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South America Topics specific to South America only.
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Old 2 Nov 2002
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Location: montana/texas usa
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should i risk columbia or wimp and skip it?

in guatemala nov 1, heading south. half the people i jmeet say columbia is worth riding, other half say no way. it would be cheaper to fly-boat my klr from panama to columbia and then ride into venez, but is it worth the risk? also does anyone know anything about climbing those huge peaks along the north coast of col?
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Old 3 Nov 2002
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try visiting http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000139.html in the "Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road" Forum and also do a search on 'Colombia' using the search tool.
good luck
ChrisB
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Old 4 Nov 2002
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Location: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
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Hey All!

I´m not a biker (at this moment) but I´m living in Bolivia for almost 6 years now... Know quite something of the country and the roads... So here we go!

From Argentina towards La Paz there are two alternatives. The Villazon entry is the high-land route, almost allways dry, goes up to Uyuni. In Uyuni you go either to the south-west into Chile/San Pedro de Atacama (not Peru!!!), ONLY TRAVEL IN GROUPS!!!! Other road from Uyuni goes to Oruro (good, about 100 miles unpaved but reasonable). From Oruro to La Paz and Peru: paved.

Other option is Pocitos-Yacuiba-Camiri-Santa Cruz, lowlands though dry shrub forest (Chaco). Camiri-Santa Cruz is impassible in wet season (november-march) and sometimes during dry too (occasional showers). Pocitos-Camiri is paved & great. 30 miles north of Camiri starts a road to the left to Sucre, good condition but first part impassible in wet season. From Sucre it is possible to go to Potosí (paved & great) and further to Uyuni (unpaved & good during all seasons). Road north of Sucre heads to Cochabamba, unpaved but good during all seasons).

From Santa Cruz there are two paved options towards La Paz (through Cochabamba and Oruro), both are beautiful and paved and good during all seasons), the only drawback on the northern alternative are the coca-farmers that ocasionally block the road (check local newspapers)

Other option from Santa Cruz is towards the Misiones (described above) and the Brazilian border (Cuiaba). Great alternative is to turn left near San Ramón towards Trinidad, 70% paved, unpaved part "regular" in wet season (which is from october to may down there). From Trinidad the most logical option is towards Rurrenabaque, there you could take the "unforgettable" road from Coroico up to La Paz, actually I would defenitily prefer to climb this road. Unpaved roads, slippery, deep gorges and from Coroico to La Paz loads of drunken drivers add to the fun.

Other alternative from Trinidad northbound towards Riberalta and from there into Brazil through Guayaramirim, only during dry season, no service available but gas.

Gas is available as well as tire-repair shops, but mechanics will be a real problem.

Do not want to scare you off but I would defenitely NOT do Uyuni-San Pedro de Atacama on my own. Several people have died on this road (most cyclist though...) of de-hidration, cold etc. It´s a completely deserted area.

Have fun and hope to join you soon...

Tim
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