Since Kevin passed away, I have been in close contact with his family and friends. I shared a few photos that Kevin hadn't had the chance to post yet, but I knew I really wanted to get my blog posts up to date.
When I left Mendoza it was raining hard and very cold. It was a boring road, I was warned it would be. So no photos. I stopped for the night in Rio Cuarto. Here I talked to Patrick on skype. He was in Peru and said he'd be heading down into Bolivia soon and that he would like to visit the sight of Kevin's accident. So I sent him the coordinates from the info I got from Kevin's brother.
I have been really clear that I will never ride my motorcycle to Bolivia. I was too pissed off, and scared of even the thought of riding in that country, whether I visited the sight or not.
Patrick and I talked about some ideas we had for a roadside memorial. We were totally on the same page. And I had building something in mind, but later. I really just don't want to go and I couldn't get my head around it.
The next morning I woke up with a very clear change of heart. I need to go to Bolivia and it would be ideal to do this with Patrick so I don't have to be alone there. I emailed Patrick quickly and said I'd meet him there. I got a message back straight away and he said, "Let's do this thing".
What a complete flip change from not having any intentions whatsoever of riding a motorcycle in Bolivia any time soon. I got on my bike and headed north out of Rio Cuarto towards Cordoba, stayed the night in Salta Argentina (which is also a very popular tourist spot). I am not here for sightseeing. I got a room, a salad from the supermarket, and back on the road early in the cold rain.
Maybe this is why I was getting so many "no's" when I tried to find a place to stay in Buenos Aires. I knew I needed to go to Bolivia, but it's not somewhere I want to go. We all have questions, even more so from Kevin's close family in friends in Scotland and Canada. They are all so far away, I am only 4 days drive from there. If I can go now, I can see if I can figure anything out about the accident. Kevin's brother forwarded me a police report and it just didn't add up. There are many things that can go wrong on the road, but I was imagining it might have had something to do with the dirt roads and his street tires, but who's to say. He was riding alone that day, it could be anything. It's frustrating not knowing.
The sun came out the farther north I rode, and the landscape changed completely. I'm getting close to Bolivia and super nervous about doing this.
This next stop for the night was Humahuaca Argentina, literally not far from the Bolivian border.
By the look of the buildings here, I was lucky to find a place to stay in Humahuaca that had safe parking for the night.. thank goodness! And the owner, Horacio, has a KLR 650. He was fun to meet and invited to take me around the next day to see some of gorgeous mountains and roads. I was on a mission, so I initially said no, I don't have time. But I was quite frankly exhausted, both mentally and physically. So a day off to just be normal and explore sounded like it might be a good thing.
After a good nights sleep in his little hotel, this is the road he took me on in the morning. Since I have been only riding on the highway for days now, it was an excellent and much needed change. A bit of time to smell the roses as they say.
Loving this ride.. After riding on asphalt for many days, it's amazing how nice it is to be back on dirt.
I'm seeing the amazing colors on the mountains ahead and already completely mesmerized. To think I nearly just stuck to my plan without stopping to see this..
I needed fuel when we returned, and after I saw this line of cars waiting, I said I'd get fuel in the morning when I leave instead. Horacio reminded me that you can't count on fuel in Argentina. He recommended I wait in line because when they run out of fuel here, it could be up to 3 days before they have it again. When I left Mendoza, the first 3 gas stations I went to didn't have fuel, so I know he is right.
Later I walked around town, and got a kick out of the dogs leaving the pharmacy.. I hope they found what they needed? ;-)
I took myself to dinner and had the first normal meal in many days. I thought I'd give llama a try with rosemary potatoes and very nice red. I wouldn't expect you could get this big meal here.. and the llama was pretty good! I wouldn't go out of my way to order it again, but it was worth a try and did the job.