Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sucre Part 2 .... The Status Of The Stator

Lot of swearing in this one, I wrote it in anger and decided to keep it that way, it is not always glossy with stunning scenery and this is one of those bastid parts of travelling, sorry for those who don't use the f word ... just replace it with cake or something that makes you feel good then read on 8-)

This was the problem (not according to the Uyuni autosparky Bolievian)

One sector nearly burnt out and the rest following on

Finally after lies and put offs our stator is rewound, unfortunately yet again the Bolivians tried to rape us blind on the price asking that dearer than US pricing, again this leaves a shitty feeling that every corner you turn here in Bolivia they just want to fuck you over and they don’t even smile dong it.

Three times it went back because it simply did not work, he insisted it did work but would not check it, so we forced him to look at the multi meter and the digital volt meter, he did take it back and did fix it almost so it almost worked but not quite enough power coming out, note max 12 .6 volts, then turn on lights, grips etc and it fell below 12 volts.

In the end we asked for our money back and we will take it elsewhere or something as we blew through another weeks accommodation cost waiting for this wanker to fix his fuckups, stress levels exceeding safe limits we called the touristico Policia.

These guys were just as bad, they are also the anti corruption police who are as corrupt as the rest of the abnormal police force, advice to other travellers is don't rely on these guys to help you out as it will not happen.

Several times we tried to negotiate with the guy to get our money back for the wrong rewinding of the wiring but no, in the end he offered 400 out of 600 because we went to the touristico Policia, in Bolivia if someone fucks something of yours you will only get about half back if you are lucky, both parties pay????? ... which meant we ended up paying twice for his shitty work....WTF

So after arguing like hell to get any money back and threatening him with the touristico Policia he is now being investigated by the Police because he woudl not give a receipt or any paperwork so he is, for his own arseholism going for a skate that will cost him.

As much as I don't want to see people get nailed he deserves every ounce of shit they throw on him for NOT be helpful, for taking a white face to the cleaners and generally being sub human to deal with.

So, we took that refund and gave it straight to another guy who rewound it, the jobs looks like shit but it works, we will buy a factory one when we can as I do not have trust in this.

Our final days in Sucre, 29 days in total, we spent $140 US on a regulator we didn’t need thanks to the auto sparky in Uyuni who said it was stuffed, we paid $140 US for a courier who couldn’t give a fuck and caused us grief getting us our unneeded regulator nearly one week later than promised, the auto sparky in Uyuni also said our stator was good, we spent $90 USD getting raped to get our stator rewound cos it was burnt despite what the Uyuni monkey told us, we spent 29 days in Sucre which we didn’t need to waiting for parts we didn’t need.

All in all a very expensive fuckup by relying on PAID professional Bolivians who don’t give a fuck and charge equal to and more than US prices ... no wonder the place is in so much shit, without being racist NO more Latinos are going to touch Maya ever again as the bullshit, expense, crap and rework is not worth it.

Be fair to say thus far Bolivia is somewhat of a low point for us and confirmed as the most unfriendly and careless bunch in over two years of travel., they should be called horses cos they all have long faces.

Finally we get to hit the road, we looked at just bailing out of Bolivia because of the crap but it has been a long time coming for me and being the place of most interest so we will continue and I wave to every long faced Boliviano cos they are not going to stuff this up for me.

Next up ... Icla .... I hope it get better

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Making our way to Sucre, totally tarseal and only 150 km, we took our time taking in the scenery, nice to have an easy section in civilization given we had some charging issues.

Mika had kindly told us of a good hostel so we went straight there and he was right, good moto parking, reasonable price and ok wifi and a record breaking fourth hostel in a row without Police back up, I really feel we are getting old and loosing our criminal touch.

Mika had also told us of an amigo who is just 5 minutes walk from the hostel, moto rider and very nice guy, also willing able to help travellers too, onya Mika, very nice guy indeed, so we contacted Gustavo as we needed some help to get sorted out, Gustavo has owns Auto Clinic and runs his own mechanical shop.

Our voltage regulator was on its way so we had a few spare days in between.

As it happened timing wise the national series moto x was on and only 14 km from where we were staying, Gustavo (Mikas friend) is THE man, very well known in the moto circles and very well respected.

The Friday afternoon we went out and watch practice, some good riding going on, we only went for an hour and just as well as the weather caved in and started raining and got very very cold very quickly.

Fast forward to Sunday, the national champs, this event not being held here since 2002 it was making a real noise.

The place was packed with spectators and the entries FULL with riders from all over Bolivia.

Now as a moto rider of 35 years, done moto X, enduro, flat tracking, trials, motard and track racing I watched these young fellas in awe, there is some serious talent here well and truly fit for the international circuit.

Any some upcoming talent

Of course they also had there their own Bolivian Dakar riders as well to pump the atmosphere .... it worked!!!

