Project Peru – Our newest Video

We have a new video out!

What did we get up to in Peru apart from Rumbling in the Jungle?

Well… this…

Let us know what you think in the comments!

 

What makes you an adventure biker

Are you a real adventure biker or just a shameful, charlatan and pitiful fraud!?

Recently there has been a generous amount of violent disagreement pertaining to the definition of adventure biking.

What makes it ‘adventure biking’? Is it the type of bike? Is it where you ride it? Do you have to camp? Do you have to leave the country?

Well good news is here! I can help! I have managed to define adventure biking, and I have decided to impart this ground-breaking knowledge unto you. The water is now clear and all is well in the jungle, ‘order’ has been restored.

Through thorough, highly scientific, and precise collaboration, and under the influence of a range of substances, my carefully assembled dream-team of adventure bikers has managed to formulate a decisive list. This league of extra-ordinary gentleman (and gentle… women) originate from a host of different countries, and from all walks and crawls of life. “Home’ ranges from Africa, to Turkey, to Italy to ‘I’m pretty sure I’m from Arizona’ and many more. Washed and unwashed, veterans and rookies, holiday makers and hobos, even going so far as to include one Honda rider (but not two); all opinions were carefully considered and peer-reviewed.

I present you with this new modern marvel, a first for world peace and what I hope to result in a Nobel prize:

 

YOU ARE AN ADVENTURE BIKER IF! :

  1. You have said at least once: ‘I’m sure somebody will drive by soon’
  2. You’ve put your bike on a boat (essential)carretera austral, chile, south, ferry, motorbike, south america, adventure, motorcycle, travel, boat, mountains, rainforest, sea
  3. You consider, with great deliberation, whether you really need a third pair of underwear
  4. Your motorcycle and the term ‘resale value’ are mutually exclusive
  5. You have caught yourself viciously bargaining with people over US$ 10c on repeated occasions
  6. You have a picture of yourself with some guy in military uniform and a floppy hat holding a massive automatic weapon (essential)motorcycle, adventure travel, jungle, selvas, peru, south america, military, gun, guns, rifle
  7. You can tell the difference between 85 and 90 octane by smell
  8. A local has informed you that the road was completely flooded or a bridge had been washed away, but you still had to see for yourself… after trying to convince them otherwise

    Adventure, motorcycle, travel, bridge, washed out, river, Peru, South America

    Yeah, I think the bridge might be out…

  9. You have lost luggage off the back of your moving motorcycle

    Megan Snyman, packing, skills, ridiculous, bad, bag, all terrain gear

    It probably came off because you packed it like THIS

  10. You’ve been carrying the same 500g bag of rice 1 meter from your body for the past 3 months and will carry that same bag of rice for the next three months
  11. You have had to ride through herds of animals (essential) – extra points if they are wild animals

    Motorcycle, adventure, travel, Peru, llama, alpaca, herd, GoPro

    Martin from TR15A rides past a herd of tarted-up alpacas

  12. You speak to other motorcycle travellers about buying tires like they are hardcore drugs e.g. ‘I heard you can get Pirelli’s really cheap from this guy Jorge in Medellin, he has the really good stuff’
  13. A one-way street means NOTHING to you.

    adventure, motorcycle, travel, market bolivia, crazy

    Or a pedestrian-only market, those also mean nothing to you

  14. You have sneezed viciously and messily inside your helmet and just kept on riding
  15. Your GPS has repeatedly tried to take you up and down flights of stairs, and every time you still catch yourself looking up the flight thinking ‘I reckon I could pull it off…’
  16. You have eaten something which is considered a pet in most developed countries

    Mich about to dive into some tasty guinea pig

    Mich about to dive into some tasty guinea pig

  17. You hide valuables inside your boots because no sane human being with even the slightest stitch of self-respect would dare to venture near them
  18. You have packed you entire kit before realising you forgot some crucial item, after which you seriously consider just leaving it behind and buying a new one because its such a damned mission to pack
  19. They have had to wash the actual wash bay after cleaning your bike

    adventure, motorcycle, travel, dirt, mud, dirty, wash, peru

    This was one of those times

  20. You can intimately describe over 20 different types of mud… by taste.

    adventure, motorcycle, travel.mud, mistake, stcuk

    This mud tasted like regret

  21. You have spent time editing high-level media on vastly inappropriate hardware in a ridiculous surroundings

    Megan Snyman, photo editing, geurilla

    Megan editing RAW photos on a Macbook Air whilst stealing electricity from a street-light in an abandoned park, just another night on the road

