While we make the final preparations, our hostess pushes open the gate. Helmet, gloves, sunglasses, we are ready to go. We start the bikes, wave goodbye and join the busy traffic of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It feels great to be back on the road again after our stay in the city. We open the throttle and head to northern Bolivia, to the Amazon Rainforest! Lees meer (Read more)
Once we leave Uyuni, the road winds up through multiple hairpin bends. We ride away from the salt flats and ride into the mountains. A new asphalt road brings us in no time in Potosi, our destination for the day, where we arrive around lunchtime. The town lies at the foot of the ’Cerro de Potosi’, which is also called ’the rich mountain’ because of the silver that is found here. The Spaniards were the first who took out the silver on a large scale. Potosi grew into an important trading town, with beautiful cathedrals and big mansions that were built during the colonial era. Now, several hundred years later, the mine is still in use. Although the city has lost some of its luster and glory, it is still very vibrant. We park the bikes at a hostel in the center of town and use the rest of the day to wander through the maze of streets in the historical center. Lees meer (Read more)
We reach Uyuni in the afternoon and park our bikes at Hostel Merith. We’re back in civilization and also back in a tourist hub. Uyuni is the northern starting point for the Lagunas route and the best place for visiting the “Salar de Uyuni”, the second largest salt flat in the world. With over 10,500 square kilometers, the Salar is 100 times larger than the Bonneville Salt Flats in the US. From Uyuni you can make a multi-day trip across the salt flat and stay overnight at one of the many islands. You can do this with an organized tour in a 4×4, but you can also go without a guide on your own motorbike!
We have had a day to relax after the Lagunas Route and are ready for some new adventures! After seeing shots of the Dakar Rally riders racing across the salt flats and the filmclip by motorcycle traveller Sjaak Lucassen, who tries to set a speed record on the Salar on his Yamaha R1, we can’t wait to go to the Salar. Lots of inspiration! Lees meer (Read more)
In the southwest of Bolivia, high in the Andes, there is a beautiful nature park. You will find hot springs, lakes that change colour, ancient plants and animals that only live there. It is far away from civilization and only accessible through a network of gravel roads and dirt tracks. The route through the area known as the “Lagunas Route”. A multi-day trip through rugged terrain, which can be very challenging due to the altitude and the changeable weather. We heard about altitude sickness, crashes in the deep sand and gusts of wind of hurricane force. But we also heard that for many travellers the route was a highlight of their trip. And that was the deciding factor: we are going to ride Lagunas Route! Lees meer (Read more)
For the ninth and final time this trip we cross the border between Argentina and Chile. We know the procedure by heart now and do not need much time for the paperwork. A friendly customs officer welcomes us to Chile, while he stamps our passports with a loud thud. It is a good thing we left home with some extra pages in our passports, because for the nine times we crossed we needed five pages for all stamps! It is becoming a nice collection. Lees meer (Read more)
In the pocket of my motorcycle jacket I have a key chain holder of St Christopher. On my toiletry bag I pinned a lucky doll. And in my bag I carry: a lucky coin, a four-leaf clover, a happy buddha and a charm bracelet. All of them are presents to wish us a safe journey. I am a little superstitious, so everything got a place in my bag. And the collection was now expanded in Argentina, because at the back of our motorbikes are fluttering two red ribbons in the hope that “Difunta Correa” will help us. Lees meer (Read more)
Before we start our road trip with Ton and Marijke through Chile and Argentina, we first take a moment to catch our breath. Peter and I take a rest from riding to Santiago and Ton and Marijke from their long flight to Chile. At the campsite just outside Santiago where we made camp, we take our time to catch up. At first while enjoying a cup of coffee, but before we know it is time to open the red wine. Although we had been in contact regularly through e-mail and Skype, we still have enough to tell each other. And it is quite different to hear those stories while they are sitting at the table with us, instead of on a computer screen. It is well after midnight when we turn of the light that evening. Lees meer (Read more)