Tuesday, January 31, 2012



P1040104  Sorry Mom.


P1040106   “JUST BE”


P1040112  Cheap Jim Beam in Bolivia only $10 dollars. Whiskey helps ease to two hours of pain.


P1040120  The Earth with a Bristol Cone Tree, with a figure of a women (pachamamma, mother earth) growing around it.  Stay grounded and the World is just a pebble under the roots of a tree.


P1040133  Yungas Road South with a bus climbing up out of the jungle on the steep narrow road.


P1040142  Dangerous Road? “BEAUTIFUL”  I would say.

P1040160  Turn off from the new highway to the old DEATH dirt road.


P1040190 River Crossing #1.


P1040203   Back across the river. Crossing #2.

As the World turns in circles, so do our wheels.

By Camille

25 January 2012
100 Miles
Copacabana- La Paz, Bolivia

We heard that gas in Bolivia might be hard to get, being a forgiener. It was. But luckily they gave it to us at a much inflated price. What could we do? My tank was EMPTY. Just give me the gas. After a little research we found that the gas is subsidized from the government for the locals. Due to people from the surrounding countries coming across the borders and getting cheaper gas. So anybody without a Bolivia plate has to pay the price on the pump and an additional price per litter. Which adds up to be more than the price in the States. We have no choice. It is this way at every station in Bolivia so far.

Now it is time to head to the big City of La Paz, 13,oof the highest capital in the world, so they say. We always LOVE driving into big cities and finding our way around with no way to know where we are going. Always fun. After driving around for a hours, asking people and taxi drivers for a hostel that Paul knew the owner from Mnt. Biking last year in Peru, only to find a new hostel name with a new owner with reservations required. No Luck there. Time to find another with parking and a fair price. Cities are always hard to find an affordable place with parking especially cities that are built on hills with steps everywhere. As is La Paz. We got lucky and found one with parking and HOT water! Finally, to dry off and warm up as it was raining and cold the whole way.

26-27 January 2012
0 miles
La Paz, Bolivia

What the heck do people do in these big cities besides look at more churches and museums?
Paul and I are not really into that everywhere we go. So Instead...Lets get tattoos and ride the most deadly road in the world!

28 January 2012
70 Miles
La Paz, Bolivia
Yungas Road (aka "The Death Road")

The Yungas Road is legendary for its extreme danger and in 1995 christened as the "world's most dangerous road. estimated that 200 to 300 travellers are killed yearly along the road. The road includes crosses marking many of the spots where vehicles have fallen.
It is one of the few routes that connects the Amazon rainforest region of northern Bolivia, or Yungas, to its capital city. Upon leaving La Paz, the road first ascends to around 4,650 metres (15,260 ft) at La Cumbre Pass, before descending to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) at the town of Coroico, transiting quickly from cool Altiplano terrain to rainforest as it winds through very steep hillsides and atop cliffs.

Thank you Wikipedia. Sounds like fun.
The road north has mnt. bike tours on it now and due to the new highway no trucks or buses take it anymore. But the South Road is still used by a lot of vehicles, so still dangerous and narrow.
Due to our late start and no tour guide we take the south road. There was large buses running on this narrow, switchback road, dropping down into the lush jungle. We really enjoyed such diverse landscape in a short amount of time. Around one corner a bus in front for Paul pulled over at one of the few pullouts, Paul pulled out also, I tried to catch up but was to far behind, enjoying my ride. The bus and I could not pass each other and I had no room on the right side to move over. The bus was able to back up a couple of feet, it had room on it's right side to scoot by me. Crazy narrow road. Really amazingly beautiful, fun and I guess still a little dangerous..."Livin' on the edge" in Boiliva.

29 January 2012
0 Miles
La Paz, Bolivia

We did not leave today as planned. Cold pouring rain all morning really made it hard to get motivated to try and get out of this city.
We found the new MegeCenter, Mall, Bowling alley, cinema with a few movies in english. We went to see Sherlock Holmes 2. It was in english but only in the VIP lounge which cost $6.50 Each. Nice reclining seat, servers that bring you food and drink and you get to choose your own seats before you go in. We bought tickets early and got the best recomended seats. Never enjoyed a theater so much in our life.