  22. You’ve convoyed with cyclists for security reasons
  23. You’ve trusted someone to guard your bike who has an annual salary of less than a month’s gas money
  24. You’ve matched letter shapes with those on a map because you have so little clue of the native language
  25. You’ve convinced yourself that your GS actually handles really well on sand (mine actually does though)

    See? Perfectly capable in the sand

    See? Perfectly capable in the sand

  26. You’ve listened to, and agreed with opinions contrary to the Geneva convention merely to satisfy your drunk host
  27. You can turn any conversation (including political or religious) into one about motorcycles in under 30s
  28. You have mastered the ability to eat any known food group through a full-face motorcycle helmet
  29. You can fart whilst riding sand and not shit your pants
  30. You haven’t seen an original official document in over 3 months
  31. Half the resale value of your bike (not saying much, see point no. 4) is hidden in the frame
  32. You have ruined a dorm room for all the other inhabitants

    dual sport, adventure, motorcycle, travel, sunrise, BMW, F800GS, Africa, messy room

    And this is just me on my own in my own room, imagine two of us with five other people in here…

  33. You have become completely comfortable with your body odor after 5 days without a shower
  34. You have viciously panel-beaten a pair of expensive panniers with the back of an axe
  35. You have received the advice: ‘I think you should see a doctor about that’
  36. You have waited out a bribe by dodgy police for over 40min because you were merely too stubborn or poor to just pay the bastards
  37. You’ve sat on a disgusting toilet seat thinking that’s its probably cleaner than you anyway
  38. At least 35% of your motorcycle’s dry weight is made up of cable ties and duct tape
  39. You have performed major surgery on your bike, in the middle of nowhere, possibly in the rain, with absolutely no training
    adventure, motorcycle, travel, clutch, replacement

    Peru… my fault

    Sheldon Thompson, Chile, Dakar, Rally, Dakar rally, Desert, Atacama, Sand, BMW, Motorrad, F800GS

    Chile – also my fault

  40. Because of the deplorable state of it, you have asked a local if you could please NOT use their toilet and use the garden instead. Which for one of the panel, resulted in them having to relieve themselves off a bridge. He felt you should know this…
  41. You have gotten into numerous very awkward situations because you don’t speak the language, this includes ordering ketchup for your french-fries and being presented with a beautiful bowl of hot tomato soup instead.
  42. You have crossed more than one international border with forged paperwork or a fake number plate

    Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

    My numberplate has taken a beating – still the original one at this stage, or what’s left of it. It is now a laminated piece of paper that is impossible to read

  43. You have attached an over-sized, highly overboard weapon to your motorcycle

    adventure, motorcycle, travel, machete, weapon, peru, south america, Ed Gill

    Readying the weapons!
    Sharpening up for the jungle with newly acquired machetes

  44. A secret, well disguised, mutual hatred of backpackers
  45. You have provided smiles to numerous poverty stricken children by seating them on your still-running bike (essential)

    Adventure, motorcycle, travel, children, joyride

    Mich takes a young’n for a joyride in the Selvas

  46. You have unsuccessfully fixed a puncture more than once

    adventure, motorcycle, travel, puncture, tire change,

    Sweating like a champ to change an inner tube in the desert

  47. You have crossed an abnormally large body of water on your motorcycle without testing the depth beforehandwater crossings, country trax, matthew snyman
  48. You have contracted severe, life-changing diarrhoea on a big riding day or on the top of Machu Picchu
  49. You drop your bike at least once a week, and something breaks on it at least once a month

    This is a REALLY common sight

    This is a REALLY common sight

  50. MOST importantly of all, and the only absolutely essential item on this list:  You are an adventure biker if you KNOW you are absolutely rad whenever you are on your bike, and wouldn’t have it any other way

    Motorcycle, adventure, travel, happy rad, awesome, cool, strong, happy place

    Ladies and gentleman… Mr Ed Gill

 

Now please people… this is a work (of ART!) in progress, so if you have anything to add, please let it be known in the comments section and it will be met with serious consideration to be added to the list. Although hard to believe, it is impossible for the panel to hit every mark the first time round

Let us know what you think should be added!

Thanks in advance – I am off to change my name in attempt to get off of Interpol’s watch list, which I am undoubtedly headlining after this article. Hey… at least I’m headlining something.

Consider the floor OPEN!

