Saturday 30 November 2013

Iguazu Falls

Day 151, Nov 30, 2013

Iguazu Falls is amazing, with so much water coming down over such a vast expanse in an unbelievably beautiful tropical environment does take your breath away. Today was mostly sunny and 32c, so I walked all the trails and did the Jet Boat into the falls, just this alone was an absolutely amazing experience and will be remembered forever.

Just before you go into the falls they let you take a few pictures and then advise to put the camera and anything you want to keep dry into the dry bag and hang on.



Me just before I got soaked, and holy crapeola did we get wet, they take you twice into Salto San Martin and then head towards del Diablo and into Salto Dos Mosqueteros twice just to make sure your not dry anymore.


Wanted to try the new Camera on video mode and did make this of the Jet Boat and the Falls:


Friday 29 November 2013

Puerto Iguazu

Day 150, Nov 29, 2013, 251km

Made it to Puerto Iguazu early today and was able to take in some of the sights around town. No Black Friday around here, but I did find this spot where you can see all three country's.

I'm staying at La Esquina Del Bambu Hostel for $7, and have a full day planned for tomorrow, including the jet boat trip into the falls, oh no.

Thursday 28 November 2013

San Ignacio

Day 149, Nov 28, 2013, 629km

Pampa del Infierno to San Ignacio was another 600km day of mostly country riding and I wondered if I wasn't riding back home because it just looked so similar at times. The only difference is from what I hear it's snowing there and here it's 27c (80f), how sweet is that.

From Posades to here the scenery has changed to a more jungle like environment with lots of water course and is much more scenic. I’m staying at the San Ignacio Adventure Hostel for $6.40 an am not far from Iquazu Falls

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Pampa del Infierno

Day 148, Nov 27, 2013, 718km

Made it to Pampa del Infierno and staying at Hotel Bioceanico for $13.

Today's ride on Hwy NR9 and NR16 was through farm country. Interesting but not much to see really, kind of like the prairies only greener, what I have noticed though is that it's a little cleaner here and the way things look is a bit more European than the rest of  South America so far.

Tomorrow I will continue my trek to Iguazu Falls and will likely take two more days to get there.

No pictures today, don't want to bore you guys to death with endless fields of nothing or a road that stretches out as far as the eye can see with shrubs on both sides, zzzzzzz.

This is what I mean.

Tuesday 26 November 2013


Day 147, Nov 26, 2013

Was able to change both engine and differential oil, so will have to see if this solved the problem again.

Did buy 2 months of Insurance from ATM Sequro for only 132 pesos or $13.20 worth of the  blue market dollars, normal bank rate is 1 to 6 and blue 1 to 10 and makes a huge difference, now I only wished that I had brought more dollars with me, especially after today’s big spend on oil and a filter.

Here is a link to the ATM insurance company that has a map of all there offices, this will make it easier so you don't need to search all around;

Also had some relax time to wander around Salta a bit today and enjoy the town’s lovely centre square and all the shopping avenues connecting to it, this is a nice place to visit and spend some time for sure.

Will head towards the Iguazu falls that I wanted to see anyway and then maybe some Brazil coast to Uruguay to stock-up on some more dollars before heading down to Ushuaia.  Will have to do some more research or if some of you ADV riders have some suggestions I'm all ears.


Monday 25 November 2013


Day146, Nov 25, 2013, 474km

Tupiza, Bolivia to Salta, Argentina

Followed Hwy R9 to Salta and this takes you through a 2 hr section of desert and a couple of valleys that have some very interesting shapes, then just before you get to Salta you have a 50 km park like twisty road (La Cornisa) along the mountainous old Andes forest, that is amazing.

The border crossing was a challenge because I had no Argentina Insurance and they won't let you into the country if you don't have this. Normally they will let you get some down the road and then continue but today was a National Holiday and all the offices were closed, so the border guy kept on saying manana, and of course expecting me to leave, so I told the guy then I guess that I will have to wait here in his office till manana because I'm already checked out of Bolivia (something like Tom Hanks at the Airport), after sitting there for halve an hour he comes to me and says give me your papers and tomorrow get your insurance in Salta OK, and starts the import paper work. Luckily I had a good guy at the border but this could have been a really bad day otherwise.

