Thursday, March 11, 2010

Salta, Argentina to Tupiza, Bolivia - March 8

Ruta 9 to San Salvador de Jujuy was fantastic!  40km´s of tight, twisting, incredibly narrow road winding it´s way up and over a dense tropical mountain range.  The road is only 3 metres wide to begin with, but occasionally you are presented with a warning sign that the road narrows ahead!
San Salvador de Jujuy is a large city, but fortunately despite busy Monday traffic we were able to navigate through it in no time as it is the first South American city we have encountered with good (or any) road direction signage.

We passed the Tropic of Capricorn just after noon and were in an area of draatic multi-coloured mountains...
where we also encountered our first Llamas.
20km´s south of the Bolivian frontier we stopped for a cigarette (can´t find a good cigar anywhere!) and to contemplate our journey to date - and how wonderful the country and the people of Argentina have been - and then we were off to the border.

We were through Aduana and Migraciones and into Verazon, Bolivia by 5:30pm.  Verazon is a dirty, busy border town, so we decided to ride to Tupiza for the night.  Unfortunately, the entire length of road (some 110 km´s) to Tupiza is under construction and subject to desvios (detours) that rival the average MotoCross course.

At about  7pm we had to ford a small stream crossing that was extremely muddy and deeply rutted.  I decided to ride downstream a few metres to cross but my front tire dug into the sand deeply and the bike came over on top of me immediately, pinning my leg beneath the pannier.  I was able to lift the bike off of me with my free leg and within seconds of standing was surrounded by a crew of Bolivians from a pick-up truck we had passed earlier.  They quickly righted the bike for me and asked to have their picture taken with me - and then were away in a cloud of dust.  We crossed the stream without incident just another couple of feet downstream.

Although pitching tents was an option, with sunlight fading fast, very little drinking water left, and me uncertain about the use of my left leg and hand the next day, we decided to push on to Tupiza.

After 35km´s of very challenging riding (breaking my own cardinal rule by riding at night), we arrived in Tupiza at 9:40pm and checked into a local Hostel.  We struggled through dinner and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. 

We´ll stay in Tupiza tomorrow and take stock - but I think I´ve gotten away with a badly bruised leg (thank you boots!) and hand.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Peter,
    Rob here. Your journey sounds incredible and we hope your leg is ok. Perhaps you should sell the Anti-Gremlin bell i gave you ??
    Love the Blog and pics - Be Well