Thanks to our expert  contributors:

  1. Matt Snyman
  2. Megan Snyman
  3. Martin Lampacher
  4. Mich the German
  5. Ed Gill
  6. Erdem Yucel
  7. Michnus Olivier
  8. Josh Smith
  9. Chris March
  10. Erich Rennspies
  11. And our various part-time consultants…

A good few additions to the list were just put together by Jason and Lisa from Two Wheeled Nomad – give it a read! – 2 wheeled nomad

Into the Heart of Darkness – Bolivia’s ‘Laguna Route’

After licking my wounds, and trying best to repair my beloved motorcycle with industrial quantities of duct tape, cable ties and WD40 we hit the road away from the Dakar Rally and towards San Pedro de Atacama, our last stop in Chile and the sight of one of my more major episodes of indecisiveness.

San Pedro was a mixed barrel for us, an awesome town full of amazing riding and staggering views, great food, better coffee, good friends, and beautiful women (including Meg (What a save!)). The downside of San Pedro, being the outrageously expensive prices that Chile is often known for, and the fact that we had to say goodbye to a beautiful, diverse country that we had genuinely come to love. The above merely added to the reasons why we were stuck in this expensive little oasis for just over a week. The other reasons for our prolonged stay were banking problems, which needed to be sorted out before heading into South America’s very own Heart of Darkness, otherwise known as Bolivia. On top of this was the very real cause of my anxiety, the infamous, desolate and merciless route into Bolivia through the ‘Ruta De Las Lagunas’ to Uyuni and the massive salt flat or ‘Salar’. The route is legendary for both its beauty, spectacular scenery, multi-coloured lakes and otherworldly landscapes as well as for its ruthlessness, lack of petrol, extremely high altitude and terrible, sandy, corrugated ‘roads’ that split up and spiralled into the nothingness. We had also been discouraged from doing this route by a number of people in the know, including our good friend and veteran South American motorcycle guide Andres. The reason for the discouragement was the season, it was the rainy season, which could mean severe, deep mud and snow en route, which occasionally even caused the 4×4 tours to stop completely. So things were looking good.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America

An Atacama Sunset – Overlooking Valle De Luna, The Valley of the Moon

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America, Matthew Snyman, Megan Snyman

The Valley of the Moon in Chile’s Atacama Desert

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America, Matthew Snyman

Goodbye Chile

Scooby-doo, mystery mobile

The mystery-mobile in San Pedro

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America, Matthew Snyman

What a view

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America

Another great decision by me…

Our other option was to miss the fabled Ruta Del La Lagunas and enter Chile via Ollague, also high altitude and off-road, but busy, with better road conditions, more petrol stops and generally far better infrastructure than we would encounter in the national park through which the other route traversed. We were torn. After my recent accident the safer route seems the more logical choice, but, in my honest opinion, logic is often overrated in these situations. So we spent a good week not knowing what to do, until logic and advice won us over. We decided to choose life and head over via the still beautiful and difficult Ollague route.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America

Riding the Salar in San Pedro, under guidance of Andres, a maestro of the Atacama

And then Travis, Ivan and Mike arrived…

We came back from a night on the town drinking and listening to Andres’ mastery of the saxophone to find three new motorcycles parked in the hostel, quite close to where we had set up our tent like a bunch of hobos for a ‘bargain’ price of nearly 20US$ – A Chilean bargain.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America

Travis – its pink Travis, not red, or orange, or who-knows what else

Two Suzuki DR650s and one Kawasaki KLR 650 belonged to three Americans, one an Ecuadorian ex-pat, Travis, Ivan and Mike. The three had just paired up to tackle the Laguna Route, which they had just completed… alive…

The feedback we got from the trio, was that the route was not something to be missed, and although tough, it was not the monster everyone had made it out to be. Marketed to us as the highlight of their entire trip so far, and the closest you could ever get to riding on Mars, their review had elevated my FOMO to dangerous levels. (FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out).

We made a spur-of–the-moment decision, threw caution to the wind and uttered a resounding ‘fukkit’. We were going to do this damn route and we were going to do it properly. And so against our better judgement, weather reports, and the advice of experts we exchanged the routes, packed our bags and checked out of Chile, ready for an early morning departure at the next sunrise.

