Thursday, September 13, 2007

Arriving to Bolivia

Hello friends,
long time.....
so finally i arrived to Bolivia. after a long ride in the Paraguayan desert i arrived to the Bolivian border. i was welcomed by a lazy customs official, a sign indicating the border and the long anticipated dirt road. That's it i said to Chicho, easy days are over! we start the fight now. and the fight began. i started riding to the next village on the route called Ibibobo. just a few houses and drunk people doing nothing. i fell from the bike 2 times when the road became too sandy. on my next days, sand will be my biggest enemy.
i managed to arrive to Villamontes before dark and parked the bike for that day. the city of Villamontes lies just beneath the Andes mountains and at the next morning i was exited to start a new adventure on a completely different environment. First climbing into high altitude. just like the human reaction, the bike has the same reaction to the lack of oxygen in the heights. i didn't feel any difference yet, but it will soon start when approaching an altitude of 3000 meter and higher. the bad roads was also something to get accustomed to. from an average of riding 250 k"m a day on nice asphalt
roads, i drooped to an average of 60 k"m in 8 hours drive. but i didn't care. the views were amazing and the road made a nice challenge. my next destination was a town called Tupiza, which is situated just north to the Argentinian border. i had to drive 400 k¨m on curvy mountain roads ascending and descending on a regular basis. it took me 4 days to arrive to Tupiza.

giant Cactus started to appear along the desert road and the atmosphere reminded me a of the classic western movies, with steam trains, mules and horses, and dusty Little villages. just after i reached Tupiza i discovered that this area was the surrounding environment to one of the legendary wild west stories of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid, two vigilantes who robed trains and found their death in the village of San Vicente, just a few kilometers away. their story became a classic western movie starring Paul Newman.
Chicho held up pretty good. going slowly but surely, i fell from the bike only 2 more times before i learned the trick how to avoid the sandy curves and not sink into the sand. after completing the ascent to the mountains, i encountered i new enemy. Washboards!! these are little bumps on the road which are made from the fast jeeps and trucks that go on the soft road. they usually appear on long stretches of dirt roads where the vehicles can go fast. the bumps are 90 degrees to the driving direction and they can go for ages and make your driving experience feel like going on a rodeo or getting inside a mixer. it is bearable for 1 or 2 minutes, but after 5 minutes of fierce shaking, i just had to scream out loud and take a rest. chicho took it very hard and on the following days i tried as hard as i can to cross these awful washboards in the smoothest way. surprisingly, when i arrived to Tupiza, chicho was still in one piece.
in Tupiza i found a nice little hostel and settled there for a few days. i met a french guy named Vincent which will lead me to the next adventure to the salt planes of Uyuni, better known as Salar de Uyuni.
again, that's another full story, so until then,
Shana Tova to all the good Jews among you.
miss most of you :)

c ya soon


maya said...

your blog is absolutely gorgeous. watching these pictures is almost as exciting as actually being there. i loved your book about Israeli Foods, already a bestseller out here in israel. have a great time!!


Eilon said...

Hey maya,
thanks for those compliments.
just tell me, wich Maya?

maya said...

מאיה מרום