Km 5000: In Bolivia – After an Awesome Ride and a Bit of Stress

My moto taking a ride on a "ferry"
My moto taking a ride on a "ferry"

After leaving Santiago de Chile I rode up to the Argentinian border. Here I drove just below the highest mountain of the continent and even rode in a bit of snow. In Argentina I headed north via some awesome and lonely roads and also ridding part of the legendary Route 40.

Then I climbed up again. This time to the the Chilean border where I found out that at 4000 meters above see level my maximum speed is  about 20 kph and the fuel efficiency is three times worse than normal.

In addition the winds were unbelievably strong: blowing in my face and slowing me even further. My air filter, which I took out in hope to get some oxygen in, was blown away and even though I tried to catch it, running after 100+kph wind at 5000 meters was an impossible task.

When I was totally desperate and long time pass empty fuel sign, Carabineros patrolmen showed up and told me that  just after the next curve it was downhill to my destination that day. I did not believe it would be 20 or so kilometers just downhill, but it was!!! So cruising on empty tank at 60 to 80 kph I happily made it to civilization that day.

After the stressful ride I had a bit of fun in Atacama desert. After the altitude problems I experienced with my bike, I decided not to cross directly to Bolivia in Atacama.  Instead I took a nice coastal road (well there were couple sand storms… yay for not having air filter on….) to Arica. From there I climbed to Bolivia. After awesome 5000 km I made it to Bolivia and in La Paz finally got my carburetor adjusted for high altitudes. From La Paz climbing up to Lake Titicaca I finally had powerful bike again!

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