Andres, being the champ that he is, supported our decision, gave us what advice he could and rode up with us to the Bolivian border and the start of the route. The ride up is quite an introduction. From a starting altitude of 2400m in San Pedro the road climbs to 4500m in just 40km where you enter Bolivia through the Hito Cajon border post and into the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America, Volcano, Hito Cajon

The ride up to Hito Cajon, straight up to 4500m altitude, a volcano welcomes you to the border

Meg proceeded to tackle the border crossing (one of her specialities), while Andres and I fearlessly guarded the motorcycles and ate croissants (one of my specialities). Now the terms ‘immigrations’ or ‘border post’ are thrown around a lot lately, and Hito Cajon is no exception. The ‘office’ consists of a tiny little mud-hut and… well actually that’s about it.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Chile, Atacama, South America

Saying goodbye to Andres

My fears were rising and the butterflies in my stomach were giving it horns. All the 4×4’s had aggressive looking mud tyres on and the drivers all confirmed that yes, they had been dealing with a fair bit of it. Oh well, too late now, there is a bullet that requires biting. After an emotional good-bye to Andres and to Chile we climbed on our bikes and headed into the dirt, soon to be confronted with the park entrance and aduana, where we had to complete temporary import for the motorcycles. On any other day of the week this is a straightforward task, but at 5100m above sea level this became far more challenging. Meg had forgotten how to spell my name, she evidently also forgot she had married me and filled in her maiden name on the paperwork, and after struggling to figure out a new currency at this altitude, joined me at the bikes outside to find me battling with a spider web of cable-ties that I was attempting to convince to hold my battered cockpit together. And I thought Johannesburg was ‘high altitude’ pfffft…hahaha.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva

The Bolivian border at Hito Cajon

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva

Yup… that’s pretty much it…

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva

Our last view of Chile

And into the void we went. Shortly after departing we were confronted with the first of many beautiful and multi-coloured lakes, lakes are blue, white, green and red, all filled with clouds of electric-pink flamingos in a setting that leaves you breathless. I am still convinced that this is, indeed, the closest thing to riding on another planet. Now I might regularly exaggerate and ‘embellish’ like an absolute bastard, but in all honestly, this is an absolutely brain-meltingly striking and beautifully desolate part of the world. I haven’t seen anything remotely similar to date and I am sure I never will.

At this altitude, snow capped peaks of mountains and volcanoes sit next to you like small hills, snow falls in the driest desert on Earth, thermal geysers spew steam out of the earth at scorching temperatures with wild llamas grazing just meters away. The lagunas are hypnotic, with eerily still water and bright colours. All the while, the altitude weighs heavily on one. Your thoughts become muddled and constantly drift through your mind, the bike loses significant amounts of power and basically everything in your luggage explodes from loss of pressure. Everything becomes an effort, walking a few metres leaves you breathless and your lungs constantly strain for oxygen. Picking up a fully loaded GS becomes an ordeal, and if done twice in one day is exhausting.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, matthew snyman

Into the void

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, snow

Snow in the desert

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, snow

Snow in the Atacama is not really the commonest of sights

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

The views are staggering

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, blue lagoon, Megan Snyman

Meg admires a striking blue lagoon

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, Megan Snyman

Meg cant handle how cool this lagoon is

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, Matthew Snyman, mountain, snow

And I also do my fair share of marveling, The mountain tops are like little sugar-coated hills

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

The silence took some getting used to

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

The wild llamas just add to crazy landscape

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

Laguna blanco – the white lagoon

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, Matthew Snyman

Who wouldn’t want to ride into this!?

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

I suppose this road could be difficult to follow if you aren’t using a GPS

The road surface changed from some relatively deep, slippery mud, difficult to navigate between rocks and muddy ridges to sand, to severely corrugated silt. When I say ‘severely corrugated’ I mean the worst corrugations I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with, and this is coming from an African. I couldn’t believe that such evil could reside in this world, there is absolutely no way that these corrugations could form without the express and direct input from Satan himself. As a result of the fantastic road conditions, my left mirror had developed a mind of its own, pivoting around to show me whatever it pleased, my license plate had also been cracked in half, with a good portion vibrating off, proudly leaving a “GP” and two little lions somewhere in the Bolivian wilderness. The Americans leave a flag on the moon, the South Africans leave a GP number-plate in Bolivia, fair’s fair.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

Marking my territory, it didn’t take long for the rest of the numberplate to also give up the fight