Will stay an extra day in Salta and see if I can change the engine oil and differential oil because I noticed a drop on the rim today and that means change me now. I had it changed in Cali and I guess the beating from yesterday must have finished it off, so with this I have a good idea, that when your on the road and you do some off road riding, then you should change the differential oil at 10,000 km (6,000 mi) intervals to keep it good, even though the manual calls for 20.000 km (12,000 mi) changes I beg to differ on this.


Sunday 24 November 2013

Hwy 21 Sand Dunes to Tupiza

Day 145, Nov 24, 2013, 211km

WOW what a ride on Hwy 21, from Uyuni to Tupiza, it goes from desert to mountains, sandpits/dunes to watercourses, this road has it all, winding twisting, washboard ridden to hairpin curves, it's only 210 km (131 mi) from Uyuni to Tupiza and it took me 8hrs to do it. Made plenty of stops for water and a snack. I arriving in Tupiza covered in dust and looking like a desert rat, this really made a few people look twice. This road gave the bike a real beating today with all the sand and washboards that were absolutely relentless, I will have to check things out on the bike tomorrow.

The biggest challenge is the sandpits and dunes, even though they try to keep the road open the wind keeps blowing the sand back, having learned my lessons in Moab on how to deal with the sand on this heavy bike and only after dumping it 3 times, did it finally pay off this time.

The views are stunning to say the least, there are so many colors from all the mineral deposits everywhere you look, and a lot of the rivers have a reddish color that are weird looking.

Did not see much of the salt flats (on different road I guess) but hey I did live in Salt Lake City and have been to the Bonneville race track plenty of times watching Breedlove breaking records so I know what this is like.

During this ride I have been experiencing some incredible feelings of fulfilment as I go through some of these amazing places that will take your breath away, with scenery imposable to describe, even pictures can't bring it to justice, all I can say for those of you that if you can do this don't wait, this is a truly amazing once in a lifetime experience that you must take.

View of Cerro Chorolgue

Will be staying at the El Refugio Turista in Tupiza for $6 with secure parking, but no Internet.

Panorama view
Just before Tupiza you go through another beautiful valley.


Saturday 23 November 2013


Day144, Nov 23, 2013, 208km

In Bolivia they have a policy against tourist when it comes to buying gas, you have to pay like double the regular price, because it's subsidized for there own.

I know even at double the price it's still only $1.00 per ltr. ($3.60 gal) and very reasonable, but hey I don't think they should be treating tourist any different then there own.

In Coroico the guy did not care and just filled it up and I paid what was showing, and then in Oruro I  did the same, after he had filled it I told him that I was only going to pay what was showing on the pump (70Bs), so I just stood there pointing at the pump price, after awhile he started  getting frustrated, because he wanted 140Bs I then showed him 80Bs and said “listen if you don't take the 80 now it will be arrivederci” and I started the bike, he did take the 80 and waved goodbye.

Just before Potosi I started stopping at gas stations, and they said they had no gas, I'm not sure but I think they just did not want to do the paper work, so finally in Potosi they would sell but against double the regular price and he would not start pumping until he had the money first, so I did leave and this morning I went down to the pump with my 1.5 gal spare tank, made sure my bike was out of site and had them fill this twice,  wow the things you have to do save a few bucks.

Today I made it to Uyuni and also visited the Pulacayo train graveyard on the way, it was not what I had expected after reading that a lot tour groups head here for this, I fond it interesting but overrated, there's also a mine but your not allowed in.

