Onwards to Chile! I will miss Bolivia, the country provided me with some of the biggest highlights of my trip. I will not miss the gas station scamming that goes on in this country though.
After nearly 3 weeks in Peru, it was time to go from my last stop in Puno and across the border by motorbike into La Paz, Bolivia. The trip would take me following across mostly on paved roads and swept along high altitude valleys for most of the way through a variety of weather conditions. Thankfully there was little to no traffic on this road as it is the northernmost border town from Peru to Bolivia.
After spending the New Years in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, I readied myself with the border crossing at La Balza on my way to Jaén, Peru. The trip would take me more than 10 hours and 200 miles (313 kilometers) across mostly on off-road dirt tracks through the Andes mountain ranges. A friend of mine, Chris, had taken this journey less than a week earlier.
One night in Pasto got me ready for my border crossing heading to Quito, Ecuador. I left for Quito before first light, and I would reach the border crossing by around 8 am, for hopefully a fast border crossing. I only had 216 miles(348 kilometres) to travel, as I always do shorter trips for border crossing days, so I thought I would arrive in Quito by just after midday.
After we had boarded the Stahlratte, we were told to get to our bunks and sort out our luggage and then reconvene in 15 minutes on the upper deck for a full briefing before we headed out to sea. All the cases went into storage areas, and I had a lower bunk and kept my backpack, helmet, clothes bad (including wash bag) and tank bag with my bed.
Just the two nights in Jaco, Costa Rica, saw me swiftly on my way to David, Panama to get to Panama City on the 18th. A riding day that started out just fine, that is, until I reached the Panama border and consistent torrential rain. Traveling just under 200 miles (316 kilometers) a trip which took me all up – over eight hours. Ouch!
After only one night in El Tanque Rojo, Nicaragua it was time to go to Jaco, Costa Rica on a riding day of only 230+ miles (377 kilometers) a trip which took me all up around eight hours. Even though I was early approaching the border at Peñas Blancas I encountered quite a lot of traffic and the usual hordes of “helpers”.
Getting from Tegucigalpa, Honduras to El Tanque Rojo, Nicaragua was not my best riding experience on this trip. I left early in the morning as usual and headed to the border. I had 270+ miles (436 kilometers) to cover and also had my first accident of the trip.
Getting from El Salvador to Tegucigalpa, Honduras was supposed to be a nice mild sort of day. This border crossing is a very busy one for truckers with miles of trucks waiting to be processed.
Getting across this border on my motorbike into El Salvador was supposed to me a nice riding day in the gorgeous sunshine. I headed for the Terrestre Las Chinamas border crossing at first light. I chose this border because it was supposed to be not as busy.