Chapter 18
Peru, Bolivia, Chile
Land of Augusto, Edgardo and Ernesto

Land of Augusto, Edgardo and Ernesto

Slightly effeminate fake Sean Connery accent


Hi (big smile), I'm Chris (another smile), Chrissssssss Brrrrrright, Special Corrrrrrrrrrespondent for motorcycle journal punto net (all said with a slightly effeminate fake Sean Connery accent). Errr sorry....

....More gibberish from the Bright One. Don't recall precisely -disculpe, mucho vino tinto, mi hermanas y hermanos- but I believe the last time I insulted your Inbox was from Cusco, Peru. Since then the Bright-Bandwagon has travelled far and wide, spreading the gospel of Saint Chrissie. His trusty steed, the 'ex' has a new diode board and amortigador.

Not just any amortigador, but a 'Gabriel Super Ryder, Made in USA'. The old shock (Amortigador is the Espagnol for shock absorber), made it -not very far- from Guatemala to somewhere in Bolivia, but was finally redone at Freddy Vallderamma's in Santiago de Chile (with modifications at Edgardo's in Temuco). It is for a CAR, because as per usual, even in Chile, you can't get any spares for a BMW bike and especially not my model. After this little cunning stunt, I have finally graduated with a PhD in 'Bush-Mechanics, Specialism 1988-94 BMW r100gs Paralever'. Professor AJP Lickorish, the examining moderator was exultant with his praise: 'Oh goodie, mine's a Pims, me old mucker!' I hope it holds!

Model-release imprints


Here is a pic of 2 of my Disciples (Moonies?), Messrs Chris -Claudia Schiffer- Ratay of USA and Liam -Elle, the Body, McPherson- McCabe of Ireland at the 'Alter of the Sun' in Brightville, Australia. As far as Copyright is concerned, their butts have supplied 'model-release imprints', but still, to avoid any undue, unforeseen lawsuits, these images may NOT be viewed on the Emerald Isle or in the Land of the Whopper.

PLEASE NOTE: I must stress that I am thoroughly disgusted as to this open arse-display in the public domain, for I am the voice of justice and righteousness in this completely cruel world, but anything for a laugh, or even a disgusted scowl....


Anyway -get a map out if you like- the route went from Cusco to Lago Titcaca to La Paz, Bolivia to Arica, Chile to Iquique to San Pedro de Atacama (with a quick side trip to Laguna Verde in Bolivia) to Santiago and then 10 days in the Chilean and Argentinian Lake District to my present location, Puerto Varas, near the start of the Careterra Austral for the final push (or hopefully 'drive') to Tierra del Fuego, where I hope to find myself by the end of March.

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Dingleweed Had Lice

Cusco was naff. So incredibly touristy, with all the hangers-on and pain-in-the-bum beggars and RAIN and of course I was shackled there because of the thoroughly efficient and helpful experts of Dingleweed Had Lice. After stringing together a shocking line of abuse (even for my tender ears!) and threatening them with the police for harassment, I finally received my little box after it had already been in Peru for 8 days.

Before leaving the capital of Incaland, I got hold of a secondhand pair of motocross boots. Don't tell anyone, but they are pink and white with luminous green buckles! My new shiny (and warm!) M/C pants (thanks again Neale!!!!) go over the top of them, thankfully.


Where do you find a (real) beggar when you want one? Seriously, I had a humbling experience. While trying to find somebody to give my old paratrooper boots to, I spot my prey: A beggar with no shoes on.... .....He was also blind and deaf/mute. How do you explain that not only do you want to give him a stale tasting Nutri-grain-type bar, but also these boots. He understood. I had for the first time in my life given something to a beggar. That day I felt really fortunate.

Funny coppers

The ride to Copacabana and the Bolivian border on the southern tip of Lake Titicaca was wet and cold and passed through flooded Julianca and Puno, where I had to instil a little 'master-servant-doctrine' with another motorist who insisted on pressing his horn constantly while I tried to do a U-turn in front of him with my overloaded bike on a wet cobblestone road going up a hill. I am sure he understood the gist of what I was saying. Waving my fist within an inch of his nose may not have confused him. The amusing thing was, a Peruvian policeman who watched the whole incident then proceeded to give him a b*llocking also! I did like Peru. On the whole gracious and friendly people, great mountains and funny coppers.


After an easy as you like border crossing and a half hearted attempt at a bribe by the Bolivian border morons, err I mean police -'Yo no speaka spangliesh senor!'- the sun shone for the first time in days. Just as well as the bike was blessed by the local Catholic priest. (A day or so ago I was thinking that I hadn't dropped the bike since then and guess what? While trying to park it at a campsite in Argentina, it fell over!!) I also got a shower. He chucked a little too much holy water on my head.

