T – Well here we come Bolivia! We are excited to come and see you! Peru has had some incredible scenery but we have to keep moving. But first, we need to say goodbye to a long time traveller friend of Mabels. Squirt was attacked and beheaded by a naughty little dog last night. I found his head outside the dining room door of the hotel this morning. RIP dear Squirt. You will be missed. He has been with me for about 100 000 kms of riding. Bye old mate.
We had about 150kms to ride today to reach the border. So no rush really, even for us! We cruised along the lake side, the brisk wind cutting through every gap in our clothing and stabbing into our cores. It was quite the chilly day! We made some decent time straight away and we decided to stop for a break and grab a few pics of Lake Titicaca.
C – The lake is really quite beautiful and the views improved as we got closer to the Bolivian border, as the grey clouds parted and left us with a clear, crisp blue sky. Beautiful!
T – As we went to clamber back onto the bikes Mabel decided to fall over in the wind and slammed into the side of Rosie. Whoops! Or maybe they were having a fight and Mabes bought out the fisticuffs! Either way we had her standing back up quickly and we hopped on and started to ride off.
As we did so Chantelle said she could smell fuel quite strongly. When I glanced over at Rosie I could see fuel pouring down the side of the engine! Oh that’s not a good thing. I suspected that maybe Mabel had torn a hole in Rosie’s fuel line when they clashed just now.
Closer inspection revealed that fuel was coming from somewhere on the actual tank. After taking the tank off we discovered a rather nasty looking pair of cracks in the plastic tank where it bolted onto the bike. One crack was leaking heaps of fuel. Dammit. We had just filled the long range tanks up on the bikes too.
So with 10 litres of fuel about to be returned to the earth we managed to get half of it into Rosie’s empty underseat tank.
C – This is the second tank leak we have experienced, with Mabel dropping 10ltrs of petrol into the ground in the USA. It is never a good thing – firstly, we feel terrible about possible environmental effects of this and secondly, it such a waste of money!!! Thankfully we could get five litres of it out and then lay the tank on its side on the ground so we didn’t lose the other five litres too!
T – We had no glue or tank repair kit so we weren’t sure what to do at this point. And we need this tank to hold fuel for Bolivia as it is notoriously hard to get fuel as foreigner there.
All we had on hand was a Leatherman (thanks Dave), a stove and some rubber cement. So we did the only thing we could. We lit the stove, I shaved some slivers of plastic off of the tank with my knife, the heated the knife up and proceeded to melt the tank back together. And yes it still had 5 litres of fuel in it at this point.
In the end it seemed to work! We put the tank back on and no fuel leaked out. Fingers crossed it’s fixed.
C – I was so impressed with Todds creativity! This was such a great solution to our issue and one I definitely would not of thought of!!!
Just then poor Chantelle had to scramble for a nearby bush as her bottom threatened to explode. Peru is really trying to make it hard for us to leave!
C – Never a fun experience. I felt completely fine one minute and the next minuteâ€¦ well, not so much. I am grateful there was something to hide behind, otherwise I would’ve had to do it exposed to the road. Thankfully we did have plenty of toilet paper on hand!
T – We raced for the border as Chantelle began to feel sicker and sicker. We had to make another emergency pitstop at a restaurant and then after topping up all our fuel tanks we hit the Peru-Bolivia border.
There was no one else around and we were processed out of Peru and into Bolivia fairly smartly. We had read and heard about people having to pay bribes at the Bolivian side as the police there are terribly corrupt and will do anything they can to extract a few dollars from travellers. But we were onto them and played dumb non Spanish speaking tourists and they only gave a half hearted attempt at gaining some extra cash from us, then we were free to roam Bolivia.
We rode to the nearby town of Copacabana for the night. There is another dodgy set of cops here that lay in wait for travellers as they exit the town and demand a “donation”. But we will be clever and take the roads and tracks around town to bypass these crooked bastards.
C – I felt really quite ill for a little while, but with no options for hotels in the border town on the Peruvian side, we decided to keep on. I am glad we did, as it was not too long before I was feeling a lot better. Copacabana turned out to be a completely beautiful little town on the lakeshore of Titicaca. Except for the all the rubbish – we were very disappointed to see that people had attempted to use the rubbish bins, but the bins obviously do not get emptied. It was sad to see so much litter on the edge of the beautiful lake.
T – Tomorrow we head for La Paz and the famous Death Road.