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.