April 15, 2009 GMT
31. Chuquisaca

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Leaving Santa Cruz I headed for Sucre, via Samaipata and Vallegrande.

El Fuerte de Samaipata ( Samaipata Fort ) is a structure that has channels, basins, and high-relief sculptures carved out of one big rock.
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Amigo: ahora puedes leer la historia completa en mi libro "La Suramérica que recorrí". Ve a www.palibrio.com. Las fotos, míralas aquí.
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Salí de Santa Cruz hacia Sucre via Samaipata y Vallegrande.

El Fuerte de Samaipata es una estructura en una gran roca que tiene canales, pozos, y esculpidos en alto relieve.
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Vallegrande Señor de Malta Hospital is the place where Bolivian Army exhibited the body of Che Guevara, October 10/67.
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En el Hospital Señor de Malta de Vallegrande el ejército boliviano exibió el cuerpo del Ché Guevara, Octubre 10-67.
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As a dirty cloth, Che’s body was placed on top of the laundry pair of sinks to be pictured out for international knowing. Many of you probably remember his icy-opened eyes.
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Como un trapo sucio, el cuerpo del Ché fue puesto encima del par de lavaderos para que fuera fotografiado para la prensa internacional. Muchos de ustedes probablemente recuerden sus congelados ojos entreabiertos.
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Continuing behind Che’s story, I rode to La Higuera, the place he was taken prisoner.
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Continuando tras la historia del Ché, rodé hacia La Higuera, el lugar donde fue hecho prisionero.
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This is the school where he was in custody before being assassinated.
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Esta es la escuela donde estuvo en custodia antes de ser asesinado.
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I was told in Santa Cruz the road toward Sucre was through a beautiful landscape and with good surface. It was almost true, except because many, many not friendly sections, streams crossing included.
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Me dijeron en Santa Cruz que el camino hacia Sucre era a través de hermoso paisaje y con buen a superficie. Eso era casi cierto, excepto por las muchas, muchas partes no muy amigables con cruce de quebradas incluído.
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Three riding hours latter after passing La Higuera, I thought the absolutely lack of traffic was due that day was Sunday (March 29-09). But not even houses were close or beside the road, so the loneliness was total. At the first house I found, I was told that probably the river wouldn’t allow me to continue due its high flow. I couldn’t go back; I didn’t like to ride that treacherous road again. So, I had to go to explore the river. It appeared to be shallow on the first half, but after a peasant waded it on his horse, I noticed it was almost a meter deep on the other 10 meter long half.
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Tres horas después de salir de La Higuera pensé que la falta absoluta de tráfico era debido a que ese día era domingo (Marzo 29-09). Pero es que ni siquiera había casas al lado o cerca de la carretera por lo que la soledad era total. En la primera casa que encontré me dijeron que probablemente no podría cruzar “ el río “ debido a que estaba muy alto. No podía regresarme, no quería volver a pasar todos esos pasos difíciles de nuevo. Entonces tuve que seguir a explorar el río. Parecía ser bajo en la primera mitad, pero después de que un campesino lo pasó a caballo, vi que era como de casi un metro de profundidad en la otra mitad de 10 metros de largo.
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The peasant and his son came in underwear to help me passing Suzi to the other bank. I dismounted the bags and took the computer and cameras out from the bike. Andrés positioned him self in the deepest part of my track. I rode up to the middle of the stream through the shallow part with no problem. Here, I had to decide the moment of launch the crossing, the same way you nervously think and decide when to jump into the water from a very high trampoline. Not liking to delay that crucial moment, I release the clutch and went into the hole, only to dive into the water after a pair of meters. Luckily I felt to my right side, the side the stream was coming from. When I could get my head out of the