The ride to La Paz, a city at about 4000m above sea level was great. Sun, views, mountains, breathless Altiplano. Bolivian drivers are totally insane: traffic lights, stop signs and suchlike are purely decorations on the roadside, but there seemed to be a method to the madness. I will definitely return to Bolivia. Due to the weather and 95% dirt roads, the weight of the ex and the lack of time to get to Tierra del Fuego before the snows start, I only spent a total of 5 days in this beautiful, hospitable country. Another time and on a luggageless Honda XR or similar.


I ran a few errands, bought some souvenirs , sending them straight home, as well as doing a full service at Walter -Chuck Norris- Nosiglia's, the local Honda dealer. What friendly people they are. The road led and west through rain from La Paz to the border at 4600m down through fog and snow to the prohibitive heat and sea level of Arica. Here my fleece and heated vest were definitely not required. At the friendly Chilean border there were missing persons posters. It occurred to me to ask whether a certain Chilean national (formerly residing at Her Majesty's pleasure), known as Generallisimo Maximo Augusto Pinochet Ugarte might know the fate of these poor people, but my Spanish did not feel up to the task.

Northern Chile and Bolivia could not be more different: 4000m Altiplano and sea-level, cold harsh conditions and tropical heat, understandable Spanish and some total abortion of a dialect, mad drivers and the most sanitised, homogenous boring driving ever experienced.

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Commandant Senor Sergio van de Boerwors


People stop at railway level crossings (yes, I realise there are stop signs...) even in the middle of flat nowhere where the last train passed a week ago. At some Hicksville hamlet where I had my first puncture in the Americas fixed (on the front, after hitting a big pothole hard coming over the crest of a hill, my 50000km tube finally gave up the ghost), Commandant Senor Sergio van de Boerwors of the Chilean Constanbulary saw me commit a cardinal act !!?!. Imagine the scene:

Bright sees railway line, slows a little, ignores stop sign, swerves a bit so as to hit the railway line perpendicular to the tracks....

S v d B sees this and comes rushing out of his little Bus and Truck Inspection Hut and signals 'el Gringo Criminalo' to ALTO!

Bright does just that and using all the deft cunning developed on this trip, switches off the engine, removes helmet and sunglasses and most importantly, shakes the man's hand.

S v d B puffs out his chest and begins to blather some garbage, something along the lines of 'When in Chile...'.


Bright nods understandingly not really knowing what 'le jefe' is mumbling, is totally scared (yeh right) and tries to gauge whether he might have to pay a fine.

S v d B lets off Bright, because deep down he think the law is a load of horsesh*t too.

After more hand shaking Bright leaves the scene, only to drive past the checkpoint again in search of the tyre-wallah. More confusion caused.... :-)

In San Pedro de Atacama I again team up with the German couple, Lars and Tini, on their Africa Twin and we drive back into Bolivia to Laguna Verde. Was this side trip worth it? Most definitely! I would have loved to drive the whole way from Uyuni across the Salar de Uyuni salt lake to Laguna Verde, but the entire region being flooded, made it a bit difficult, even for me. Another time... We camped at a hot spring and were greeted to a great sunrise with flamingos and steam rising off the thermal water overlooking the shimmering green water nestling against snow topped peaks. Five meters from this 30°C H2O there was ice on the bikes!

How do you spot a Chilean hitchhiker?


The looong run down the Panam to Santiago was loooooooong! And hot and boring. For the first time in now 70000km I had to stop the bike because it was going to overheat. A 1000m rise over 80km, 40°C in the shade, a 100km/h tailwind (it was, I could ride at 100 with my visor open.... the bike's windscreen is purely cosmetic) and as the oil temp needle began to creep over 150°C, it was time to stop. Lars and Tini needed to smoke a fag ('cigarette' for my American readers) anyway.

Santiago is BIG. Mucho cars and silly one-way streets. Normally not a hindrance for Bright goes where he wants, but now again being a law-abiding citizen....

I'll tell you about everything south of Chile's capital next time... hopefully with news of my arrival in Ushuaia. Wish me luck...

Adios y hasta luego, Chrissssssimo

PS: How do you spot a Chilean hitchhiker? He/She LOOKS TOTALLY COOOOOOOOL, needs a haircut, a shave and even wears shades at midnight and is carrying a guitar and droning 'Amor/Corazon/Amor' in no particular tuneless order.

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