Julie has a (mother of all) toothache and has had it for a few days. She can't sleep due to the pain and of course its a holiday weekend. Luckily the owners of the campsite know people and got one to open so she's been checked out and the "Dr." says its an infection. So we have some horse tablets and some bigger pain killers. I was dosing her with Ibuprofen, Paracetamol and Amoxcillin which as it turns out is right on the money. I guessed the infection was not cavity but for some reason the Doc want to drill for oil on Tuesday. She's currently trying to get some sleep. We've "borrowed" some Valium off the owner for tonight. So, we are here for another few days at least. Its a nice little place and we have it all to ourselves so its no bad thing. We can walk into town as its very near. Julies off the drink due to both drugs and especially the Valium.
You can see from the photos that my repair of Julies hand went well....I doubt it will leave much of a scar after the pink goes.
We met our first overlanders for ages in Uyuni and theres a photo of their self built truck below. Pretty amazing what you can do with an old army flat bed Iveco.
We went and messed around on the salt flats. We got Matilda a bit salty so she needed a wash. The pressure washer from hell managed to soak inside and blow a hole in my exhaust. We will be getting this welded again tomorrow.
Tonight we stay at a campsite in Sucre which is basically someones front garden but they don't live here anymore so we have the place to ourselves. If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Sucre this is the place and the pin is on out map for today.
Since my last post we've stayed in an Hotel....Again ! and had a feeble attempt by the police at a bribe of 5BOL.....about 50p. I've given up on arguing and we just drive off. In fact I just drive off at the slightest bit of lunacy at checkpoints. If they want to follow and stop us then they can learn to speak English ! They look at my fake driving licence like they know what it is, which they don't. They then usually asking for something else like the vehicle documents which they also don't know how to read or what it should look like. I Just drive off if given half a chance.
We had some fun at the Salt Flats.....a must see. Seen one seen them all is almost the rule but this one is more fun. Its ashame you can see the mountains at the edge, otherwise it would look bigger. You can drive anywhere but we'd not recommend it....some places are wet and soft.
Julie drove 58km.....its pretty hard seeing where you are going and seriously unless you have a GPS you'd be lost in a second. You don't drive in a straight line unless you REALLY try hard. You think you're pulling right and you're not....the GPS trace shows whats really happening. It would be so easy to get seriously in trouble even following the tracks.
There we were driving round town in Tarija and a policeman jumps out and asks for the driving licence of the "conductor" (driver in English). He's at Julies side of the car as always. I hand my licence to Julie and she hands it to him. He then asks for Julies licence not mine and is rather insistant and looks like he's becoming a bit angry. We are both confused, he wants Julies licence!
Julie points at the dash and the lack of steering wheel. He's still not getting it.....I then say in Spanish that I'm the "conductor" and bang on the wheel. So now he's on the same page....he tells us to be on our way.....red faced. He probably stopped us when he saw Julie not driving safely....probably fiddling with the sat-nav. Since she wasn't driving in the first place I think he must have felt like a right numpty.
The police arn't the most observant here....it normallly takes them at least a minute to realise they are on the wrong side of the car. Julies frantic waving in the free space inbetween her and the windscreen does little to encourage them to actually look at who we are and what we are driving. Only once in Paraguay have they come directly to my side of the car and this was in an attempt to say we were illegally driving. We had all the paperwork.....now go away Mr. Policeman.
Some Photos...We do sleep in the weirdest places under a bridge.
Korean food....Bolivian Style.
My overheating Engine. Yes that Celsius on the manifold
So there we were.....surrounded. Six of them.....we were in trouble....They pulled up in there car and lept out.....We'd only just woken and I was still half asleep. We were sleeping in a petrol station....oh golly.....
But we wern't that worried as they are Jehovah Witnesses. I got my copy of Awake in English and turned down Watchtower. Strangely its mostly about Immigration so someone must have known I was getting it....Apologies we cannot remember all their names. I can't remember any as I rely on Julie for that !
All of them are German (I think) or most of them are German. Anyhow we had a long chat and got moving on the terrible road to the Bolivian border. We enjoyed Paraguay for the few days we were there. People were nice and the Bolivian's are heading in the same direction.
We had lunch in a street cafe today and everything is fine so far with everyone we met. There are way to many check points near the border though. We missed The Bolivian Customs and had to go back 8km....no big problem. Second time we missed the gate so to speak on the trip. There might be more. We also met some English Backpackers in town looking for a cash machine. Its not working due to "communications error", we tried it but don't thing they found it on foot.