The only thing I didn’t like was their “no red flag” rule as a rider went down and hard and proceeded to get run over 7 times but his competitors, the first two leading the charge to stop more carnage was me (in the brown hat and Klim gear)and Gustavo.

Here is the vid

To be honest the race marshal girls were bloody useless, it was by the luck of moto gods he did not even suffer a broken bone, he will have been very saw the next day.

As it happened to be a long weekend and the President was in town (to meet us but we were too busy with the moto X) the streets were all closed in centro and lined with literally thousands of people making getting anywhere a mission and a half.

The Parades, brightly dressed and nice to watch at least for some of them.

We did find one girl who had a huge smile on her face which warmed our day as the majority were very long faced ... with our knowledge of the place know we suspect she does not live here

These guys were flexible

Fast forward a week and a half of waiting our parts had arrived in La Paz, then in true Boliviano style the blockades and strikes kept our parts away for another week which was a pissoff, Sucre is a nice place to stay ...but.

The Mayan

On pulling the alternator cover off to replace a small oil seal we then discovered that the stator (the electrical charging part for you non petrolheads) was 1/4 toast with one sector pretty much burnt out, this had to be rewound here in Sucre.

We are not sure if the voltage reg failed causing the stator to go or vice versa, either way we now have a fairly new battery, voltage reg and rewound stator so hoping all is good form here on in.

All issues are known to happen over time and comes with wear, tear, mileage and being used in anger so not really a biggy in the scheme of things, the only aspect being a biggy is the bloody strikes and blockades that the Bolivians seem to live for, if they targeted that energy to helping themselves go forward the whole place would be way way better off.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Uyuni To Potosi And The Mine

Finishing at Uyuni having seen the salar and camped out we headed away with a completed task.

The road handed to us a stark contrast to the incoming, we had beautiful flat smooth tarseal all the way, not a bad change after clobbering sandpits and corrugations.

Given we had no rush we decided to kick around for a couple of days in Potosi, it seemed like a nice place and it was.

Finding a hostel was easy, within ten minutes we had an ok place that was quiet and moto parking, no wifi but plenty in town, we feel we are getting a bit boring now with no Police required to calm down unusual owners. .. hard to find a good pub scrap these days

Finding the local market allowed us to home cook again, it would be cheaper just to eat out but we find it better to eat in as you have control over our intake and get what we want.

Typical town with small streets

Potosi is a nice place, slightly touristy but has good services, the main attraction of course being the mine and yes you can buy dynamite off the shelf to take home and blow shit up with, for me I resisted as me and dynamite could end up doing damage .. particularly useful if we headed back to the “ex” hotel in Uyuni.

Upshot is we resisted and simply took the mine tour which was excellent and to be fair very hard work just climbing around in there let alone working 12 hours per day.

All the crash gear

Me set up, the truck to the left was the only vehicle they would let me drive

Even for short people it gets tight

Each miner can find his own silver seam, if the seam turns out to be a dud then that is the way it is, if it turns out to be a boomer he turns up in a Hummer.

This guys working space, step, tight and loose

The conditions these guys work in is unreal and bloody hard to any standard, there are many deaths ever year for experienced miners falling down shafts and having rock falls come down on them.

And yes some had secretary's too

Getting tighter

....and tighter, too much lunch and you will not fit!!!

Back out to daylight and the mine entrance

Back into Potosi centro we took a look around, we found this amusing, she was fast asleep against the pole with cars roaring past her only a meter away....I guess when ya gotta sleep ya gotta sleep.

We also celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary there, a Canadian family staying at our hotsel made a curry for us and we joined in for a good feast, TMK providing the all important Bacardi Mojeto grog to soften the night .... good times.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Going Off The Rails .... Train Wreck

Well not quite like it reads but something cool anyway.

For some it is a junk yard, for some it is a gold mine, for us it was a neat afternoon of some prehistoric metal horses and acrobats.

As it would happen about 20 minutes after we arrived, at first it was "argh ... groan" more gringos to stuff up our peace and quiet..... b u t we were pleasantly surprised to learn most were Colombian and of coarse very nice guys.

I proudly showed them my Colombian wrist tie and my Bogota wrist tie that I bought on my birthday in Bogota as a good luck charm. It was one of my most memorable birthdays spending it with Dan and Sara, Salvi and Pau and we had a blast, out clubbing, eating, drinking etc ... yeah

Now these guys walked the tight rope and had skills, one particular fello was outstanding and his balance world class, while others were trying to walk the rope he was jumping and turning like he was on flat solid ground

Our man of talent

A great afternoon in the Bolivian sun with the warmth from the sun quietly grooming our backs and the shadows reminding us of our altitude

Ellen enjoying the afternoon sun, it was very relaxing to say the least

Our quiet afternoon turned into an event and we turned it into a photo sesh as well.

A wreckage and a train

The Mayan playing hide and seek

We played with the sun and the rusted metal and we swung on the swing

Balance at its best, this guys had real talent.