30 January 2012
La Paz-Viacha, Bolivia
66.6 Miles total, 6 hours
Only 24 miles outside La Paz.

Lesson learned. When asking and looking for a CITY make sure there is not a major NEIGHBORHOOD nearby with the same name.

Driving literally in circles for hours today trying to get out of La Paz. We rode a total of 66.6 Miles to fianlly make it to Viache, a small military, cement factory town, only 24 miles outside La Paz. One hotel in the town up 6 flights of stairs (our legs need the work) and no parking for our motos. We had no other choice seeing as it was getting dark and an industrial city with no place to camp.

31 January 2012
Viacha- La Paz, Bolivia?
125 Miles

Today we start packing up the bikes getting ready to go check out "The Stone City". Sandstone pillars and buildings built in cliffs. Our hotel is on the center plaza of town and many of the locals are asking questions, they do not see many gringos in these parts. They ask "where are you going".
"Well We are going to Calacoto."
Laughing they say "Why are you going there? There is nada there. You are tourist aren't you? There in nothing there."
Well we want to go and and check it out. We think it might be like The City of Rocks in Idaho. We plan on camping and enjoying the peace and quite after being in La Paz.
After we wait again at the gas pump for a half hour and hold up the line, we find the right road out of town. The road is open and beautiful. Feels so good to ride again on the open road.
We come to a river crossing. The bridge is washed out and not rebuilt. The river in flowing a little fast but not too deep. We watch a van cross down stream a bit and we follow. No Problem. The river bed is all rock. We ride down the road enjoying the scenery and the serinaty for there in nothing and nobody around. We make it to Calacoto, where our turn off is Of course the there is no highway any more. The road turns to mud and rock. no way to find the right road. A Man and his family is nice enough to show us to the road. There is NO WAY we would have ever found it without him. He tells us the first part of the road is fine but at the fork the road need to take is no good but we should be fine with our motorcycles. We thank him and start down the road, which is muddy, slick and washed out in places. We come to another river crossing. This one is much deeper and muddier with nobody around. This is supposed to be the good road. We decide that we have no idea what we are getting into and decide that we should turn around. After a nice lunch of crackers and tuna, we have to go all the way back to La Paz. This means Riding through the slowest polluted traffic in El Alto to get on the main highway south. After literally scraping off of a few vans in the traffic. We can't find a hotel here and decide to go back to the heart of the big city. At least we know the route now.
So now we are back in La Paz. A full circle that neither of us expected or wanted. Sometimes that happens. That is part of the motorcycle adventure. Keep smiling and enjoy the rotations of the wheels, even if it takes you in a circles.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ah A relaxing day in Bolivia

24 January 2012

Copacabana, Bolivia

    Well today was suppose to be our ultimate chill day.  Do a whole lot of nothing. Maybe some emailing and chillaxing.  There is a nice steep hillside next to town with what looks like a good over look on top.  Should we ride our bikes up there, or take the trail.  Well our legs need some work so we decide to go for a nice little hike.  Its maybe 1000ft. up.  The bottom portion of the trail does have some nice eucalyptus trees that smell amazing.  We break out of the trees and Camille says to me”Wow! it looks pretty steep”, but its nothing that we haven't done before.