Before long we also came across a thermal pool, looking out over the mountains and nothingness of the desert. Meg couldn’t resist going for a dip and I was far too lazy to take off my kit (as usual) so I took the photos. After a good break we got ready to get back on the bikes only to realise that the despicable, revolting corrugations had dislodged our 5L water container somewhere along the preceding 150km. This left us with an abysmal 4L of Camelback water for 4 days in the bloody desert between two of us, at an altitude where water intake is of utmost importance. Awesome.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

The thermal pool and it’s pretty ‘average’ view

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

Not a bad place for a bath

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, Matthew Snyman

And the views just keep on getting better

It was at this point that I realised that the route was not the monster that everyone makes it out to be. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a tough ride, and very tough on the bikes (Mikes shock had not only sprung a leak, but had actually snapped in half on the route), but it is not nearly as remote as people make it out to be. To dispel some myths:

  1. No petrol anywhere, forever – Ok, so no fuel stations exist for about 400km, but with one jerry can you should be more than fine, and if not, the 4×4 tour drivers will sell you some of theirs if you are in a fix
  1. No people and no help – Rubbish. There is a reason why the roads are so corrugated. The park is filled with multiple Land Cruisers ferrying backpackers at regular intervals through the park. There is always a passing 4×4 in an emergency
  1. Deep sand, deep sand EVERYWHERE – No. Some portions can get a bit hairy, sure, but there is no crazy-deep Dakar-esque beach sand or fesh fesh around to ruin your day. Portions can get deep-ish, but nothing crazy and not for too long
  1. Multiple roads spiralling out into nowhere – It may look like this occasionally, but all roads lead to Rome… or Uyuni. Most of these tracks eventually hook up in the end and follow the same course; they are just made by the drivers avoiding the corrugations from hell. Go into it with a GPS or smartphone with a pre-loaded route and you will be fine if you don’t do something extraordinarily stupid (which I do often, and I made it ok)
  1. Nowhere to stay at all – Nonsense: There is a definitely a place to stay, one place on the way will put you up for a night and even provide you with great food for a small fee. It is built to accommodate all the tourists passing through in the 4×4 tour

By the time the days ride was coming to an end, the corrugations had reared their repulsive head again, but luckily the days riding was done, and by this stage I had ripped my mirror out in a fit of rage and stuffed it in my pocket after it just wouldn’t stop mocking me. We had, in all intents and purposes, wanted to wild camp on the route, but a thunderstorm on a flat plain on the 5000m altiplano had convinced us otherwise, so we stayed in the hostel at Laguna Colorada – that’s right, there is actually a makeshift ‘hostel’ en route. Our stay was interesting, at first we got reprimanded for drinking the tour group’s coffee and eating their biscuits and at dinner we made our verge-of-being-homeless presence known by sitting next to tourists eating a 3-course meal with wine, dirty as sin, and cooking soup out of a packet on a gas camping stove next to them. Adventure-biking for the absolute win.

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

This is what my mirror was doing, the novelty wore off pretty quickly

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

The park ranger who’s bike just gave up

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, Matthew Snyman

I did what I could, which was not very much…

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, cat, kitten

We made a friend at lunchtime – he shared the tuna with us

The following day we made our way out of the loneliness of the park, even helping a stranded park-ranger on the way. The ride eventually began to get greener, and wetter; we splashed through innumerable mud puddles and streams, rode beautiful jeep track and even had a water crossing, smile-inducing conditions for sure. After riding past the stone forest, we eventually hit an actual dirt road. We were in the clear. The rest of the ride took us easily through some small towns and onto Uyuni, the home of the famous ‘Salar’ – a massive, white salt flat for which Bolivia has become known. The Ruta De La Lagunas was conquered, another notch on the belt, and another amazing ride. Next up we hit the flooded Salar and have one of the most trying experiences of the trip

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, matthew snyman

The stone forest

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, crash, fall, off

Meg’s bike ‘Zoe’ having a rest

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

The scenery getting greener

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel

And off to civilisation

Adventure, motorcycle, motorbike, ride, travel, mototravel, desert, sunset, view, bikes, BMW, F800GS, motorrad, touratech, Atacama, South America, rut de la lagunas, Boliva, sand, gravel, San Christobal, Bolivia

Our first Bolivian town – San Christobal and the end of the Ruta De Las Lagunas

~Poodle

IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN A MOTORCYCLE TOUR THROUGH ANY PORTION OF SOUTH AMERICA, ANDRES CAN HELP – HIS TOUR COMPANY ROUTE OF THE DESERT CAN BE FOUND AT www.routeofthedesert.cl

 

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