Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just another day - I guess

For starters this is what my tires look like right now - see the slits?

I left Pehuajo early in the morning with hopes to make it to the ocean early enough so maybe I can enjoy the evening on the beach, well that didn't work.
About 20 miles in the the ride I felt a very strong vibrations in real wheel so I immediately pulled over just to notice a oil leaking from the rear drive, the seal was partly out. So I took everything off plus the wheel and as I was checking the seal I noticed few small peaces from the bearing it self.... sh**t the darn bearing failed.
 Well not much I can do about it now but try to get some help, the closest town is 20miles away but this is very busy road so I posted a "help" sign and hoped for the best.
The first guy stopped and he said that he will ask around in next town but he wasn't coming back for over an hour, Next guy stopped by and and start making phone calls back to the city and to the neighbors. After some time more help arrived and we all got the bike on the pick-up truck to bring it back to the city where a local scooter/go-cart mechanic were willing to help me out. I had a spare bearing so we got to work on it right away, 3 hours later I got the bike back in once peace and the only thing now is hope that we did a good job lol.

The mechanics :), thanks guys :)
New sticker on my case
So I'm staying for the night here again and later meeting the pickup driver for few beers and tomorrow I will try again. (fingers crossed)


Monday, December 26, 2011

From Calma we took of to San Pedro De Atacama, it was a short and fast ride so we got there in no time. San Pedro is very touristy town so its full of hotels and we found one to stay for the night and went for a walk to the town.
I got invite from Marcos and Marina for Christmas so next day we went our separate ways as Roberto want it to make to Chile coast that day.

Desert ride to San Pedro

Kids going "snowboarding" in the sand
There was some power outage in the morning
so the line at the border was very long, it took me 3 hours to get through
Met the Dakar team from Ecuador :)
The road was going up and up to cross to Argentina

The border crossing was a breeze and soon after I was on my way to Slata
the was very nice 

It took me 3 days to get to San juan but I'm here for awesome holiday and tomorrow I will leave in the morning to get to Mar del plata to see the Dakar start and I will follow them for a while, not sure how long yet.

I would like to thank Marcos and Marina and Marcos family for such warm welcome and everything they did for me here :) you guys ROCK!!!!!!!!


Bolivia San Juan to Chile Calma

We got up in the morning and worked on the bikes a little

Roberto's frame was cracking under the tailpack
old Jawa's 350
and back to the dirt
and more dirt
and more salt and dirt
with some speedbumps along the way
it was very dusty and hot but the border was near
The border crossing is easy, at the Bolivia side you get your passport stamped for 15 Bolivinos and give back the paper at the Aduana office, at Chile side you get 90day visa and at the Duana they do all the work them selfs so you just sit and wait.

Still hot at the Bolivia border

waiting for paperwork at Chile side
After all was done two guys come out to check our stuff, Robrerto had to open all cases and all they check on mine was the top case :)

from the border the dirt continues till about last 40km before Calma
Some nice scenery along the way
Finally after long day of riding all kinds of dirt sections
from nice and hard pack to very soft deep sand we made to the black top

Again it was getting dark as we were making our way to the city,
we found a hotel and stayed for the night

Bolivia Uyuni to San Juan - riding Salara

First thing first so we had to go to see the train cemetery 

Its cool place to see and just 2km's from Uyuni
Road on the way to Salara is a teeth chattering dirt road
Getting the GPS ready at the entry to Salara
Not sure what happen here but allot people died in 2008
First you just follow the black track
We are on salt! yay!
We made it to the first stop and asked the local guides on how is the surface ahead to the first islands, they told not to go because of water. So we went anyway :D

Off to the island

It was getting little wet

My small camera has some black spots on it now :(
Island ahead :) and the surface is getting dry
Little salt buildup on my bike :D
The island

The other side of the island is where all tourists stay for the night 
So we continue on to ride south and find the exit
Made a quick stop for those kind of pictures :D

Continue on

Back in town we were asking locals for the best way to exit the salara but unless you pay them for the tour they would not share any info, so I tried to do that myself using google maps. I was off by 2km

ops try again :D
we found a track leaving the salara but it was getting muddy
Roberto thought that the side might be better
So close to the edge and so much fun :D
I got out and had to go back to help Roberto as he got stuck
We knew from the map that there is a town San Juan not to far but the GPS would not calculate the road so I set it for the off road ride and we hoped for the best and follow the forever splitting dirt roads

Got very sandy at times
Army base in the middle of nowhere
it was getting dark as we finally pulled into the town
we washed the bikes at the local water well

there is few hostals in the town so we found a cheap one and the lady gave us a nice dinner plus few beers later we were ready to sleep, way more dirt riding next day.