    Once we reached about half way up the hill side we stop to take a breather. then we hear  someone yell out from the top.  Then hear some rocks starting to fall in our direction.  We look up the hill and to our disbelief there is a guy cartwheeling down the mountain.  Surely he’s going to stop.  NOT!!  He keeps tumbling, and tumbling, and tumbling.  This is not a grass hill, or a dirt hillside.  The hill was steep and full of very large boulders and rocks everywhere.  The guy was coming straight at us. He finally came to a stop about 40 feet up from us.  Holy Shit.  We are definitely going to be the first people on the scene.  As I'm running up to him I’m thinking “oh my God what am I going to do?”   We run up to him and he is face down with blood everywhere.  The first thing I do is check that he is still breathing.  He is so CPR is out.  He’s moaning so I think that’s good.  His head is cut open in several places,his arms bleeding, his nose is bleeding, and it looks like his right arm is broken.  I didn’t want to move him but he was really close to falling further down the cliff. So I just make sure he doesn’t roll over.  The crowd from the top was yelling down to me”is he ok”.  No of course he is not we need help down here.  Soon what looked like his daughter and some other ladies came down.  I gave him some of my water and he was drinking.  That’s also good I thought.  We then were able to move him away from the ledge and he sat up.  He didn’t look good and I wasn’t sure how the hell we were going to now get him out of here.

     Luckily there  was a military marine base right at the bottom of the hill.  I looked at the ladies as they were screaming for help and ask them if they wanted me to run down for help.  They all said yes!!  I ran down and met with the marines at the bottom.  Quickly I told them the story in broken English and sign language.  One of them had a stretcher and gestured do I need this.  I said yes yes.  I pointed to the area where he was and it was now out of my hands.  We watched them carry him down with my monocular from our room balcony.  Not sure how he was, but they loaded him in back of a truck and off they went.

     What a nice relaxing day we had. A few shots of scotch and a bottle of wine helped out at the end of the day.     


The HILL. He was at the top left and bounce about half way down.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bolivia Border Crossing

18 January 2012

35 Miles

Juliaca to Puno, Peru (on the shores of Lake Titicaca)

Short day today only rode 35 miles. We arrived in Puno, Peru on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. 12,500ft. The sun is strong when it is out and it is cold when it is not.

We spent 3 days in Puno. Not because we loved the lake but Paul and I took turns being sick. Fun stuff.

21 January 2012

95 miles

Juliaca to Desaguadero (Border of Peru & Bolivia)

Physically we are in Desaguadero Peru.

Legally???? NOWHERE. Illegally in Peru and not able to leave and we can see Bolivia across the river. Oh Man!

What a CRAZY day today! Leaving Peru headed for Bolivia. I think we have over stayed our welcome in Peru. Headed south towards Bolivia on the Pan-American Highway we finally get stopped by the Police and there is no way around them this time for they are standing in the middle of the road forcing us over. After much time pretending not to know what is going on we finally got busted with no insurance. A major ticket in Peru according to them. They could impound our motorcycles or we could pay $165.00 each for the ticket. They were willing to settle on us paying $100. I told them $20 each they finally accepted, shook our hands, smiled and wished us a happy Journey. They are thieves in uniform.

Later down the road there is a toll booth (motos in Peru do not have to pay at the booths) Paul goes around the gate and the alarm goes off. I go around the right side. They charged Paul for both bikes and the Police said that was not all. They asked for his ID told him to ride forward and go get me and bring me back, for I had pulled over up ahead. Paul got on his bike and we took off together, one drivers license lost to the police. We have more.  It’s a small price to pay to avoid MORE bribes.

We are ready to get out of Peru now after being sick for days, we are still not feeling well and now the Police are messing with us for the first time here. Our paperwork for the Motorcycles is expired due to us storing the motos in Peru for 6 months. Everybody we talked to said this is Peru and it will maybe cost us a  fine or a little bribe but not a problem. Or we could just go cross at a small “unmanned” border and blow through. We decided to do it the more legal way.

So now we are headed toward the border with expired paperwork not knowing how everything is going to play out. We arrived at the Border and our passports get stamped out. WE are now legally out of the country. Time to cross the street and get our bikes out. I give the man the paperwork he starts putting the info in the computer and then wait... “it says that you were to be out in June 2011 it is now January 2012”..