Will head out over the Salt flats to Tupiza tomorrow instead of the Salar one because this is currently flooded, it’s OK for the high 4x4 tourist trucks, but not recommended for motorcycles at the moment.
Sunset in Uyuni

Friday 22 November 2013


Day 143, Nov 22, 2013, 320km

Did ride most of the day in the rain from Oruro to Potosi.
The Panamericana 1 takes you through some great landscape, and reminded me a lot on driving through Utah with all the red colors.
Along some of the higher passes there was snow on the ground and made for a cool ride.
Found a Hostel near the market area that has secure parking in there court yard. Looks like a sketchy place though with police raiding some rooms earlier on, just hope for the best for now.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Death Road

Day 142, Nov  21, 2013, 325km

Found out this morning that the road is open so I made a early start, and also because it was dry and it's suppose to rain today.

Death Road starts off on cobblestones and later a very wide gravel and dirt road, so I was thinking this is to easy and when you think something like that it's out there and you know what happens, well let's just say the rain did come and not just a little bit. The tire tracks turned into rivers and the otherwise good to ride gravel and dirt was turning into crap. The road gets very narrow at spots and with oncoming traffic making it very dangerous, it also has a couple rivers crossings and the overhanging cliffs give you a nice shower at  some points (as if I needed more water).

After a while it started raining so hard I could not see and with the mist I was getting to the point of this is not worth it, all I need now is a crazy bus driver coming around a corner, but I knew if I went back I would forever wonder what the rest of the road was like and regret not finishing it, also all along the way I did noticed more and more crosses and plagues of remembrance to those that died on this road and it does make you think for a bit, that it's not for nothing called Death Road.


At one of the larger tombstones I paid homage to those that have passed on this road and I hoped that this would  help in giving me save passage, luckily the rain did ease up a little and I did continued to finished the road and am very happy to have done it.


Would I do it again? Definitely yes but not in the rain.



Made the ride back to La Paz and decided to make a dash towards Oruro, and staying in another $4 hostel with only WiFi downstairs.


Tomorrow Potosi or Sucre will have to do some research first.



Super Tenere on Death Road Bolivia, you won't find many of these yet.




Wednesday 20 November 2013


Day 141, Nov 20, 2013, 129km

Made my way up through the Alto Plato and drove 2 km up the Death Road to find that they had closed it down, don't know what the Bolivian Guard was talking about, but I think landslide, so I decided to go back to Hwy 3 and towards Coroico. Maybe I can get some more info when the road will be open.

On Hwy 3 there had been a large landslide also and I had to wait half an hour for the road to reopen before continuing from that way to Coroico. Fond lodging after searching for 1.5 hr in town to get something with secure parking, it's a run down place but for $3 I can't complain.

The view from Coroico.


Tuesday 19 November 2013

Bolivia Border, Tiquina Ferry

Day 140, Nov 19, 2013, 294km

Made La Paz, Bolivia today, and staying at Hostel Maja for $15 with secure parking and breakfast included.

Went around the biggest part of Lake Titicaca and then over Copacabana.  As for the last part you will need to take one of the wooden ferries to cross back to the mainland. Most ferries as we know them are rigid but these flex as they move through the water and is really cool, the ramps and deck are also wooden planks, so you really need to watch where you go.

The border crossing is super easy and only takes 45 min. In Peru both Migracion and Aduana are across from each other and you will first need to get a stamp on your migracion paper from the police station that is right beside it, then get the Migracion salida stamp in passport, and head over to Aduana, they will stamp your import paper. Cross the border and on your left are both offices, fill in migration paper and hand it in, guy will stamp passport and hand back the bottom part of that paper, have a copy of your passport and bike registration for Aduana, he will fill it in and hand you a new temp import permit: done.

The bike just the way it should be after 40,000 km's and never washed except for removing the crud after I did the Dempster.

Tomorrow heading to Coroico via the Death Road so cross your finger for me.


Monday 18 November 2013

Lake Titicaca

Day 139, Nov 18, 2013

Had the excursion on Lake Titicaca and the floating Islands today. The most interesting part of the tour are the Islands, kind of strange when you walk on them, all soft and squishy like walking on a sponge. On Island Taquile you have to climb up 500 steps or take the ramp up. 
I did the ramp and I can really feel my legs now especially after Machu Picchu and the Inca trail. Had lunch on the Island and then a 3 hour trip back on the boat to Puno. The Lake is the largest in South America and is the worlds highest navigable lake because it sits at 3,811 m or 12,500 ft.

