Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Death Road Riders

Today I joined Takahiro Sanui at the Bacoo Hostel, La Paz. We met in October, 2012, on the Stalhratte, while crossing from Panama to Columbia. Taka is from Japan, riding a Suzuki that he bought in California. He had the misfortune of dropping his motorcycle in a swollen stream while returning from Matu Pitu. Some parts could not be sourced locally and a friend sent the needed from Japan. Getting his bike back on the road took a month. While Taka was stuck in Cusco, I traveled through northern South America, down the coast of Brazil, across  northern Argentina and north to La Paz. Taka travels slowly, taking his time in Columbia, Ecuador and Peru, before getting stuck in Bolivia.

The first day we started out for the Death Road, Taka found his bike was not running correcctly. We postponed our ride to the Death Road and Taka went to seek a mechanic and carburetor tuning. No worries, we'll do it tomorrow. On the way back to the hostel I took this photo of La Paz.

La Paz grew into a sprawling metropolis, built in a valley. To say it is difficult for the uninitiated to navigate is a gross understatement. 

With a concern that we might run into road block for a transit strike we headed out the next morning. We did not encounter any road blocks what so ever.  As Takahiro Sanui and I rode to the Death Road, a coating of sugar snow made the mountains east of La Paz, amazing.

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