water, Andrés already was pulling Suzi to put her vertical, water stream helping. At that very moment I noticed other peasant that had come to the bank for the show, was taking his pants off and coming to help. Now we four were able to push Suzi out of the water fighting against the stream force trying to turn her side down. I immediately pushed the start button and Suzi turned on, what a rest! I let her for minutes in idle, working perfectly in low but not allowing high. After 30 minutes I spent wading my dry belongings and drying the wet ones, I drained the carburetor ( just loosening a screw ) and instantly Suzi was ready to eat more rode. I had to drain the carburetor again two or three more times, it was all.
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El campesino y su hijo volvieron en pantaloneta a ayudarme a pasar a Suzi al otro lado. Desmonté las maletas, las cámaras y el computador. Andrés se posicionó en la parte mas profunda de la ruta a través del río. Rodé por la parte bajita hasta el centro sin problemas. Aquí tenía que decidir el momento de lanzarme de la misma manera como usted piensa y decide lanzarse al agua desde una plataforma alta. No queriendo demorar ese crucial momento, aceleré, solté el clutch, y me tiré al charco sólo para estar buceando después de un par de metros, había caído demasiado rápido. Cuando saqué la cabeza del agua, Andrés ya estaba halando a Suzi para ponerla vertical con la ayuda de la corriente pues afortunadamente caí en contra de ella. En ese instante vi que otro campesino que había venido a la orilla a ver el show se estaba quitando los pantalones para venir a ayudar. Ahora nosotros cuatro fuimos capaces de empujar a Suzi hasta la orilla peleando contra la fuerza de la corriente que quería volcarla. Una vez afuera le di arranque y Suzi inmediatamente prendió, qué descanso! La dejé varios minutos en mínimo porque no aguantaba la alta. Después de 30 minutos vadeando las maletas secas y secando lo mojado, drené el carburador (sólo aflojar un tornillo) y Suzi quedó lista para comer mas carretera. Tuve que drenar de nuevo el carburador dos o tres veces más, pero eso fue todo.
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I got Villa Serrano late afternoon, where I learnt the river I dove is called El Bañadito (little bath-taken), meaning people have to take an obligated bath when crossing it. What a day, with beautiful landscape, riding a lonely road, taking improvised baths, etc. Only 200 km but 8 riding hours.
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Llegué a Villa Serrano al final de la tarde. Allí supe que el río donde me sumergí es llamado El Bañadito, o sea que la gente tiene que tomar un baño obligado al cruzarlo. Qué día!, con bello paisaje, rodando por carretera solitaria, tomando improvisados baños, etc. Sólo 200 km pero 8 horas andando.
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Wonderful and smoothly 6 meter wide stone-paved road runs for two kilometres out of town.
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Preciosa –por lo suave- vía empedrada de 6 metros de ancho que corre por sólo dos kilómetros fuera de Villa Serrano.
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But after the stone-paved, a common gravelled road is. Suzi protested with a front flat tire I fixed in one hour changing the inner pipe.
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Pero después del empedrado viene una en grava normal. Suzi protestó con pinchazo que arreglé en una hora cambiando el neumático.
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From Tarabuco you can see Cal Orck’o, the quarry close to Sucre where more dinosaur footprints have been found in the world.
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Desde Tarabuco se puede ver Cal Orck’o, la cantera cercas a Sucre donde mayor número de huellas de dinosaurio han sido encontradas en el mundo.
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Fancesa Cement has preserved this originally horizontal layer where four different types of dinosaurs walked 68 million years ago in between two consecutive low tides.
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Cementos Fancesa ha preservado esta capa, originalmente horizontal, donde cuatro tipos de dinosaurio caminaron hace 68 millones de años durante dos mareas bajas consecutivas.
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These footprints are about 70 cm diameter.
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Estas huellas son de aproximadamente 70 cm de diametro.
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Sucre is Bolivia’s official capital. Formerly Chuquisaca , this year it’s celebrating the bicentennial of the independence, the first in South America.