“oh yes the motos. have been in storage and we had to return to the U.S.A see my passport”

After going back and forth for a while, in my broken Spanish, I can tell he actually wants to help a little and just get me out of there…but stupid computers..it will not let him proceed. there is nothing he can do. Him being a straight officer will not take a bribe. He said there are eyes everywhere here watching him. (I have to give him credit he wants his job) He tells us (through a couple translating for us that happened to be there) that he is not supposed to let us leave and is supposed confiscate our bikes. OR we can ride back to another border and he will pretend he never saw us. But we can not cross at this border. After a couple of tears from me (they do not like to see ladies cry) another officer told us of a small border back 40 miles that if we cross in the morning the man guarding it will still be asleep. But we have to cross the next morning for rain was moving in and it was getting dark. So after much contemplation  we decided to stay in Peru, Illegally, for the night and make a run for it in the morning.

22 January 2012

71 miles (half dirt and mud)

We woke up early in the morning put our rain gear on, because of course it is going to rain and head for another border. On the map it was only 40 Km away, it is a old map and not very clear. Luckily Paul google earthed the route and knew where to go (kind of). Down a dirt road for a while and of course it does start raining which turns the dirt to mud,  slick as hell. Perfect setting when you are an outlaw running a border. It was further than thought, but at last we come to the border and there is nobody around but a couple of locals. Riding tight together cruising fast. There is a chain across the road which looks like it is lying on the ground, just like the last one. Nope. It is connected and  half a foot off the ground. We  lock up the brakes and start sliding.  Paul decides he can make it over the chain. Full throttle he makes it. I am tight behind him a little to the right and I have to go for it  too. Am I going to make it? Am I going to get pulled off my bike? Full throttle now. The chain has bounced up from Paul hitting it. The chain bounces up cracks my blinker, then cracks my windshield, slides up the windshield skips off my helmet and we are both still up and riding. We made it! We are in Bolivia! (Illegally)Now we need to become legal here. We have to ride to the next border town with an immigration office. We make it and there is a long line of people waiting. Americans have to pay $135.00 for a Bolivian visa. We must be the only American there because we get to skip the line and go right inside and they start processing our paperwork. All is going good until “wait you were stamped out of Peru yesterday, where have you been?”

“We crossed at Unicachi and there is nothing there, we had to camp out and come here first thing this morning.”

“You crossed at Unicachi and camped out? This is a problem. You are not supposed to cross there.”  He says laughing and stamping our passports into Bolivia. These were the nicest immigration officers we have ever seen.  One is playing the guitar,while they both laugh at us saying”Unicachi, Unicachi”

He then makes sure we go next door and get our motorcycles checked in. We do with little problem, Having to explain again why we came from the opposite direction.

We are now in Bolivia and legal. What a crazy, scary rush. One that gets your adrenaline pumping for sure and it feels good to have it behind us and laugh now. We can NEVER bring our bikes back to Peru. So We are not the outlaws it’s our Motorcycles. What a difference a day makes.

We are in Copacabana, Bolivia still on Lake Titicaca relaxing for a couple of days and being thankful for our luck and adventures..P1040066Flamingos at 14500ft??


P1040074The Boarder we could not get across!


P1040094The Bikes we almost had to use to continue our journey south.


P1040077Finally all is good in Bolivia at lake Titicaca.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back in Cusco Peru


Well I Arrived back in Cusco after 2 long days of flying.  Camille has been here since 2-12-11 doing yoga, yoga,yoga and Spanish class. It took a couple of days of doing nothing before preparation for our journey south again. yeah. It feels good to do nothing sometimes!!


Today we went and got the White Rabbit out of hibernation.  You may not have thought that rabbits hibernate but this one does.  I cranked on the starter switch for a while and it started to pop a little bit.  I then decided to start pushing it before I killed the battery.  On the second push she was up in runningWinking smile

Back to the guest house and it time for some moto work. Four quarts of oil here= 38.00 US dollars!! One battery for Camels bike 35 dollars. One new windshield made out of a five gallon bucket 5 dollars.(thanks for the idea Tom,Chris,and Doug) and one new clutch cable for the rabbit. Oh yeah now there is fuel pouring out of the bottom of my carb.  A few taps on it and the fuel stops leaking.  Its now about time to hit the road again.


