After a rather forgettable night in a cheap hotel and a fairly mediocre breakfast we headed out of Potosi.
We had several people tell us that the road to Uyuni was difficult – all dirt/gravel, muddy and numerous water crossings. And the time frames ranged from 6 hours to 10 hours. So we set off somewhat early.
The road weaved its way through some of the silver mines in the area. Potosi was one of the major silver producers going back to the Spanish occupation of Bolivia. The road was under continuous construction for almost the entire trip to Uyuni with big road working equipment and trucks taking up lots of space and not always being willing to give up some space to a few motorcycles.There were a few water crossings but most of them were not too bad – maybe 2 feet deep without much current. It was very apparent that if it were raining the crossings would be wide, deep and fast. We were lucky that it had been dry the last couple days.
There were zillions of Llama along the way – we’ve not mentioned much about these animals but there are plenty of both domestic and wild Lamas everywhere. Sometimes you’ll see a huge herd of them – hundreds of them grazing in a field – and other times just a few here and there. But one thing you can rely on is that they think they own the roads and will rarely move for a motorcycle. It seems like you come up to them, wait a bit, then beep the horn and the Llama looks at you like “is that all you got?, cause I’ve been blasted by busses and trucks!! That whimpy horn is not getting me off the road”. The red tags/tassles on their ears appear to be some sort of ID – although it is hard to imagine why everyone would tag them with the same color?
We had two stops to fix things. Dan’s chain guard came loose and got caught up in the chain. We also have been bottoming out in the rocks and ruts. Well after a smashing the bottom of the bike so many times…. The center stand got bent up so far it was rubbing on the chain. So we had to bend it back into the correct position.
In the end the road was not anywhere near the trouble we had heard. We enjoyed the scenery and rolled into Uyuni after about 6 hours, including the mechanical repairs. Tomorrow we ride out onto the salt.