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Curitiba-second10With two useless shocks, leaking fork seals, broken swingarm bearings, and a leaky transmission; the possibilities of going further into Brazil was growing dim, but you just have to keep fixing and rolling. After a few visits to different shops with Renato, we finally located the bearings and the oil seal. The problem was that we couldn’t find the right bearings as the original bearings had built-in rubber dust caps and the ones we found didn’t. Since Renato taught a machining course at the Curitiba …read the rest and see the pictures.

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Curitiba14I know I’ve been away for an eternity but I’ll try to catch-up with the back stories as best as I can. My laptop took its last breath and finally gave up and left me hanging. I ordered the best mobile workstation I could find which took over a month to build and 40 days to ship down to South America. Now that I have no excuses, here is the rest of the story.

After the ignition switch repair, it was time to pack up and leave the beautiful Florianópolis but …read the rest and see the pictures.

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The weather stayed cold and we kept riding through small mountains towards the coast. It was crucial to stop every half hour to drink some Mate to warm up our bodies and we nibbled on local salami every time my right hand wasn’t twisting the throttle. Brazilian salami is a bit different from Argentine or Italian salami. They don’t use garlic or peppercorn in the mix hence it’s milder. For the brine, they use their local wines and that tends to make it a bit sweeter too but they are delicious nevertheless. …read the rest and see the pictures.

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Once out of Bolivia, there was much work to be done. First the expedition funds were dwindling to oblivion so I had to design a few websites and write a couple of programs to get the ball rolling again. Then there were my troubling teeth which took a few painful visits to the dentist to dig, cut, dress and fill. Then it was the bike that needed a few maintenance such as beefing up the camera box, fixing a few leaks here and there, and a good tune-up – not counting the painstaking job of getting the Bolivian dust and mud out of every hole of the bike. …read the rest and see the pictures.

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The alarm clock went off at 6 am and I sprang up from the bed. It usually takes me a dozen snoozes to get rolling but leaving Bolivia was too exciting to sleep through. As I opened the door, I saw a thick cloud of smoke coming from the middle of the hotel (an open area between the rooms) from a bonfire only meters from my bike. With four 5-liter plastic jugs of gasoline strapped to my bike, the hotel staff decided to have an open fire right outside of our room at 6am to celebrate another bogus Bolivian ritual. …read the rest and see the pictures.

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April 17th, 2012 -  The Damned Bolivia – Part Five

As you can tell from the last four posts, I grew steadily more skeptical of finding a trace of hospitality in Bolivia, but as everything in life, we don’t evaluate the facts at hand and we always search for a better or more acceptable answer. To not believe the duck syndrome, we went deeper and deeper into Bolivia hoping to prove ourselves wrong.

When we arrived in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, …read the rest and see the pictures.

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April 13th, 2012 -  The Damned Bolivia – Part Four

Bolivian kidWe made it to Villamontes and after an early dinner of really bad chicken and rice, we found a lubricant shop to buy some gear oil. As I was coming to stop in front of the shop, my left arm went completely numb. I could neither move it nor hold it up, and an excruciating pain started to shoot up from my wrest. I pushed the kill switch and stopped the bike and got off holding my arm. Lourdes thought I was having a heart attack and was hysterical, …read the rest and see the pictures.

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