Leaving Uyuni

Friday, April 30th

It was probably a dumb thing to do, but after we finished the bike maintenance, then got some (late!) lunch for ourselves, we decided to leave Uyuni even though it was almost 4:00 in the afternoon. Both Rick and I felt “finished” with Uyuni–we’d had a great time, but both distinctly felt like moving on. It was something I don’t think anyone would try on their own–setting off across the desert in the late afternoon–but I guess we were boueyed by the fact that we had someone else to instigate with.

We filled up the bikes with gas, and ventured down the ripio.

Careful with the wildlife…

It was a magical afternoon. I was elated to be on the move again, depressing Uyuni behind me, and Rick kept a pace that had me paying pretty good attention to the terrain.

The evening light was incredible and I don’t think either of us wanted to stop.

Well right about the time I was thinking “oh, God, my first night in a tent”, it was good-and-dark when we entered this little town. I don’t know the name of it, it was just a little village dot on the map, but they had a sign for hospedaje. I stopped, thinking that was a place to stay, but not. Food only. Charming folks, though, and I made a mental note to go back there for dinner if we stayed in that town.

We found the only place in town to stay, and gave the lady our $2 each. It was a trick getting the bikes into the courtyard and off the street, but we managed. Inside the courtyard were all the farm animals, including two rambunctious boys that charmed our socks off, and the family sheep. It was a mild night and we left the room door open while we fiddled and unpacked, and the boys couldn’t stay away. At one point they thought it would be funny to bring us a visitor. That poor sheep!

Rick and I joked that night that (good) company makes all the difference–if either of us would have had to stay there alone, it would have been a dismal experience…but somehow with a co-conspirator, it was an “adventure”.

Next morning we were up early and I was surprised at how well I slept, given the straw mattress and frigid desert air.

The morning toilette was, er, quick.

Rick’s bike would not start, so the brothers decided to get it going for him.

Um…no jumper cables so Rick, the master electriian (literally–that’s his profession in the UK) , improvised with the emergency electrical kit that Twisted Throttle packed me. (Thanks Adam!)

Well somewhere around the world Rick’s Dakar lost the muffle baffles…gave the kids quite a fright! It even woke up the sheep!

So if you look closely, brother #2 is trying to stick his hand up Rick’s tailpipe. We both noticed at the same time and started yelling at him. Poor kid–even more frightening than the bark of Rick’s (unmuffled) muffler.

Here’s Rick trying to get out of the gate;

Packing up.

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