October 11, 2009 GMT
From Salta to Cuzco

September 29th Martha got on the plane and headed home. I am on my own now with much more room in my pack and boxes.

On the 30th I headed North on Ruta 9 headed to the Bolivian Border. The plan was to get to La Quiana at the boarder and find the Bolivian Consulate to see about getting a Visa. (required of US citizens)

On the way north I met up with Aundrs (Arg.) and Martinus (Brazil) who were headed the same way. Aundrs was sure he could talk us through the border without me needing to get a Visa.
Phase III fuelstopbikes.jpg
Fellow biker we met at a fuel stop in Northern Arg.
We eat a late lunch and headed to the boarder. It took about 1 1/2 hour to clear customs. I did end up needing to buy the visa, but was able to get it at the border. The Visa cost $135 which is what the USA charges them for a Visa. With Bolivia mad at the US now they charge this to get even.
Phase III Ushuaia5121.jpg
Sign at Border, Ushuaia 5121 K, been there
Just into Bolivia I stopped for fuel and when I got back on my kick stand bolts broke again, will redesign when I get home. My understanding was that the town was 20 K, it turned out to be 85 K and all of it under construction. Now when they do construction here they just run a cat trail along the side or where ever they can get through. These are dirt (which turns to 4 inch deep dust in spots and mud when they water to keep the dust down) and every now and again they would let us run on the unfinished new road bed. This was usually a brutal washboard.
Phase III Bol mud.jpg
detour road, Bolivian style
It turned dark before I got to the town and really slowed things up. Then the road comes to a river, I stop thinking I must be lost. But soon a truck comes along and into the water it goes. This is great my first water crossing, in the dark. The stream was about 20 feet across and 10 inch deep. For the next hour I went back and forth across the river and was sure I was lost at one point. here I sit in the dark, no kick stand (can't get off to pee) but soon a bus came along and I followed it finally to the new road bed. All this time I could see the town was withing 5K on my GPS. More delays on the new road and finally into town at 9:45.
Found a Hostel and collapsed. Had started at 7, was a little to much adventure for me.
The next morning I find a crutch for bike so I do not need to lean it on something and head out. Decide to head toward Potosi as it is said to be a better road. First sign, 80 k construction. Well at least it is day light.
Phase III BolCountrySide.jpg
Phase III BolDesert.jpg
When I get through the construction I stop at a small town and find a place for the night. Room was 20Bs (6.9Bs to 1$), had a good bed, light but no plug for charging the camera. There was an internet sight in town so I checked email an got some food.
Phase III Bol Kids.jpg
Kids playing in the small town
Got up and loaded the next morning bracing for another grueling day but just as I left town the road turned to a ribbon of concrete. There was a sign that indicated that road was funded by US donation. Good to get a little use out of my tax money. Was too good to last though and after about 60k it turned to gravel again.
Phase III BolConcreteRoad.jpg
US funded concrete road
Phase III BolPavement.jpg
When I got closer to Potosi the road turned to new pavement.
Phase III BolCountrySide.jpg
Country side Bolivia
Phase III BolDesert.jpg
Typical view
Phase III BolRockFences.jpg
Rock fenced fields
Phase III BolPipoDustMoto.jpg
Ripo road in Bolivia

I reached Potosi and lunch in a Chinese place. Make me think that at sometime in the past they brought in Chinese to work in the mines. Potosi is a silver mining area that has been mined for at least the last 500 years. Town is built in a canon and I do not think I saw an flat areas.
Potosi view.jpg
It was early in the day so I pushed on to the Peru border. It took about two and half hours to get through the systems as some were on lunch break.
Phase III BorderBridge.jpg
This is the bridge at border
Found a room in Tapena at the border. Was interesting that truck would arrive and be unloaded on to three wheel cycles and contents pedaled over the bridge to Bolivia. It appeared that if it was manually carried across there was no customs.

The next morning I headed toward Cuzco. Things noticeably changed the farther north I went. Farms did not have that depressed look that was in Bolivia and things were neat and gernerally clean. The views became spectacular.
From top of pass to Cuzco
On the road north I say two Harleys, that is a rare sight down here. When they pull over at he top of the pass I pulled in also. They, Viodi and Anna Marie, were on there way to a Harrley Rally outside of Cuzco. They invided me to come up on monday and join the Rally.
Two Harleys.jpg
Two Harleys
They were staying at a place on the outskirts of Cuzco for the night before heading to the Rally and I wanted to get to the old town where at Norton Rats Tavern I should be able to find info on someone to fix kick stand. The Bar is owned by and American and is the place for bikers and gringos to gather.
Found a hotel room for $27 next to the plaza.
The next morning I headed to Urubamba where the Rally was to be held at a Resort. The Harley riders down here are only the rich and this was a fancy place. Had a great dinner meeting riders from Peru, Chile, Columbia, Argentina and Brazil.
The next day a ride and tour of the area was planned. At the first stop it was apparent that my charging system was not working so I had to turn around and go back to a village and recharge my battery and back to resort. I worked out how I could get battery charged and back to Cuzco after the rally. That night everyone got on buses to Cuzco for dinner and Disco Bar, made it back to resort at 2:30.
Harley Group.jpg
Some of the group
The next day was planned a ride and some games at a different location. was going to hitch a ride with support vehicle but decided to stay and work on bike. It was a good thing as I finally found the problem, wire connection had come apart.
Had a great dinner and fireworks that night and the rally was over. Much differant than anything I have seen before.
Back in Cuzco I found a campground for overland travelers overlooking Cuzco. There are three other units here two Land Rovers from France and a big Truck from Switzerland. I was able to buy what tools I needed and get the broken bolts out and fix kick stand. so the plan now is to tour Machu Picchu on Monday then head to Lima where there should be a rear tire waiting for me.
Cuzco (also spelled Cusco)

Posted by Robert Thode at October 11, 2009 03:42 PM GMT

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