In Puno I meet a couple from Germany – Gabby and Frank. They were on a ride from Ecuador to Chile. We hung out together in Copacabana for a couple of days and decided to travel together for a few days as well.
It was raining the morning of our departure. We traveled along the lake’s edge for about 50 miles to the village of Tiquina. Here we caught a ferry to take us to the Bolivian mainland. The ferry that we were to board was in very poor condition; however, in this part of the world you take whatever you can get. To make matters worse, it was still pouring rain. The ferry that was to carry us over was missing several deck-boards. My ferry experience of boarding on a very slippery deck in Nicaragua flashed into my mind. Before allowing motorcycles onto the rinky dink ferry, a large truck needed be boarded. My fear was that this truck would make the ferry lean too far to the side making it unstable for motorcycles. With a little luck and skill we managed to get on board without falling, and also without winding up in an area without deck-boards. The ferry swayed the entire lake crossing and we had to balance our motorcycles the entire time. With the large truck on the back of the ferry now, when we were to unload, the ferry was leaning backwards, creating an uphill effect. So disembarking the ferry facing uphill on a wet deck with missing deck-boards was NO FUN for those of us on motorcycles!
I had been provided information about a small village named Sorata which was located on the northeast section of the Lago Titicaca. We headed toward Sorata once off the ferry. The road was fantastic with amazing vistas. Somewhere along the way I lost Gabby and Frank. They must have stopped to take photos. Before I realized it they were no longer with me. I continued on. Approximately four kilometers from Sorata I came up against a long line of traffic parked alongside the road. A landslide was blocking the road. After sitting for an hour or so word came that the road would not be open any time soon. I turned around and headed to La Paz as quickly as I could to avoid the cold evening rain.
I made my way into La Paz, and like Lima, Peru it can be confusing for a first-time visitor. The City of La Paz sits at an elevation of 13,000 feet. I got lost and ended up on a dead end street. I spotted a couple of Bolivian policemen so I rode over to ask them for directions. I had my reservations after my experience with the Peruvian clowns called police. I had also been told that the Bolivian police were like the Peruvian police. However, these two were great. After asking for directions they mounted two up and escorted me to the city center (El Centro). All the police that I encountered in Bolivia to this point were friendly and helpful.
Gabby and Frank of Germany
Friendly Bolivian Police