Motorcycle: Honda XR250 Tornado, own. Total distance: 6500 km. 21 days on the road.
Route: Lima - Cuzco - La Paz, Bolivia - Potosi - Uyuni - Lagunas Colorada/Verde - Pedro de Atacama, Chile - Arequipa - Lima.
This was a fun trip. There is a lot I could write about. But, as always, there is not enough time. So, this little entry, a photo gallery and a YouTube video must be enough.
The plan was to travel through the Peruvian Andes to Cusco and then to Lake Titicaca, cross to Bolivia, then, after reaching its south-western corner, cross to Chile and return to Lima. Unfortunately, at the arrival at the Peruvian-Bolivian border, it turned out that taking a Peruvian motorbike directly into Bolivia was impossible for some reasons related to customs. As a result, I had to drive all the way down to the Pacific coast, cross the Peruvian-Chilean border, then go up all the way to the Chilean-Bolivian border to reach La Paz. A small 1300 km detour.
I am still very impressed with my motorcycle. This small 250 cc engine is powerful enough to take me places, yet it is light weight so that it is very easily maneuvered. It is very reliable with no trouble at all with 18000 km on the clock. So far, I have changed front brake pads, both tires, both sprockets and a chain - regular maintenance items.
Generally, my impressions were very positive. Bolivia resembles Peru in terms of culture and geography. The roads up to Potosi were all paved. Food, gasoline and lodging were easily available. It rained a lot and because of the altitude, it was generally cold and miserable. The prettiest city was Sucre. The most interesting city was Potosi. The most difficult road was between Uyuni and Laguna Verde (mud, dirt, and sand) which was also the most spectacular in terms of landscape.