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Sucre es la capital oficial de Bolivia. Antiguamente Chuquisaca, está celebrando este año el bicentenario del grito de independencia, el primero en Suramérica.
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Potosí is on the flanks of Cerro Rico, the silver mountain that gave wealth to Spain for years. In its maximum with population 170.000, Potosí was the second largest city in the western world after Naples-Italy, before Paris, Madrid and London.
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Potosí está en las faldas de Cerro rico, la montaña de plata que le dio riqueza a España por años. En su máximo con una población de 170.000 habitantes, Potosí fue la segunda ciudad del mundo occidental después de Nápoles-Italia y antes de París, Madrid y Londres.
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Colonial buildings and churches are all arround.
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Edificios coloniales e iglesias alrededor de la plaza principal.
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The Casa de Moneda (mint) Museum has a wonderful collection of coins, mint industry, painting, silver artefacts, gems, mineralogy, melting industry, etc.
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La Casa de Moneda tiene una estupenda colección de monedas, industria de acuñación, pinturas, artefactos de plata, mineralogía, metalurgia, etc.
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At this point of my trip, I was no comfortable. The most part of it had been done, but still I had too many kilometres to get home. Solitude, the coming border issues, and other personal factors had made their toll in my mind. I was tired, happy not longer, and not enjoying the coming attractions, I just liked to be back home. So, I checked out my schedule and found I had “only” 5.500 km between me and Cali-Colombia. Re-planning, I decided to ride as long as I could every day in order to get home before 10 days. Being in Potosí-Bolivia, I had to traverse the Andes to get the Pacific coast at Arica-Chile, ride along the Peruvian and Ecuadorian coastal, and finally ride the Andes up to Colombia. Many things would remain to be known in my next trip, but this one was almost over. I didn’t feel guilty; I just was looking for finishing my trip ASAP. So, I left Potosí Thursday April 2nd at 5:30 am, heading for Arica-Chile, 830 km far away. What a cold morning, I had my electrical jacket connected until 10 am.
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En este punto del viaje yo ya estaba incómodo. La mayor parte de él había sido ya ejecutada, pero aún tenía muchos kilómetros para llegar a casa. La soledad, los asuntos de frontera que vendrían, y otros factores personales habían hecho mella en mi mente. Estaba cansado, no disfrutaba las atracciones, sólo quería estar de nuevo en casa. Entonces revisé mi programa y encontré que habían “sólo” 5.500 km hasta Cali-Colombia. Replanteando, decidí rodar tan largo como pudiera cada día con tal de estar en casa antes de 10 días. Estando en Potosí-Bolivia, tenía que atravesar los Andes para llegar a la costa pacífica en Arica-Chile, rodar a lo largo de las costas peruanas y ecuatorianas, y finalmente trepar los Andes para llegar a Colombia. Muchas cosas quedarían pendientes para ser conocidas en el próximo viaje, éste estaba por terminar. No me sentí culpable, simplemente quería ya finalizar mi viaje tan pronto como fuera posible. Entonces salí de Potosí el jueves 2 de abril a las 5:30 am hacia Arica-Chile, a 850 km de distancia. Qué mañana tan fría, tuve mi chaqueta eléctrica conectada hasta las 10 am.
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Bolivian border was crossed with no fine, and Chilean one with no problem, so I rode down the Pacific in a kind of happiness because I already had resolved some of the problems. Leaving Potosí at 4.100 m the road climb to a puna at 4.700 m for one hour, next it descend to the Bolivian Altiplano at 3.600 m, to finally descend to the sea. What a differences in the same day!
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La frontera boliviana fué cruzada sin multas, y la chilena sin problemas. Entonces bajè hacia el Pacífico en un trance de felicidad porque ya había resuelto algunos de los problemas. Saliendo de Potosí a 4.100 m se sube a una puna de 4.700 por cerca de una hora, luego se baja al altiplano boliviano a 3.600 m, para finalmente bajar a nivel del mar. Vaya diferencias en el mismo día!

Posted by Santiago Lema at April 15, 2009 07:12 PM GMT
 


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