  We packed up our bike and headed to the gas station to fuel up and head south.  At the gas station fuel was again pouring out of the bottom of the carb.  A LOT !!  I started to pull out my tools and then decided to head over to the motorcycle alley instead. We found some shade there and began to pull the bike apart.  Within 5 minutes a  teenage boy came over and started to help me.  Next thing you know we are in front of his house 50 yards down and him and his brother are both going at on my bike.  One was pulling the carb. out while the other was changing one of my throttle cables.  It was hanging on by maybe 3 wires.  I actually had a new throttle cable with me.  The inside of the carb. float bowl was covered in so so much gel from the fuel sitting in there for 7 months.  A whole can of carb. cleaner was used and now it looks like new.  The entire time the boys were joking and having a great time.  I think they just liked to work on a big bike.  They don’t see many Honda’s this big. They never once asked for anything!! I gave them $11.50 for there 2 hours of help and they were stoked. 

     Now its like 2 or 3 pm. and we finally get down the road some. Just in time for the rainSmile

Cusco, – Sicuani Peru 90 miles.

We then managed to get into some good wind for a while.  And then there was also some good rain that followed. Oh yeah what good reintroduction to motorcycle touring. We Love It!


14-1-12  Sicuiani – Sibayo peru  140 miles of Amazing dirt @ 13000ft.++

     The riding today was simple amazing!!  Mountains,Lakes,Rivers and desert.    Most of the day we kind of knew where we were.  But it seems that the roads we were on are not actually on our map.  No worries we popped out on an intersection that had a sign pointing us towards the town we were looking for.  It would have to wait until tomorrow as the sun was now setting. We found a sweet camping spot along the river tucked behind some old empty building.  Cooked up some dinner and slept like a baby.  In the morning there was a nice frost layer on everything.  I didn’t think it really got that cold last night though.

15-1-12 Beautiful camp spot - Chivay, Peru 26 miles of dirt

This is the stepping of point for Colca Canyon.  We found a nice hostel with parking of course, had a few cocktails and then went and soaked our bones in some sweet hot springs.

16-1-12  Chivay – Colca Canyon 60 miles of Dirt.

       We started today early so we can see the largest flying birds in the world(south American Condor;wind span over 10ft.) soar over the deepest canyon in the world 13600ft.  In 1981 the first rafters boated down the canyon to discover that it was deeper than the Grand Canyon.  Then in 1991 it became a national park.  Gotta love a national park that is dirt roads!!

      A mile down the road we stopped to lube up the chains.  Luck would have it that it was kind of the gate area to the park and someone dressed in uniform walked up to us and asked us if we had our park pass. We said no we will get it further towards the park.  We heard it was 35 sols each and he demanded 70 sols each.  We said no thanks your trying to rip us off.  He replied that it went up starting in 2012.  We called his bullshit, started the bikes and went anyway.  We never paid anything all day after that.  Most people touring the canyon are on guided tour busses and have already paid at the tour agency.

  The canyon was everything that we expected it to be (maybe more).  This canyon differs from the Grand because a lot of parts of it are terraced for crops and support villages all through out.  We got to the condor viewing point and did manage to see a few flying by way in the distance.  then we notice that there were a lot of them circling further down the road.  We rode down further and there was 20 or so on the ground and circling overhead.  Theses birds are vultures and they were eating on a dead cow.  We snuck up to them and what we became part of was so so special.  they were everywhere and very very close up. WOW something I will never forget! Oh and we were the only people around.  Yet another plus to having your own wheels.  All in All a very special day for us.

P1030911 Getting ready to hit the road. Paul changing oil in the driveway to the Hostel.

P1030923 The boys helping with the big 650 Honda!

P1030952 Sweet camping.

P1030955  Watch for Llamas in the road.

P1040015  Condor in Colca Canyon. Largest flying bird.

P1030970 Colca Canyon.