Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.






Bolivia: Day 9

by Kathy 4. December 2007 03:00

< Day 8: Potosí to Sorata | Day 10: Santa Rosa to Guanay >>

 

Sorata to Santa Rosa

 

Our Sorata hostel:

We saw this bull from our window:

A view from the front of the hostel:

Today was my favorite day of riding—the roads were all dirt and the most challenging by far, with quite a few washouts and river crossings. We started the day by returning to the town entrance for gas:

Here is the Sorata welcome sign:

We then began our fun-filled day of riding. We wound our way up the mountain behind Sorata, with a multitude of switchbacks. Here is a view of Sorata with the tall mountains behind it; the town is popular with hikers and mountain climbers (and has an altitude of about 8850 feet).

(We must have gotten a smudge or some condensation on our camera lens, as many of the following pictures have a white blur on them—sorry!) The road was basically a dirt jeep trail, with a steep drop off on one side. Cars and jeeps would speed along this road with an apparent lack of concern about colliding head-on with other vehicles.

We came across many beautiful waterfalls. Here are William, Maurice, Ben and I in front of one, with a small water crossing:

On the other side of the road from the waterfall was a woman washing clothes:

(I am SO grateful for the convenience of washing machines.)

The roads would wind up and up and up, and then we would round a corner . . . and find ourselves on the other side of the mountain! Then we would wind down and down and down (with switchbacks galore) until we were near the bottom; there would usually be some type of water crossing over to the next mountain, and then we would start the process all over again, winding our way up the next mountain. I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I would gasp with astonishment as I came around a corner and saw a magnificent view before me. Here is one of the views where you can see a series of switchbacks (someone pinch me—am I really here experiencing all of this?)

The wash-outs added to the fun of the day (I enjoy technical challenges):

(I must add that I loved the DR650--it performed beautifully through all of the water crossings, washouts and all types of terrain.)

One of the towns that we rode through:

Up to this point, I have forgotten to mention that there are numerous dogs in Bolivia that love to charge at, and chase, motorcycles. In every town, it seemed there was at least one dog (sometimes a lot more) that would come charging out of nowhere to nip at our boots and tires as we were rolling along. Earlier today, I was making my way gingerly through a gigantic mud puddle that was stretched across the entire road, and a small dog lunged from the bushes; I thought that it was going for my boot, but at the last minute it swerved and made a suicide leap in front of my bike. I braked quickly, splashing water all over my goggles, and heard an ear-piercing shriek of pain (not mine)—I thought, “Oh no, I think I killed it!” Then as my goggles cleared, I saw the dog emerge from the puddle and run off down the hill as fast as it could go. Whew!

Another great view:

There were many herds of animals, sometimes walking in the middle of the road. Here is a woman with her herd:

We were often at the same level as the clouds:

Me, among the clouds:

Ben was having fun too:

Some houses with the clouds rolling in:

Another breathtaking (for me) view:

In this photo, you can see our road twisting down the mountain:

Some of the local people earn money by panning for gold in this river:

Here I am, with William; it is lunchtime, and we are waiting for Maurice to return from the village below with news of whether we can buy some lunch there:

We can! Here is the restaurant/store where we had a nice lunch of rice, meat and egg:

It is always interesting to see what types of goods are available for purchase in a small village. In the store where we had lunch, there were eggs, baby diapers, sugared sodas, tomatoes, crackers, toilet paper, and some other items.

There were a few children inside the restaurant checking us out. Before lunch, I had made friends with a little two-year-old, who I had sat on my bike. After lunch, there were quite a few kids who gathered around; I showed them the different motorcycle parts and let them toot the horn. Ben did the same. I also met the mother, Yula, of the two-year-old; I was able to talk (in my limited Spanish) with her about her village, her children, and the surrounding mountains. (We did not meet many Bolivian people who spoke English.) Here I am with the wonderful group of children we met:

One crossing had a waterfall to one side; one slip and . . . . Here I am on the bike, ready to cross. William, who was the first to cross over, is telling me (in French, of which I know a handful of words leftover from high school) the best route to take through the water.

The crossing was actually quite tame, but the fact that the waterfall was right on the edge made it seem more difficult.