A composite sample of how the island’s are built up, in real it's some 3 to 5 meters thick.

Will be heading towards La Paz, Bolivia tomorrow.


A boat made out of reeds.



The view from Island Taquile, you can see the Andes mountains way in the distance. And the other floating island.

Sunday 17 November 2013


Day 138, Nov 17, 2013, 390km

Made it to Puno and staying at the Maison D Lago for $15 with breakfast .

The ride from Cusco to Puno takes you through some diverse landscape, from mountains that look like there covered with velvet, to farm land with all the locals coming out on Sunday to do the wash. The roads are great and the scenery stunning.

Tomorrow I will visit the made out of Reeds Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca and visit the Tequile, and Amatani Islands, this should be something ells.


Saturday 16 November 2013

Machu Picchu Magic

Day 137 Nov 16, 2013. Machu Picchu.

I had mentioned that there was more to this story and that it was magical and now you will know why.

On the train ride to Machu Picchu a man (Shoki) from Turkey sat beside me and we started talking about travelling and such, when I asked him why he had come here the following story unfolded.

When he still was a young boy he had seen a music video from Gloria Estefan and this had made such a deep impression on him that it captured his imagination immensely and so for the last 20 years he dreamed of coming to this place where that video was made. Now finally he was here and you could see his excitement.

It was also going to be his birthday tomorrow just to make things even better, so we agreed to meet at the top and make it a special day. We did meet as agreed and we went to the places that he had carefully picked, I will never forget his face when we made it, his eyes gleamed with joy and he had a smile from ear to ear, the energy was combustible, he had moved heaven and earth to make this trip and it showed, he was also so happy that he could share this with someone and I was glad that it was me, because this made my day something special too, not only was it being here but to see someone's dream come true was magical.

We parted after cheers to his birthday and his accomplishment with a Coke, I had a tour to do and he had booked the clime up to Huayna Picchu. I only regret not taking a picture with him and if you want to see the video that he fell in love with, here is the link:







Inca Bridge and trail.


Friday 15 November 2013

Machu Picchu

Day 136, Nov 15, 2013

Was picked-up at the Hostel by Minivan and made the 1.5 hr ride to Ollantytambo where the train takes you to Machu Picchu Pueblo.









Day137, Nov 16, 2013

Did getup at 4:30 am to make the first bus up to Machu Picchu and I was there at 5:45 am and just in time for the entrance gates to open, my first shot of the sunrise. Plus a story to follow.



Huayna Picchu.


Had a 2 hr tour and then hiked to the Inca bridge, walked a bit more around and decided to walk the Inca trail back to the Pueblo. Wanted to do this so that I could experience this also. There are some 1772 steps and it's a 2.000 ft descend to the bottom. Afterwards my feet and legs were hurting quite a lot so I fond a nice spot to sit down for a while and that seems to be good for now. Machu Picchu is a magical place to visit and experience, it's remoteness and the Inca history make this something I won't forget and worth every penny.


The Valley view








Finished the day by getting back on the train and then Minivan back to Cusco.


Me at Machu Picchu.





And of course the famous Machu Picchu.



Thursday 14 November 2013


Day 135, Nov 14, 2013

Have a private room at the La Posade del Viajero for $15, with inside parking for the bike and is in the middle of town where all the action is. There are lots of things to go see around here and I finally fond a new camera, just hope that this one last longer than the last one. I also made a booking for a two day all inclusive excursion to Machu Picchu and will see if it is worth the $220 I paid. There are cheaper trips from $100 but that will take an extra 12 to maybe 20 hrs in a mini bus plus lots of walking, just don't need all that extra riding.

Was great to see the sites and rest a bit in Cusco today. I was also able to fix the wire that broke yesterday, just hate seeing the oil warning going on all the time.

Will leave tomorrow for the excursion and will report about the trip when I get back.




Cusco's town square.



View at night