T – We were up early today so we could get a good start. We knew that the next 90kms was going to be all uphill. So it would be a slow ride. We snuck out of Coroico and set our sights on the town of Oruro about 330 kms to the south of us.
We were soon sitting in third and second gear as we climbed and climbed. The bikes again working hard for us. Flat out we were sitting at around 35km/hr. They just wouldn’t go any faster. Up and up we went. Slowly slowly.
We entered tunnels and still we climbed. Third gear all the way.
C – As we reached the last of the uphill, we pulled into a mirador and actually got the girls up to 4654mtrs! It was amazing, and windy, and very cold. Neither of us can really believe that these little bikes have taken so much punishment, particularly lately with the massive climbs, where they are working so hard in third, or second gear. We are so proud of them!
T – Finally we crested over the top and shot our way down into the melee of La Paz, again. For some reason our GPS took us a weird ‘shortcut’ way across the city, which actually ended up with us having to scream our bikes in first gear for kilometer after kilometer up some insanely steep hills, with me even having to paddle with my feet to keep Mabel moving as she nearly stopped several times. Oh the poor bikes. They were hot, they were tired, they were rattly and they were very unhappy. We both know that these engines are getting tired now and we really dont enjoy treating them like this.
C – These steep climbs in traffic are quite stressful. Not only is it difficult for the bikes, but we just can not stop. The postie brakes are not great and it is very difficult to get them to stop still on a steep incline, then tend to start to slide backwards and there is just nothing you can do to stop it. On top of that, once stopped, we would never get them going again. Being in a long line of traffic, where you can not control how fast the other traffic is going, or whether they will stop halfway up is terrifying. I was very pleased when we finally reached the top!
T – Eventually we tore free of the city and we were then sat on the main highway, which was flatish and straightish for the next 200 kms. We knew it would be boring, but the bikes needed to take a breather from all the climbing.
We cruised along for quite some time and many hours later we reached our destination for the night. What a last few days of riding. Next up is the salt flats at Uyuni. Cant bloody wait! Tomorrow the girls will get a fresh dose of oil and Rosie needs a new chain. We have some timing chains to fit over the next day or two and we will treat the girls to some new spark plugs. They deserve some pampering don’t you think?