Another beautiful waterfall:

I just can’t keep from smiling:

During the late afternoon, the roads became steeper, with sharp hairpins and large sections of big loose rocks—definitely more challenging. We arrived in Santa Rosa in the late afternoon:

When we first arrived, and I pulled off my helmet, I soon had 8 young schoolgirls standing around my bike looking at me shyly, giggling a little, but not saying anything. I loved it! They were all dressed in their navy blue school uniforms, with plaid skirts. I sat on my bike and looked at each girl, greeting her individually and asking how she was doing. After a short time, we had to pull our bikes into the hotel courtyard, so I told the girls that I had to go. I never saw them again, but I won’t ever forget their sweet inquisitive faces.

Hotel Judith was very basic. It had a communal single bathroom, and our small room was extremely rustic but wouldn’t have been too bad if they hadn’t sprayed so much insect repellent in it that I could scarcely breathe. Ben and I had gotten our yellow fever vaccine before leaving the U.S., but there are no vaccines against malaria or dengue fever—both of which are spread by mosquitoes. We hadn’t had to worry about mosquitoes in the altiplano because those insects don’t live at such high elevations. Now that we were lower in altitude, we had to avoid getting bitten. Although I doubt that any insect could have survived all the chemicals in our hot room, we slept tonight under a mosquito net that Ben had bought for this trip.

A view of the hotel courtyard (the pool provided a pretty backdrop, but the water was an uninviting green color, so no one took a dip):

We ate outside at this table (I learned that if you sit under the florescent light, your plate becomes the landing pad for bugs—big ones--that hit the light and then do a freefall):

We had lively dogs outside our hotel door throughout much of the night. Ben swears that the dogs had tracked us down, as if we were escaped refugees, and had decided to park themselves outside our door and let the world know where we were.

<< Day 8: Potosí to Sorata | Day 10: Santa Rosa to Guanay >>

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Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

Bhutan
   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Kanglung
   Mongar
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Thimphu
   Tongsa
   Wangdi Phrodrang

Bolivia
   Caranavi
   Guanay
   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Llica
   Potosí
   Queteña
   Rurrenabaque
   Sajama
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sorata
   Sud Lipez
   Tupiza
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

Canada
   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Chetwynd
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Isle-aux-Coudres
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Montreal
   Niagara Falls
   Ottawa
   Quebec City
   Quesnel
   Thousand Islands
   Toronto
   Vancouver
   Vancouver Island
   Victoria
   Watson Lake
   Whistler
   Whitehorse

China
   Beijing
   Datong
   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   HuaShan
   Lijiang
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Xi’an
   Yangshuo
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Quepos
   Sarchi
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves
   Zarcero

France
   Paris

Ecuador
   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Quito
   Yasuní National Park

India
   Bagdogra
   Darjeeling
   Delhi
   Gawahati
   Jaigaon
   Kalimpong

Mexico
   Baja California
   Crucecita
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Huatulco
   Marietas Islands
   Mazunte
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Patzcuaro
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Sayulita
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotihuacán
   Teotitlán del Valle
   TzinTzunTzan
   Yagul
   Yelapa

Namibia
   Caprivi
   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Katutura
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisfontein
   Seisriem Camp
   Sossusvlie
   Swakopmund
   Treesleeper Camp
   Twyfeltein
   Windhoek

Peru
   Balsas
   Barranca
   Cajabamba
   Cajamarca
   Caraz
   Cañón del Pato
   Celendín
   Cerro de Pasco
   Chachapoyas
   Cusco
   Huamachuco
   Huánico
   Huaraz
   La Oroya
   Leymebamba
   Llanganuco
   Lima
   Machu Picchu
   Moyobamba
   Nuevo Jaén
   Pallasca
   Pampas
   Tápuc
   Tarapoto
   Tarma
   Tingo Maria
   Tocache
   Yungay Memorial

Portugal
   Burgau
   Coimbra
   Evora
   Lisbon
   Marvao
   Nazare
   Obidos
   Portimao
   Sintra
   Sitio

South Africa
   Johannesburg

Spain
   Barcelona
   Bilbao
   Hondarribia
   Madrid
   Montserrat
   Nerja
   Rock of Gibraltar
   Ronda
   Santillana del Mar
   Tolosa
   Zaragoza

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.


Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin