Thursday, 30 April 2015

Uyuni Salt Flats - Bolivia

  As the clock on the dash struck 65mph I shut my eyes and counted. 1,000, 2,000, 3,000.....I managed 15 seconds before I had to open them again. As I did the rush of white all around me was totally surreal! It was a great feeling and I had to do it again moments later. This time I made it to 17 seconds. What a rush! This is just something you have to do on the Uyuni Salt Flats. It's a must! It turns out there is a well known challenge to see if you can make it to a minute! I didn't know this at the time but I never would have made it anyway. It takes a great deal of faith to do that. One whole minute is a very long time to be riding a bike with your eyes shut, even if you are on the biggest, flattest salt plain in the world!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Atacama Desert

El Tatio Geyser fields
I couldn't feel my hands. My feet too, were going numb and my legs were tingling. I briefly looked up at the stunning display of stars above me before tucking my head back down and resealing any draughty spots! It was cold! It was 5.30am and I was riding on the back of a KTM 990 Adventure, on a mission to pay an early morning visit to El Tatio (The Grandfather). 

El Tatio is one of the highest Geyser fields in the world at 4320 meters and it's worth catching at first light while it's still cold. The difference in temperatures between the air and the water creates the most spectacular display. This is what we were told and it seemed we were willing to bet our fingertips on it! 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Santiago detour

Santiago Graffiti
My trip to Mendoza ended in mission incomplete although I would not call it a total fail! Mendoza introduced me to some great people, a friendly hostel (Banana Hostel) and of course I met up with Mathiew, the KTM rider from France. However, after waiting a couple of days for the Honda dealer to open, it turns out they did not have the parts I needed and it would take 2 weeks to get them.

By now, my chain was in desperate need of replacement, my headlight was still only working intermittently, I needed a new back tyre, the top box bolts had broken again (third time) after all the corrugated roads and my steering bearings needed a clean and some grease. Rhonda was feeling very awkward at slow speeds! On top of all this, the clocks had started flashing on and off for no apparent reason!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Ruta 40

Ruta 40 runs from Rio Gallegos in the south all the way up to the top of Argentina and the border of Bolivia. It is one of the longest highways in the world and this means I have now ridden on the top 3 longest highways as well as the highest road in the world.

I decided  these facts were worthy of a little personal satisfaction! Tick!