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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 30 Sep 2006
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La Paz to northern Argentina - road conditions?

We are currently coming north up through Chile to Peru via the coast & then inland to Cuzco & La Paz. We are then planning to back into northern Argentina & head east towards Foz do Iguaco & BA.
We are thinking of riding south from LaPaz via Oruro & Potosi to the Bolivian/Argentine border at Villazon/La Quiaca. As we are travelling two-up on our own, on a loaded BMW 1150 Adventure (& we don´t necessarily consider Salar de Uyuni essential) we are looking for a route south to Argentina that is perhaps direct & road conditions that are not too extreme.

Has anyone been through this area recently that can advise on the best route &/or any road conditions? We will be going through in late Oct, so hopefully shouldn´t get too much rain (Correct?)
We have heard that putting the bike on the train from Oruro might be a good option.
Cheers,
Cords & Aash
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Old 30 Sep 2006
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Hi Cords and Aash,

I came down that way in late June. There are two routs south from Potosi (up to there it's all tarmac). One seems to be the better route, as at the turn off onto Routa 1 near G Bush and Belen the road is signposted as a diversion and gets a little rough. However, Routa 1 was about 250km of roadworks in a quite advanced state. They even had about 40km of tarmac down and the rest seemed to be pretty much ready for tarmac. There a loads of lorries and some spectacular countryside. Closer to Villazon you cross the mountains on a good dirt road. Routa 1 is joined by the other road (sorry, don't have the number) which is also dirt at the turn off. Routa 1 took us two days with a stop over in Carrera (very small place, but friendly people and a cheap room, no breakfast). There are a few nice places to stop over. It took us two days cause Kate was very unhappy on any kind of dirt, and we had two flat tires in two days (third one as soon as we got into Argentina). Don't you love carpenters on road works? Anyhow, I figure they should just about be finished with most of that road. There is a petrol station just before you hit Iscayachi and I think there was one in Camrgo.

Just be carefull about 10km from Villazon we hit a huge sandpit at 50kph just after sundown...That woke us up!

Gareth and Esther went North on the other road and were not happy at all. Check out hteir blog. Link on my blog.

However, I don't understand how you consider the Salar 'not essential'! It was certainly a big highlight for me. The place is just unbelievable, and the round trip Potosi, Uyuni, Potosi is ok, about 4 hrs for 230km with loads of photo stops. I actually did the round trip from Sucre...

Enjoy

Jens
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Old 1 Oct 2006
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La Paz-Cochabamba-Santa Cruz-Argentina

sory. my English is not very good. I am from Argentine and make this trip on January 2004 The route of the title is all to pave, with out sand. You in back to Argentine for Salvador Maza in Salta´estate. lock for you
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