Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sucre to Santa Cruz... Dirt, Sand and a Slight Delay

From Sucre I planned to travel to Santa Cruz.

I had a friend named Dave that was going to be visiting Santa Cruz and he was bringing me some parts for my bike.

I set off from Sucre along the asphalt highway.

Outside of a town called Acquile, I ran into a local motorcyclist pulled over on the side of the road. I stopped to see if he needed assistance. He said that he was just changing his oil. I said great. He inquired as to where I was headed. I said Santa Cruz. He said that he was going to Santa Cruz too and that we should ride together. He seemed pretty eager. I said okay and we headed off.

He was riding a 125cc Leopard motorcycle. Like many riders in Bolivia he did not wear a helmet or protective gear, but because it was cold he was wearing a jacket and ski mask.
At first I was afraid that he would not be able to keep up with me and my bike, so I let him lead. 

Well, just outside of the town the road turned to dirt, then to sand, so we both slowed down. It was tricky riding. I did not have a great deal of experience riding in sand. This sand was a fine and loose powder, more like what we call coliche sand in Texas. It was loose and a challenge to ride over.

My riding partner feel over two or three times. Luckily, I was able to keep Emi upright.

After about 4 hours of riding in the sand, we came across this...
The road was blocked by a landslide. There was a construction crane clearing the path, but it looked like it might take a while.
And so we sat there and waited. We waited for about 3 hours. At about 8pm the path was clear.

There was one other motorcyclist that had been delayed alongside of us. It was a man riding with his wife who was carrying a baby in her arms. The sun had set and it was night. So we all set off into the dark along the dirt road. I was amazed at how fast the man/wife/baby bike was moving. We were not going to make it to Santa Cruz in the dark. We pulled into a town called Saipina. I found the one hotel located in the town and settled in for the layover,

The next morning, I arose early and rode the remaining five hours into Santa Cruz.

It was quite the experience. I think that longest stretch of sand that I had ridden over prior to this experience was all of 100 yards. In total, this was probably 7-8 hours of riding over sand. I was glad to see asphalt.


  1. I bet you are a good sand rider now...8-)

  2. awesome - I am hoping to stop in some of the little towns between Sucre and santa Cruz in the next few days. Any worth seeing and staying at? Your experience sounds incredible

  3. Samaipata is a nice little town with some attractions in the area nearby


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