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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 21 Nov 2008
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Cool Entering Peru and Bolivia now from Equador...suggestions on rides?

Hello all!

Hope the riding has been safe and scenic!

We (two Canadians from Vancouver) on R1200GS with TKC80 tires, are now in Cuenca, Equador (Nov 21/08) and we are about to enter Peru and then Bolivia before hitting Chile and Argentina.

Looking for suggestions on great routes and warnings of very poor roads to avoid. We are planning to ride the Pan Am to the point of entering Corderilla Blanca and then stay east of the Andes on back roads toward Cuzco. Then towards Lake Titicaca and Solar de Uyuni in Bolivia.

Aby suggestions or warning would be greatly appreciated. And if you re close by lets have a pint or two!

Thanks
Bantu
smileandwave88@hotmail.com
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  #2  
Old 1 Dec 2008
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Location: Bristol, Maine, USA
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Know it well!

Smile,

When you say "east of the Andes" (in Peru) do you mean Moyobamba/Tarapoto all the way to Cuzco? If so, what do you consider a "bad" road?

I can tell you it is one of the best in SA for beauty, and the views.... WOW! But on a GS?????

YES, you can do it, but for a start: GET KNOBBIES !! and talk to someone who has done it. PM me if you wish, glad to lend a hand...
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Old 2 Dec 2008
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I excrete jealously from my every pore! How I long to be back down there. Anyway, here are a couple of ideas for your route. Enjoy!

Of course, don't miss the "Death Hwy" north of La Paz, Bolivia. It makes a nice day ride. We rode from La Paz to Uyuni via Potosi. The road between La Paz and Potosi is a very nice paved hwy. Be sure to take a mine tour in Potosi. Then from Potosi to Uyuni the road was dirt the entire way with one river bed crossing that had a consistancy of oatmeal that was easy to handled on my heavily loaded VStrom 650 with tires that are a far cry from TKC80's and there were a few stretches of washboards. You will even pass a couple of Historic landmarks where Butch Cassidy and Sundance kid held up a couple of trains. This stretch of road was one of my favorites of the trip and the landscape has some amazing, almost trippy colors. This is easily done in one day. After hearing from some other guys that rode directly from La Paz to Uyuni, I was glad we took the long route. Apparently, the more direct route from Oruro to Uyuni is very sandy.

If you are going to Chile from Uyuni, I highly suggest the new-ish gravel road that heads southwestern out of Uyuni then turns westbound. This "wraps" around the south side of the Salar de Uyuni, to the border town of Ollague (approximate coordinates taken from Google Earth: 21°12'48.03"S, 68°13'42.94"W) This road was new enough it wasn't on the most recent Bolivian road maps. The road from Uyuni to Ollague is top notch or atleast it was when I was there 2 years ago. We traveled comfortably at 65mph on this gravel road. Be aware that the Ollague border does close for lunch between 12-2 I believe. The road from Ollague to Calama, Chile was a little more work with some deep-ish pebbly sections, but still not bad. With a couple of stretches going across some smaller Salars. Easily handled by 1200GS's with TKC80's. The ex-pat that owns Minute Man Pizza in Uyuni can give you more precise directions for this route into Chile. If memory serves me, his name is Chris.

From Calama, Chile be sure to head East to San Pedro de Atacama. A nice little, dirt street town that has some amazing days rides in all directions. The Valle de Luna was gorgous.

We rode from Uyuni, crossed the border at Ollague into Calama and onto San Pedro de Atacama in one longish day of riding. I recommend taking extra gas for this leg. Gas is available some where between 50-80 miles(????) south of Uyuni, but it apparently is not reliable. From then on, to Calama, Chile, No gas is available and chances are you wont see another vehicle for days if you run out.

In southern Chile, we took Carratera Austral. You have to take a ferry to the start of it. Then its gravel most of the way, but apparently, its in the process of being paved. It goes down to the beginnings of the Fjords. We crossed into Argentina at Chile Chico to ride the infamous Routa 40 south until we crossed back into Chile for Torres del Paine.

Fair winds and following seas my fellow moto travelers. Let us know what route you end up taking.

Ryan and "Lobo Rojo"
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