My friend Jacobo and I had always wanted to go on a long motorbike journey somewhere away from home, the summer after our second year at university was the perfect time.
Bolivia. We knew little about this country, we expected high altitudes (considering La Paz is the world's highest capital at 3,640m), cold weather and llamas, not much else... It turned out to be the most scenic country both of us had ever witnessed; rocky snowy mountains, dusty forests, vast plains, sand dunes, dense jungles, salt flats and colonial cities were all part of our daily commutes.
We managed to ride 3,300km on two Suzuki DR 200s, Nuna and Teresita. From muddy tracks, to endless straights, rocky paths, snow covered roads and even motocross tracks, these motorbikes made this incredible journey possible.
I'm working on a short 15 minute documentary, but for now, here are a few photos from the trip.
The Bolivian Andes' jagged Cordillera Real in the background, its highest point is Chacaltaya at 5,421m
Turning point to 'Death Road'
Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat is at an elevation of 3,656 meters
A flat tyre on our way to La Paz in the Yungas road. This was one of our first days and we were suffering from altitude sickness, so we wanted to reach La Paz as quickly as possible.
Jacobo riding his DR 200 to Potosí
We got snowed in while visiting Uyuni, temperatures reached -10ºC during the day
After the longest, coldest, wettest and longest day, we woke up in the beautiful town of Totora. Having arrived the previous night, wondering the streets asking for a room, since all the accommodations were full due to the town festivities, we didn't notice how nice the village was until the next morning.
We rode past a town were they had set up a rough motorbike track on a field, I asked if I could enter the race. I ate a lot of dust, crashed a few times but the crowd cheered me on, "Vamos Gringo, vamos!". Jacobo took the role of athlete manager and photographer. I came 3rd and carried the trophy the rest of the trip.
La Ruta del Che. This route took us a few days to complete, finishing in La Higuera, the town where Che Guevara was captured and killed. We met a woman who was there on the day and she told us what happened.
Sucre, Bolivia's most beautiful city. White colonial houses covered the green landscape. The central market is a must-see if you are visiting.
After taking a wrong turn and only realising it 2 hours later, we needed up crossing a road with the infamous name of 'La Siberia'. It was wet, cold, foggy, muddy and extremely windy. We didn't have time to turn around it was too late in the day, so we had to press on for 5 hours through the gruelling conditions. 140km later and arriving in the middle of the night at the town of Totora, we slept for 10 hours straight. The following day a 10 hour ride day lay ahead.
After having ridden over 3,000 kilometres on our bikes across Bolivia, Jacobo and I decided to spend the last ten days of our trip in Peru. We didn't have a plan, only a deadline, in ten days time we would be flying out of Lima.
Peru turned out to be much warmer than Bolivia, a lot more touristic but the scenery was just as nice. Machu Picchu was very impressive, the mountains surrounding it are spectacular and the hikes around the area are very relaxing. Another Peruvian highlight was sand skiing in Ica, if you are a skier and happen to be in Peru, don't miss your chance.
We rode motorbikes on a beach, went on hikes, had 18 hour bus rides, raced through traffic to find a lost GoPro, chased buses and surfed. Overall, Peru was an unexpected success.
Our ferry in Lago Titicaca. The lake connects Bolivia to Peru and sits at an altitude of 3,812m
Copacabana, Lago Titicaca
Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire
Sunrise in Machu Picchu. Can you spot the llama?
Taking a dip in the Urubamba river while hiking down from Machu Picchu.
The only mode of transport you can use to reach Aguas Calientes, the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu. We chose to walk.
Jacobo's face after sitting in a bus for 18 hours
Fresh powder sand. Dropping in 3, 2, 1...
Huacachina. In this oasis we met two motorcycle riders who then took us riding with their KTM 450s around the dunes and beaches.
Surfing in Lima
Enjoying a beer on the last day of our trip in Lima. Where to next?
I had some spare time before starting university again in October, so I booked myself a flight to Lombok. The plan was to surf, scuba dive, hike and see rice paddies. I began my trip in Kuta, Lombok and made my way up to the Rinjani Volcano. A quick pitstop diving with mantas and Nemo's friends in Nusa Lembongan and finished the trip in Bali (Canggu and Uluwatu).
Ekas break, Lombok
This is Yarto, he helped me get around Rinjani
Mt. Rinjani looming in the distance
Views from Mt. Rinjani, Day 1
Mt. Rinjani, Camp 1. A deceased person was being carried down the volcano by the porters, apparently the person had fallen of the ridge the previous night. Not the sight I wanted to see 4 hours into the hike.
A volcano inside a volcano crater. Mt. Rinjani, 6am.
Exhausted after a long two day trek. Next stop, scuba diving in Nusa Lembongan.
Met my brother in Bali, we explored a ghost hotel together
The perfect left...
My brother surfing Impossibles, Uluwatu