ), so the ride was OK, if bl00dy cold!

    Oscar, who along with Robin helped source my new shock from the US a few months previously and offered to lend me his while I waited, suggested we ride back down the Yungas road, the now not so dangerous "Death Road" that I took the p!ss out of (including demented video) in a previous post.... Here we're at some sort of local's "toll" booth. Totally fake, but whatever. There's another KLR from Canada in the picture. The guy seemed in a hurry, and disappeared tout suite. Hope he got to where ever he was heading in the time he had calculated. Didn't want to speak with him anyway

    It rained up high: hanging out in a nice lady's shop, drinking a chai...

    Warming up as you lose altitude

    Oscar striking a pose

    Me, ditto

    Oscar on his Gen 2 KLR

    A great downhill cycle, especially if you know what you're doing

    There's a bike in there somewhere

    Splash and dash.

    After a nice lunch at the bottom of the hill, we rode back up the alternative new paved road back to La Paz.

  6. #86

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    Bike blessing at Copacabana on Lago Titicaca, Bolivia

    How can anyone not be intrigued by the place names Copacabana and Lago Titicaca? I had first heard the name of the latter from the German TV show "Pippi Longstocking" many moons ago. And the former name check came from my father's vinyl record collection, although Mr Manilow 's version refers to a different place. In 2001 I passed through here. Also the previous December prior to Christmas 2015 and the 2016 Dakar Race. Then, the vehicle blessing by the local priest at the church, which happens every Saturday and Sunday, was too many days away (I recall I pitched up on a Tuesday then). So it made perfect sense to buy a new back tyre in La Paz and head for the border with Peru at Lago Titicaca near Copacabana on a Friday afternoon.

    Views on the way

    One of the ferry barges to the peninsula that includes Copacabana

    Locals and their flock

    Take a step to the left...

    The day before the blessing. All quiet.

    The evening before. Sunset over the lake.

    2001 at the lake. A lot less busy:

    What an event! Only local Bolivian tourists, with the the exception of a young French couple making a movie. I estimate there was around 100 cars and minibuses, a couple of trucks and 1 motorcycle called Chlamydia

    Chlym, decorated to be blessed (2016). Nicely covered in splattered mud (on the way out of La Paz there had been big areas of road construction...)

    Owner pre blessing his car. Plenty of people had clearly also been sipping on more than their fair share of communion wine

    The French couple interviewing some locals. They interviewed me too. Maybe I'm famous in some corner of France too?

    The King Long minibus taxi waiting its turn

    What's the fuss about?

    The priest appears...

    Got to bless the engine too: Increases reliability against mechanical mishaps?!

    2016: No picture, it didn't happen... Clearly it did...

    And in 2001 the wife got blessed too. Didn't help much. She ended with a snapped chassis, but didn't kill me in the process, so a blessing in disguise ....

    2001: Fuelling up to leave town...

    Next chapter will be the road to Cusco

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