Day 186 – La Paz, BO to Oruro, BO

Day 186 – La Paz, BO to Oruro, BO      02/23/11      Mileage: 146

I spent the morning using the good wifi at the hostal, then packed the bike and headed south for Oruro. The road was paved and fairly straight running down a wide, shallow valley….and I was on the gas to make time.

 Just over a blind rise I see a cop standing on the side pointing what he wanted me to believe was a radar gun. It looked like something out of a Cracker Jacks box or perhaps it was a marshmallow shooter, but as I passed I could see him going for his radio. Oh grand, here we go again. Sure enough a few hundred yards down the road another cop is in the middle of the road flagging me over. I kept the bike running as he walked up and asked for my license. He said I was in a lot of trouble (of course) because I was doing 90 kph in an 80 kph zone. Well, now I knew he and his friend with the plastic Star Trek phaser were full of shit because I was doing at least 120 kph. I pretended to not know a single word of spanish and spoke only good old loud fast Americano….things like “thank you for welcoming me, Bolivia is great” and “I’m from the United States, it’s great to meet you”. From behind his 1 gold front tooth (you honestly can’t make this stuff up) he was telling me in spanish that I was going to get a ticket and I would have to go back to La Paz to pay it. I just kept saying “thank you, I like La Paz very much”, “looks like more rain ahead.” This song and dance went on for 15 minutes but he finally handed my license back in disgust, pointed to 80 kph on my dash, waved his finger at me and let me go. AMF! I continued rolling south but soon I had to back way off the pace, not because of my lecture from Barney Fife, but because the rain started to mix with pea size hail. Luckily there was a gas station after a few miles so I pulled in to wait out the worst of it.

Continuing on a ran into another hail storm but there was not shelter in sight so I just ducked my head and soldiered on. Eventually the hail and even the rain stopped and I rolled into Oruro around 4:30 in the afternoon. I found a room with secure parking at the Hotel Grand Sucre which must have been a swinging joint back in Oruro’s heyday. I quickly showered and went out for dinner before calling it a day. Tomorrow it’s on to Potosi…

4 Responses to Day 186 – La Paz, BO to Oruro, BO

  1. Arlene says:

    Lenny, the cops are just too much and you are unbelievable to get away with going 120 miles per hour. Now you had two warnings and I hope you don’t get a third. The photos were amazing and looked like you really had a good time. That was the way to do it!!!!

    Melinda, I need your help to tell Lenny not to drive so fast please. Come on moms, don’t encourage this speeding please.

    All kidding aside. Lenny, please be safe and well. Love ya, Mom

    • Lenny says:

      You’ll be glad to know that my loaded KLR can only do around 85 MPH with a tailwind! Speeds in South America are in kilometers per hour, so 120 KPH is only around 75 MPH….so no need to worry! Lol 🙂

  2. Melinda says:

    Please.. please..please …. slow down. You’re no longer in NY. 🙂 I wouldn’t want Chad to drive that fast and I hope you won’t drive that fast any more either. Take your time and e n j o y the journey.

    Stay safe and ride with your Mom on one shoulder and another angel on the other.


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