Thursday, September 11, 2008

3 days on the road

Bolivia, Vallegrande:
S 18deg 29.407´
W064deg 06.346´

the dino foot prints in Sucre.

after leaving the comfortable place in Sucre on 8 september, saying goodbye to our riding companion Peer. he stayed in sucre for spanish lessons. 70km north is a perfect road but ended up the same again, rocky roads. managed to travel for 5 hrs and stopped at a town name Aiquilo. nice hostel with proper bike parking, just outside the doorstep. clean and neat! S$5 per person per night.this is the perfect lodging we are looking for

our destination, Vallegrande then Santa Cruz (EAST).

too far away for a single day ride from Sucre as we do not know where will be the next sleeping place and also, the road condition will always be a surprise!

9 september, set out from the clean hostel and 5 minutes of riding, we met a junction. there is a short cut to santa cruz, told by the man along the toll way. i saw the road, it was dirt road and on the map its about 150km to the next town, which means that we could just travel 10hrs on this road to an unknown place. the "long cut" as describe by the man was ´alsphato ´! sounds good, we took the longer route.

road at each province is not the same quality. there it marks another boundary.

not very convicing... for the past 7 hrs we only travel 5km of alsphate road. the rest of the road (190km) will burst your beer bottle when u take out for a chill after riding. restless, tired (our butt). i got stung by a bee, i think its a bee on my right wrist. he came into my sleeve, want to take a rest on my body and yet gave me a sting. i felt sharp pain and grab it, crushing its body so i didnt know what stung me. till now its swollen and hurt.

the rocky road winds into the mountain and it was only 2800m above sea level. we are soon entering a cloud. it became a fog. i saw the landscape change. not the road but the greens along the road. instead of grass, it was moss. the trees were leaf-less and the whole structure were filled with hairs and moss. then there were crosses along the road. i guess some people had died here. it become very errie at 2pm where we cannot see any sunlight. it seems that we are transforming into a 3rd dimention. the road seems the same as it turns and turns. luckly i had a gps, knowing we are not repeating the same road. the whole peace of "cloud road" is like the lord of the ring, transiting thro a strange place and then will reach a new world.

in deed, it turned out to be a new world. there was the town of Catalinas. it should be a good town to stay overnight as it is already 430pm and i saw on the map, the town is link with a river, which means it should be a more wealthy town.

yes... proper lodging in the town but we found the cheapest and safest one. the elderly owner is very funny.

although we do not speak each others language but we are able to make joke with one another.

we are getting nearer to santa cruz.

10 september

just out of the town, finally asphate road!!! we cruise for 50km and came by 2 buses blocking the road. Hope Too managed to squeeze thro and i saw 50 buses stopping along the road, with people sleeping under the bus, camping by the side of the road. the situation does not smells better when we get near to Santa Cruz. they are on strike or they have been stopped.

along the way, there came a big pile of soil and debrits blocking the road. yes, it is a human road block. the potester are not happy with the politics and stopped vehicle coming into santa cruz, or going out. i took out the side pannier of Hope Too and scrambled through the sharp little hill hearing a scratch on the skid plate. going back to collect the panniers and happily we go on the asphalted road again.

5 minutes later, same situation happened. this time 2 of this sharp little mountain. i had to go down to the side of the road and detour through the people "camping" along the road.

why are they doing this? situation not right.

we have reached Vallegrande, the place where Che Guevera was murdered. we are going to visit this site tomorrow. there is no atm, no bank, no money changer here in this outback town. we are left with some boliviano dollars worth S$50.00 and some US$. hope to survive for 4 days before santa cruz. luckily Hope Too did not give us any problem. he still has half tankful of petrol... supposingly

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