South America Blog

   This is the journey I have always dreamed of,  to ride my motorcycle across the Americas. 

   Follow me as I travel south from Texas to the tip of South America on my BMW GS.   

    Here's a view of the  Map 

Riding to Cocabamba, Bolivia

I found La Paz to be just another large city, and after one day I was ready to move on.  Cochabamba was my destination.

The map indicated that I had approximately 300 miles to ride.  The first 150 miles on the Bolivian Altiplano were rather easy.  The road was mostly straight and fast with a few rain showers along the way.  I approached a fork in the road and I thought – another 150 miles and I can stop for the day.  It should not take me more than two or three hours.  Was I ever wrong!! 

At the fork I made a left and headed toward Cochabamba.  At this point the elevation was 12,000 feet.  As I headed east the road started climbing and there was a steady rain.  Soon the rain turned into freezing rain and the temperature was dropping quickly.  Before long I was traveling in a sleet and snow mix which was sticking to my face shield.  That made it very difficult for me see with my face shield closed so I opened my face shield.  My GPS indicated that I was very close to an elevation of 15,000 feet.  The real fun began when the snow and sleet reached about 5 inches deep with the sleet and snow still coming down hard.  I was the lead for other traffic which meant that I was cutting my own path through the snow-coverd road.  I did think about pulling over and taking a few photos and also to allowing someone else to make the tracks on the road that I could travel in.  My tank bag was frozen solid and I could not get to my camera so I decided to keep on moving.  After a while I finally reached the mountain top and started my descent to the other side.  The snow and sleet turned back to rain.

It was amazing that I traveled at elevations of 14,000 to 15,000 feet and then dropped to 12,000 feet.  I felt like I was at sea level.  I could breathe much better and it was also warmer.

After five hours I finally reached Cochabamba, Bolivia; and I thought it was going to be a three-hour ride.

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The nice altiplano before the weather turned bad