OK so it's been a long time. I think it was in Bolivia where I left off. Pam wrote about the ride to Uyuni and made some mention of our three day tour of south western Bolivia but here is the full story.
The first day was great. We started out, following the truck, on the Salar De Uyuni which is a really big salt flat. We were following the tour truck with all our gear and four guys-a Swiss, a German, An English bloke and a French guy who was always disappearing!
On our first stop they had a house made out of salt blocks so of course I had to lick it. Daren, the English dude said "Oh Kinky, a man in leather trousers licking a house!" just like a mutual friend of Fish antlers and mine, Chris Jones would have said. Mean while the Swiss guy was getting drunk and the hilarity began.
The salt flat was, well... flat and smooth and had good grip so we had the bikes wound out as fast as these little thumpers could go. I think I saw 155 KM/H. Not bad eh!
There is also a salt Hotel and a salt Island! Salt, Salt, Salt and no pepper. We made it to the Hotel and washed the salt off and drank bevies till midnight and talked politics between the Euros and us Hosers till midnight.
The next morning it all began. It started off with the tour guide telling us that today would be 350 firkin KM!!! Then he took off on a narrow, dirt and sand road at 60-70 KM/H. Holy shit. I was having trouble keeping them in sight let alone Pam! We were holding them up and I was getting more and anxious till I crashed and hurt my knee. So Pam helped me get my bike up we decided to slow down. "To get there first, first you must get there!"
Once we mellowed out a bit the riding was good. Nice dirt roads through varied terrain, with the occasional stream crossing. Just a bit long, about 150 KM from 7:00am till 2:00pm when the group stopped for lunch. "Only", as it turned out by GPS, another 100 KM to go (not another 200 as advertised, thank goodness)!!! But now no mamby pamby "Roads", just open desert- sand, rocks and ruts. Lots and lots of ruts!
Now a good desert rider with knobbies it would have no problem but I am not that good in sand and this is Pam's 7 or 8th day on dirt at all!!! And we are riding on Bridgestone Trail masters which are like rough cut street tires!
Well we didn't make it. 65 KM along after lunch, and 11 hours in to it, it started to get dark I crashed again and this time I really hurt my ankle so we parked the bikes behind an ancient building and got a ride in the truck to Laguna Colorada for the night.
The next morning at 5:00am We got a ride back up to the bikes, which were still there, yay! and limped them the rest of the way back. We then decided to push the First world escape button and I have no shame in reporting that we hired a truck to drag our sorry asses out of there! The truck took us all the way into Chile, to a different world. It was like we had transported A hundred years into the future.