Into Bolivia

Once I got onto the main road heading up into Bolivia the riding got a bit more sedate, but it was still a joy.

 

 

With great little towns filled with a sometimes hilarious mix of quaint town squares…

And grand heroic monuments (these two are next to each other in Humahuaca).

Then, when I actually crossed into Bolivia, I had to go through one of those wonderful mental re-alignments that are one of the best parts of this trip.  I knew I was still in the dry highlands, but in my mind Bolivia was a green country- yeah it has some dry places, but it’s mostly, well green.  Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong- huge swaths of the country are desert, or badlands whose ground just lets the water wash right through it.  It made for wonderfully fun riding and even more fantastic views.

Despite this relatively arid landscape, a quick ride through a rough hune tunnel can uncover the occasional verdant vista.

When not camping, a pleasant night can be spent in one of the numerous colonial towns that dot the landscape.  Even without a map you always know when one is close, not from the all too common trash, but by the small cemeteries that start to crop up along the side of the road.  I’m sure it’s grossly inappropriate, but they were so perfectly western that I’d find myself humming something from a Sergio Leone movie every time I stopped at one…

For a traveler, one of the great things about these towns is their predictable layout.  While they all have their own flavour, their colonial heritage has left an indelible mark on them that makes finding your way around everything but the modern suburbs a fairly simple task.

You are now in the center of Anytown, Bolivia.

Moving out from the center things get a bit harder…

Ah, you are now… on an architectural acid trip.

All these places, fun as they most certainly were, were all leading to one of the wonders of the natural world.

So, it was time to be off and back on the road!

Okay, not too fast- the roads had  just too much on offer to just speed through…

 

 

Especially when the road, for no particular reason that I could discern, just decided to become a riverbed.  It never got more than mid-calf deep and it was a fairly decent sand for riding, but still…

Mind you, if your driving the Boogie Van Bus, what do you care?!

 

 

 

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