Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Bolivia

Sucre was nice and I had a really great time there but I had a bit more to see of Bolivia. The thing about this country is that it’s the cheapest place in South America. You can buy a 3 corse meal for 1-2$, stay in a hotel for 5-10$ and even gas is cheap at around .50$ per liter… at least that’s what nationals pay. There is a new law that forces tourists or any other nationalities besides Bolivians to pay about 1.20$ per liter. I didn’t pay the tourist price a single time, although they did try to force me. The trick is to ask them if there is another gas station close by which will sell you gas at national price or if you can park the bike and come back with the jerry cans alone. The problem is your license plate which shows that you are a foreigner, so if there are no cameras in a gas station, they will usually sell you gas at national price. Another trick is to ask them if they have a receipt. Many gas stations don’t have a receipt book so they can’t charge you more than double for gas. There are many tricks you can use to pay national price, you just have to be a bit creative and really nice to the people there.

So anyway, the idea is that Bolivia is super nice and cheap, therefore I wanted to ride around this small country as much as possible.

From Sucre I rode up to Cochabamba and then to Santa Cruz.

On the way, I met a Brazilian with this bike… it’s a Suzuki DR800, single cylinder. I have never seen one before. Looks like a pretty sweet travel bike.

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The road

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The sun was going down, and I wanted to stop in this town. I couldn’t find any hostels so I kept going. Rode all day on bad dirt roads but I still have much energy left. I kept going through the night and made it to Cochabamba.

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The city of Cochabamba isn’t that great but I spent an extra night just to relax. I found a nice little hotel after much looking that had a garage for the bike.

Pictures in city taken with iPhone:

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On the way out, I noticed that my break pads were gone on the back. Trying to get the 2 nail like screws out with a hex key, I messed up the screws as they were way too tight. I went to see this mechanic on the road. Really nice guy, but he messed up the screws even more by rounding up the hex hole. Luckly, he knew a welder not too far so he had them welded out. We then welded other screws on top of the existing screw and it worked better than the original set-up.

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Back on the road. It sure felt nice to start going downhill and get some heat in. I had spent over a month in the mountains and the cold was really getting to me.

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Stopped somewhere in a small town and went to check out this park

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Crossing the river

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Can you recognize the plant?

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It’s Coca! Yes, it’s just a harmless plant. I walked through a whole field and I’m still alive… I didn’t get killed by this green leafed monster… 😉

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This plant looks seriously dangerous! WTF are the Bolivians thinking by keeping it legal?!

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There were some caves there with 3 types of bats. These I think were the ones that eat fruit.

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In a cave, there was this rare bird

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I believe these bats were into insects

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And then I made it to Santa Cruz. This city blew my mind a bit because if felt more like Miami than Bolivia. It’s a city that was built and still is on the Bolivian Cocaine trade. Santa Cruz does offer anything and EVERYTHING. You will see some of the nicest cars in South America here, some of the best restaurants and any type of luxury adult entertainment you want. Prices are also a lot higher than in the rest of Bolivia. They also have every type of dealer you’d want. If you have a BMW or a Ducati and need some parts, come to Santa Cruz. I only took a few iPhone pics though so don’t get all excited. If you visit Bolivia, you’ll have to come to Santa Cruz to see for yourself.

This is a 4X4 hang out. BTW, these buggies are road legal in pretty much all Central and South America.

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This KTM ran the Dakar before. It had 5 gas tanks. I found it in the back yard of a bike mechanic who changed the fork seals and the fork fluid on my KLR.

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At the mechanic shop I also met UWE who had his KTM 990 Adventure worked on. What you see him sitting on is not the KTM, it’s a motorcycle/bicycle made in China with a 50cc motor.

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  1. Olimpiu says:

    Salut fane vezi ca am vb cu cateva ziate din romania despre tine cred ca o sa apari in ziar intrun articol special despre calatoria ta 🙂

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