The Amapa jungle

After completing the 1000km of jungle South of Amazon we said to ourselves “How easy. That was it?”. But here, in Brazilian State of Amapa, we found the real problems: from Macapa there are ~500km until the border with France, out of which only 300 are paved. Immediately after entering the unpaved road, a rain began that made riding even more difficult.

At some point the road was blocked because two trucks were caught in mud and other trucks were trying to help. After one hour of efforts some drivers gave up and began cooking the lunch (where we were invited to join). After another hour one truck was back on road but two more vehicles were in trouble: a car and a bus. The fun may have continued for many hours, but we left the scene and we arrived at the Oiapoque river after two days.

For reference, I have included two pictures from 20 years ago (the last ones) made by our friend Eladio. As you can see, not much has changed since then!

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Muddy days

Day 1:

We were in a village searching for a hotel. It was around 8:30PM when we entered a muddy street because I thought there was a hotel sign at the end of that street. But by the time we managed to get out of that place it was already 1AM, after enduring the biggest mudding of this trip!

Day 2:

Exactly the next day, right after washing the bike, we were once again riding when Laura told me she has seen a wrecked railway carriage on the side of the road. I decided to stop and get off the pavement in order to observe better, and that’s when all the fun began… Once again, we had to remove the side cases, push and so on. But only for one hour this time!

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The Atacama desert (2/2)

The next morning we found out from the tourists we were just 20kms away from the Laguna Colorada. Also, I suddenly remembered I have to lower the tire pressure, so control and comfort was greatly improved. This last day was like a dream. Not only because of the riding improvement, but also for the views inside the national park that surrounded the Laguna Colorada: geysers, the lake, some birds etc. And at all times we were above 4800m altitude!!! The last incident was at night, when suddenly a sandstorm approached us. I remember I could see nothing and there was so much pain because I had the visor open. I had no other option than to drop the bike and wait at ground level for the storm to pass. In the end we got to some hostel to spend the night and the next day we crossed the border to Chile.

Palomina emerged out of this experience with 30% less thread on the rear tire, a broken mirror, turn signal and some minor issues at the rear rack.

One should imagine how happy we were to see asphalt again!

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Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat and a major tourist attraction in Bolivia. It measures around 200km from East to West and at most 100km from North to South. There are no marked roads, for orientation you have to follow the tracks, as long as you guess the approximate direction.

There are some salt mining sites, two or three salt hotels and also some islands. These islands are famous for the giant cactus that grows there.792 salar793 salar794 salar795 salar796 salar797 salar798 salar799 salar800 salar801 salar802 salar803 salar


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The train cemetery of Uyuni

Very close to Uyuni there is a train cemetery. The dry climate is ideal for preservation, however many of them are cut in pieces and rusted. Unfortunately, even though this site is featured on all tourist maps, you have to drive/ride through mountains of trash in order to see it. See the whole story here.
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