|nights camping:||4% (hostels are so cheap compared to Chile and Argentina!)|
|lowest and highest point:||160 masl around Trinidad in the Northern lowlands / 5’033 masl at the Aduana coming from Chile 📷|
|lowest and highest temperature:||2.5°C La Cumbre del Cristo (La Paz to Coroico) / 35°C Región El Beni, Northern lowlands|
|money spent:||35 US$ per person and day
includes spares and other stuff ordered from Switzerland
|average fuel price:||Purchasing fuel in Bolivia is not as straight forward as in other countries. Bolivia has a fixed fuel price, which differs considerably for locals (3.74 BOB/l; 0.55 US$/l) and foreigners (8.7 BOB/l; 1.30 US$/l). There is only one grade of fuel available, which is notoriously of bad quality. We have an inline fuel filter installed and never had any problems.
Around La Paz many fuel stations refuse to sell fuel to foreigners altogether.
In the Altiplano you can ask and haggle for fuel ‘sin factura’ and will usually pay 6 to 7 BOB/l (keep in mind that the difference between the local price and the agreed price then goes directly into the pocket of the person selling you the fuel (= a profit of up to 100%)).
Around Sucre and Cochabamba you can easily get fuel for the local price when parking your bike outside the gas station, out of view of the cameras, and filling up your jerry can(s) (this is also what many locals do when their vehicle is unregistered and thus without license plate).
In the northern lowlands we could fill up the motorbikes directly for the local price without discussion.
Sometimes when filling your jerry can you’re asked for a copy of your passport or your Bolivian ID, which you don’t have of course, but which a friendly local might supply. Often there is a restriction to the amount you can buy too. They told us this is in order to keep track of the amount of fuel purchased per person, as cocaine production needs a lot of fuel. But many obviously Bolivians didn’t have to hand in a copy while we did, so maybe it’s just an excuse to annoy foreigners…
This is one of the reasons why many overland travellers can become fed up with travelling in this country. But for motorbikes with small tanks and a jerry can at hand it’s not all that bad and can be rather seen like a little haggling game you play every day. 📷
All in all we paid an average of 4.74 BOB per liter (0.65 US$/l).
|average fuel consumption:||Big difference depending on altitude and road surface:
from 5 l/100km on the sandy laguna route to 3.5 l/100km on the smooth tarmac in the lowlands
|lost:||Screw holding LBBs right hand guard in place
Nora’s wrist watch
Both airfilterbox sidecovers – in the middle of the sand section of the laguna route where you have about 1000 different tracks to follow back.
|found:||1 Boliviano coin
The two sidecovers!! In the middle of nowhere after 35km of driving back searching the sand. 📷
|broken:||LBBs chain guard (2nd time)|
|fixed:||Welded LBBs chain guard, hopefully for good
Replaced LBBs Airhawk seat cover with nice Bolivian cloth
Replaced FYHs chain and sprockets 📷
|punctures:||1 on LBBs rear at 4’739 masl, a record! 📷|
|best route(s):||Laguna route – endless offroad beauty 📷
Camino de la muerte (The Death Road) – not so dangerous anymore but still scary if you don’t like heights 📷
Uncia via Anzaldo to Torotoro – up and down and up and down on deserted gravel roads 📷
From the ferry in San Pedro de Tiquina to Copacabana – the best views of Lake Titicaca 📷
|hardest section:||Searching for the hot springs near the volcano Olca – not knowing if we have enough gasoline for the way back 📷
San Ignacio de los Moxos to Trinidad – crossing muddy floodplains in the rainy season (1 hour to cover 1.5km of ankle-deep mud, expecting it to go on for another 100km)
|best sleeping place:||Wild camping in the sand dunes in the Southwest, far from the well-travelled Laguna route – it was eerily quiet with no other human being around for many many kilometres 📷|
|Best food and/or beverage:||Tomato Lasagna in Sucre
Trout in Copacabana (despite the heavy metals)
|best moment:||Realising that one can actually enjoy riding on sand
Seeing Laura, a friend from Switzerland, again
Enjoying a delicious pizza and a dark local beer in Uyuni after completing the laguna routa – back in civilisation!
|worst moment:||Realising we lost the covers of our airfilter boxes (we took them off to improve engine performance in the heights)
Suffering from altitude sickness in La Paz
|favourite place(s):||Laguna route – when no tour jeeps are around
Sara Ana – if you bring enough mosquito repellent 📷
Isla del Sol – far away from any engine noise 📷
Cochabamba – a lively non-touristy Bolivian city with good restaurants
Cuevas waterfalls close to Samaipata 📷
Petrified dinosaur foot prints in Torotoro 📷
|learned:||Replace a bad chain as early as possible. It just gets more expensive if you wait until the sprockets are worn out too.
Suzuki motorcycles are not at all common in Bolivia.
Sprockets are very specific to each motorbike model
|food on the road:||Warm Quinoa Salad
|observations:||Travelling with a motorcycle is inherently different from all other travels we have known so far – the journey itself is truly at the center.
If OSM classifies it as hiking trail, in Bolivia it often means it’s a fairly good gravel road.
If anything is currently not available, Bolivians tell you that TODAY they don’t have it on offer. It might be that they just sold the last piece 5 minutes ago, or that they didn’t and won’t have it for weeks.
About 10% of all vehicles in Bolivia don’t have license plates. This explains the common sight of people transferring fuel from jerry cans to the tanks of their cars and motorbikes parked across the street from the gas stations.
A sign along the road warning of entering and exiting trucks from a side road should be taken seriously. The truck drivers expect you to give way.