Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Vroom vrooooom!

At Los Sargentos, I ride mornings with a group of people who ride early and then go to work, and are mostly men. Actually, they are all men. And one day, the coach (Cedric is his name) asks me if I know how to ride a motorbike or a quadratrack. Thinking back to Israel with Tamas, Philippe and Marton, I said yes to the second option, and was then invited to go on a full day ride (including a parrillada/BBQ) on May 7th.

[Pic of us getting ready to head out.]

That Sunday I went riding around 9am and then changed into the gear Cedric lent me before picking my machine and chatting with the crazy hard core people around me. We left shortly after 11am, went through town to Cota Cota, into the Valley of the Souls where the Illimani looked like it was an arm’s length away, into unknown and unidentified territory, up hills, down hills and finally we stopped at Tahuapalca to enjoy the mega BBQ prepared by Renato and Johnny. Two burgers and two chorizos (big yummy sausages) each, plus unlimited soda. Can you say fantabulous?

Of course, on the way back I followed the three clueless but fast riders, and realized I was alone when I stopped to take a picture and no one caught up with me. Kept going for a few minutes, then stopped and took my helmet off, and silence. Not a single motor sound! I went back the way I came but after a few hundred meters I realized that was pointless because even if I made it back to the BBQ site, I wouldn’t know which way to go! So I turned around again and headed the way I went the first time around. It was deserted. Up a mountain, down a mountain, up another mountain, through a closed gate (I opened it first, duh – but its presence confirmed I was not going the same way as the rest of the pack!) and eventually, I got to a town. Started asking for the road to La Paz, and following the directions I got I eventually made it back. It was actually brilliant to be alone with my quadratrack, on the road, in the sun, in the Bolivian landscape – especially once I decided not to worry about gas and to deal with the question of how to transfer the precious liquid from my emergency tank to my actual tank in case of need only!

Got back around 6.30pm (rushed to avoid being left out after the sunset!), much to the relief of Cedric and a few others who got worried about my being MIA. Me being the only girl didn’t help, but ultimately me following people who took the wrong route and whizzed home was legitimate and I wasn’t even the last to arrive! Not sure I will ever be invited to such an excursion again, but no regrets – it was a fantastic Sunday and I confirm that I love going fast. Next step, learn to ride a motorbike? Hehe. That remains to be seen.

Photos coming soon (i.e. as soon as blogger decides to cooperate):
Me on my Quad
Illimani, cacti, moon
Me home


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