On our way again, we head for Bolivia passing through Puno on the Titicaca lake and visiting the floating islands and their habitants (very touristic).
We cross the border with Bolivia after ferrying our bikes on a wooden barge.
I’ll always remember our arrival to La Paz; all 8 of us on an empty tank and while we are desperately looking for gas, all hell breaks loose in the form of a thunderstorm.
I’ve been here during a previous trip and I don’t remember it as a nice city but this time the impact is violent.
It is dark, the street becomes a river, the road disappears and everything, people, animals and vehicles go crazy.
We must not lose sight of each other … who knows what could happen if one of us is left alone …we are in South America after all!!
I still don’t know how but I skirt an enormous hole full of water … lucky me!!
We keep navigating in this chaos for a while, finally we find a gas station at the end of El Alto suburbs; with a full tank we follow the road, now paved and illuminated, that dives into the valley lighted by the city lights.
La Paz is like Dante’s hell, a cone of degradation and filth with the ever-present colonial-style square all clean and full of flowers at the center.
We get to the hotel and after a shower and dinner we hit the bed.
The new day is sunny, Enrico and I leave the group, that will stop for a day to rest, to ride along the legendary “carretera della muerte”!!
What to say: a dirt road about 4 meters wide, that plunges in the Jungas (jungle) from the Bolivian plateau, along the mountain hillside with rivers, some big other small, that cross it, a lot of mud but no big deal.
We arrive in Coroico where we eat chicken with vegetables and return along a well paved through-road.
The following days we cross Bolivia along its plateaus and valleys, bordering the Amazon rainforest, passing Cochabamba, an industrial city with nothing to see, finally reaching the splendid capital of Bolivia, Sucre - positioned at high altitude and with a perfect climate – after riding on a 100-km long beautiful cobblestone road.
We dine in a typical restaurant that includes a local show and the day after we leave for the high-altitude plateaus with deserts and lagoons where even the last editions of the Dakar have a stopover.
The land isn’t unknown to me from here on since I’ve already visited it in 2004 but being here on my bike is another story!