Gerry and John go on to BOLIVIA- South America

CHILE        BOLIVIA         PERU

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Demonstration in La Paz jan 2003.jpg

Demonstration in La Paz, Bolivia January 2003

beach at Vina del mar jan 2003

Beach at Vina del Mar
Crossing the Capricorn line once again

Crossing the Capricorn line once again

Desert and La Paz Jan 2003

Desert and La Paz
desert section  Atacama jan 2003

Desert section Atacama

While stopped to pick up the disc pad off the road, another biker happened by. Ayrton Joseph, a Brazilian was touring the region and joined us for the next couple of days, expanding our group temporally to four amigos. This section riding up north along the Chilean coast was particularly nice and even though in the equatorial belt the temperature remained pleasant helped, no doubt, by the sea breeze coming off the obviously cold Humbolt current. Indeed the Aticama was not oppressive as we went through it as the altitude kept it to an acceptable temperature but then again perhaps our judgment was coloured by our experience across the Sahara and the heat we experienced there. For all of the journey through South America, I was constantly reminded of facts and knowledge I had learned in secondary school. We had a brilliant geography teacher in Paul O'Gara and he brought so much of this continent alive for us back then and it was all reawakened as I rode along through it now. Outside of Arica we made our farewells with Ayrton as we headed inland for Bolivia and its capital La Paz, the highest city in the world. Bob had been in contact with a German friend on the internet, who lived there and he advised us not to come in as the situation there was volatile with roads being blocked and three people killed in riots. Bob was anxious over the possible delay caused by road blocks as he is scheduled to be in L.A. by the end of February but we persuaded him to come in as we both wanted to see this city. As it happened we would have been completely oblivious to the political situation there had we not had prior knowledge of it but were effected instead by another factor we hadn't perhaps given due respect to.

From our hotel in Intofagaseta jan 2003

From hotel in Intofagaseta
Fruit seller La Paz jan 2003

Fruit seller La Paz

Heading up to Bolivia we left Arica and Ayrton and the coast and over the next number of hours climbed to over 12000 feet so that by the time we got into the hotel in Putre that night none of us felt 100%,obviously because of altitude sickness. After eating I felt better but the symptoms continued with the lads over the course of our time up at these heights, particularly with John. The following day en route to La Paz, we were at over 15,300 just before we reached the border. This time of year in Bolivia , their summer is their wet season but by traveling early in the morning we avoided the rainfall as it is evening-time before the heat of the day generates the heat necessary for the cloud build-up and rainfall. In La Paz we saw a march organised by the indigenous Indians but it looked to me the picture of dignity as they walked in orderly lines three abreast in protest at their situation. Obviously any large gathering is volatile as proved by the deaths the days previously but to me there seemed no danger. The situation is that the government are prohibiting the growth of the poor farmers traditional crop of cocoa and the compensation offered is useless. As with so much of the tragedies forever unfolding around us we sailed on through it, at one level unaffected by it from the point of our physical progress.

Having a break after meeting Arton from Brazil

Having a break after meeting Arton from Brazil
Over looking La Paz 2003

Over looking La Paz

CHILE        BOLIVIA         PERU

People of La Paz jan 2003

People of La Paz

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