Sunday, 25 December 2011

Day 44: Camping on Lake Poopo (342 kms)

My brakes took longer to fix than expected so we didn't leave town until almost noon. That allowed time for much needed sleep-in for the nighthawks in the party.

Andrew was now part of our little group and riding his slickly kitted BMW F800GS. Terrific machine.

Bolivia has a generous petrol subsidy. Combined with the cut rate prices from Venezuela, the final price is about $0.50 a liter. But that price is only available to Bolivian plated vehicles since the government has no desire to subsidize non-residents. There is a higher price that filling stations are meant to charge foreign vehicles. However, stations often do not have the paperwork to complete this transaction or are fearful of being shut down for manipulating the sale price and pocketing the difference. We found that most stations were hesitant to sell us gas. It was a real drag. Andrew had Bolivian plates, which was helpful, but not entirely sufficient.

Late in the day we spent nearly two hours trying to procure gas. By that time it was too late for riding, particularly since the asphalt road ended. The town nearby, Huari, is deservedly famous for its beer, but not its hotels. We decided to camp near the dry Lago Poopo. In the end we found a nice spot near a deserted llama pen. There was an amazing electrical storm visible across the lake, likely 60 or 70 kilometers away.

No comments:

Post a Comment