Thursday, 10 July 2014

Independencia To Pucara

As you know Bolivians are the best at blockades and strikes, as it would turn out today was one of those days, as we went to leave town we found our first one, logs across the road and stones etc, they were not going to let us past, Ellen hoped off and went to shift one log and they all got upset so as quick as a flash I rode to the right and over the log, a big fat woman was angry and tried to stop me but her arse was too big for her to be agile and I made it over no problem, Ellen climbed on and we rode of amidst yelling at screaming at us .... not our doings....

Just up the road they had cut a trench across the road and left a part wide enough for people to walk across so we took Maya across no prob, more trees down, more branches down and small road blockades ... just when I thought we were home free we came a cross a truck, a digger and some big rocks and a bunch of angry men pushing BIGGER rocks onto the road.

They tried to stop us, there was just enough space to fit through the last hole before they closed it with a big rock which would have left us in no mans land trapped, again thinking quick I shot for the gap and one of the fuckwits threw a rock about 300 mm round into the gap, as he through it it piled in just behind the front wheel, I had enough pace on that the rock rolled smashing into the bashplate and the back wheel going over it .. kinda rodeo style really but I got over, again amidst yelling and stone throwing Ellen got on, I cracked it opened and we took off giving them the ADV salute on exit.

Now I don’t mind if they wonna protest but to take it out on us ... no I don’t think so, not our doing, we made it out thinking it was going to be a long arse day of blockades and trouble, turns out that was the key entry point and we had made it through and had the rest of the road to ourselves.

All was well until we found a wee creek .... full of brown water ... and flowing...bridge pylons only ... no bridge, gezz the day was getting very exciting now.

We picked our way down to the river, picked our way onto the river then picked our way up stream, this all happens at the confluence of two rivers, after where they had joined into one there was no way we could cross so we had to try other tactics.

Now being a keen 4 wheeler for many years I used my river reading and crossing skills to try and get us across as dry as possible, the only other alternative was to go back 70 km into the blockades and bullshit ... no bloody way.

We rode upstream probably 1 km past the confluence so we only had to deal with one river at a time and pick the most braided spot, we made a few small crossings where the river had braided out, finally after 5 - 6 small crossings the main course was in front but river crossing tactics had paid its way, the main stream was an easy crossing only 500 - 600 mm deep ....the last bit had some bigger lumps called Murphy rocks hidden underneath the surface so Ellen came out to help with that section, thankfully only 10 meters or so.

Happy to report we made the main stream easy enough although boots were full to the brim, a small detour around the sinking sand stuff we made the second smaller creek crossings with ease, the last one deeper than we thought but easy doable.

There was a casualty of the crossing tho, our faithful glue bottle full of chain oil drowned never to be seen again, that trusty small bottle travelled 90450 km sitting in the bashplate .....R.I.P glue bottle and thank you for your service over the last two years.

River done and dusted we climbed up to Pucara for lunch and boot emptying much to the amusement of the locals, now some confusion was had with the GPS saying go left and a local guy saying go right, we decided to take the locals advice which sent us on a 65 km one road end goose chase...wanker, so 130 km later we return to the same village, quick retank of fuel and set off before dark encroached, we rode to just prior 6.00 pm to make lost time, Ellen spotted a soccer field so we found the track down to that and set camp for the night.

The video of part of the crossing.

The rest of the road looked similar to this

Mushroom soup if you wonna know and yet is was nice.

Bed early, I was spent as the road was very greasy and we had a HUGE moment with a near highside at about 50 km/hr, the BIGGER worry was the side of the road and more to the point what wasn’t on the side of the road was a long way down.

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