Friday, June 07th: Spent the day in Potosi
wondering around the local market what a terrific place! We are temporarily
alone again as all of our traveling companions had moved on the day before.
Sunday, June 9th: Took the leisurely drive to Sucre on an entirely sealed
road. Drove slowly in anticipation of police speed checks but saw none. Arrived mid-day to
find Liam, Annet, Mark and Kfir just rising out of bed. They had partied a bit the
previous nights. That night we all went to the Joy
Ride Café for dinner and drank lots of caiparinhas (a potent lemony Brazilian
drink). Met Gert, the Dutch owner who also runs motorcycle and quad tours of the
Situated at 2,800 meters, Sucre is a very charming city. It was designated a
"Patrimonio Historico y Cultural de la Humanidad" by UNESCO in 1992. It is
sometimes called the White City because all of the buildings in the center are painted
white with red tile roofs. The central plaza is full of lush green palm trees.
The entire area enjoys an extremely good climate, which was a welcome break for us
from the cold of Uyuni and Potosi.
Monday, June 10th: Mark and Kfir left for Cochabamba. Liam and Chris adjust
the valves on Liam's Honda, clean the spark plugs on all the bikes, and replace
Chris damaged fork seal. Annet and I walked around the city to see the cemetery,
park, hilltop lookout, and ethnographic/textile museum (very interesting).
Tuesday, June 11th: Liam tries to leave but returns shortly when his bike is
not running very well. The plugs are fouled. The boys find Nicki at Auto
Parts, a motorbike/car repair shop, and after re-checking the valves discovered it was
nothing more than dirt in the carbs.
Wednesday, June 12th: We all leave town, Annet a little ahead of us as we
first ran some errands and said goodbye to Gert. We headed north-west to Cochabamba and
Annet went to the east in the direction of Santa Cruz. The road was all tierra with lots
of rocks, but interesting none the less. We dropped dramatically in altitude from 2,800 to
1,500 meters, and worried about our bikes overheating with the smaller main-jets. My bike
experienced an electrical problem, which was related to the battery/voltage regulator.
Some dirt got into a connection near the voltage regulator, preventing the battery from
re-charging. Of course this happened in the middle of the day, without no sign of
Chris was able to make a new connection and we used our motorcycle jumper cables to
start my bike -- the thought of trying to bump-start my bike on the flat, soft dirt in the
Later down the road Liam had a problem with his fuel pump. Once our problems were
sorted out we had nice lunch in a small village by the river. Everything along the river
was lush and green. It reminded me a bit of Morocco.
After lunch the road really turned nice. Following the town of Aguile the road was all
cobblestoned (nearly 100kms) to Cochabamba. Very hard on the bikes but the scenery turned
greener with lovely little farms beside the road. It was getting late in the day so we
stopped for the night in a small town called Mizque and found a nice little hostal. The
next morning we went to the market for breakfast and discovered the traditional Bolivian
morning drink called Api. It is made of fruit juice and corn syrup and served warm. This
together with the fried bread called buńuelos made for a nice start to the day. A foreign
doctor from Switzerland named Esteban joined us for breakfast. He was working in town
helping the locals to find cost-efficient ways of purifying their water.
Thursday, June 13th: Left town around 10am thinking we would have a short
drive to Cochabamba. Discovered otherwise after we finally arrived at 3pm in the city! The
road, although cobblestoned, still wound up and over some very high mountain ranges and
was tricky in parts when covered with sand or the occasional waterfall crossed its path in
the mountains. All in all, it was a really great two day adventure over an interesting
road and through fantastic scenery that no one had told us about.
Cochabamba is fairly large and we didnt see anything particularly charming about
it. The fourth largest city in Bolivia, it is the main supplier of produce to the
country's mining communities. Because of its size we could take care of some chores
there (I even got a mini-disc player) but we only stayed a day. We did meet up with two
other travelers there, John from Germany on a XR600 and Cory from New Zealand on a XR650L.
We left the next day for the 365km ride to La Paz.