Tonight we are staying in a Hotel....After I repaired the shower as it was just catching fire due to wiring (as always). A reader of the blog will understand this as he got electrocuted. We had a shower after I crimped the wiring. Julie stood by the switch as always (after the advice from the electrocuted traveller). I cut my hair and had a shave. We charged the drill batteries finally !!!!! Bolivia is 240v thankfully.
Matilda has a new clunk and it maybe brakes. We shall see when we get to the long descent on the road of death....fingers crossed.....(Mother is now worried and maybe father too)...I have faith in my mechanical skills otherwise i'd not have set off. Don't worry.
The tarmac road.....
Hair by a Guy called Neill....Wahl clippers at 240volts....Warp 9
The Gringo Mstash.....not allowed....
Our 500th day passed and we're leaving Brasil for the final time. We've met some nice people here of the last few days. It must be the area. They've looked after us well and we've had a party. Thanks to the Bikers Hostel in Iguacu we are ready for the next part of our trip.
Did I mention we went to the dam...
Very loud and pretty big. They say its the biggest in the world....The China High Dam begs to differ.
We even got to go in to see the spinning whatsit.....VERY LOUD !!!
We are now in Paaguay and it was the longest border exit from Brasil ever. 2 hours or more. The lady was busy. She did apologise in English so we will let them off. Paraguay was difficult. You need to go up the hill to the right of the border gates. Go immediatly through and hang a right up to the car park then into the office block. We were guided by a young lad tasked to get us to the correct office and they wanted to see the Brasil exit paperwork!
Julie was washing up....next think I hear screaming. Pools of blood. Quite a bit actully.
She's in shock (and now in bed) and has a big cut on her thumb. A pretty deep and long cut from a broken glass. Its pulled together with a closure strip and taped and covered. I now wish I'd paid a fortune for the closure glue.....it will be fine however without.
Really it needs a a stitch but she'd never let me do that in a million years !!!!
No photos (yet!)
Here we are in Foz do Iguacu Motorcyles Travellers Hostel. We are meant to be resting but we've been the see the falls (Argentina Side) and yes its better than Victoria Falls. The views are much better and its just better to look at. You don't get as wet which is one downside as you don't "feel the falls".
Also we went out to Rodolfo's (sort of manager of the place) parents house to meet them and have a coffee. On the way back my headlight were not working. So this started as few days of diagnostics. Found three separate problems !!!
They are all fixed or patched. Risk of fire....moderate...
At the biker place we met Phil, Werner and Claudia who we'd met in Ushuaia. Werner and Claudia are well known on the Hubb and "Slowphil" has also been around a bit. We shall see Phil again in Canada as he's going home next week having used all his wifes "travelling allowance".
Sorry for not blogging but Matilda is in pieces as the headlights have packed up. The dash is off and so is the steering wheel. I've got them partially working but we can't go anywhere until she's fixed as no doubt the first police checkpoint will check the lights. Will certainly try to get some photos uploaded later.
Resting (RESTING !!! YAY !!!!) at Iguazu Falls on the Brasil side. We're at a bikers hostel where we met some guys we met in Ushuaia. I'll do a proper blog post in a day or two with some photos. I've replced my stickers at the local print place and got some stickers made like our business cards. These will be plastered all over the world in toilets and the like.....
Question is should I replace all the stickers on the back door.....????
I might get a world map done...
Not much to report as all we do it drive....
We're on our way to the Falls at Iguacu and according to the web theres an overland biker camp or something like that. This is what we are pinning our hopes on. We also are pinning them on the weather being good and a supermarket close by that sells alcohol !
BTW we are in a Mcdonalds. We have had a burger and as always wish we hadn't. It was just the Burger ("solo" as they say here). Why can't Mcdonalds get the burgers anywhere near as nice as Burger King.....maybe its the high percentage of horse meat....you see we are sort of following the UK news !
We've received a few messages via Sat Phone now and a follow up mail from the pioneer. Normally its Dad who sends messages to the phone with usefull info on where we can get free Wi-Fi. This time the advice was good but we're not in the correct town as Dad suggested. Unlocked Mcdonalds Wi-Fi at its best and a Burger at its worst.....well almost. The world record for that was the one we had at 2am in Rio on the road back from the Samba-drome. Now that wasn't beef for sure. I'm not even sure the meat was from an animal.
Matilda needs and oil change tomorrow. Coke bottles saved up to get rid of it and thanks to Mike we have and easy time with the "DrainPlug" adapter he suggested we buy before setting off. No hot oil down my arm! As Mike will remember you must remember to bring the pipe and disconnect it again when refilling ! Two mistakes on two separate occasions and a pool of oil on his drive for the latter....
I just wish he'd advised me to buy a Land Cruiser......only kidding.
Anyhow once we've been to the falls its North for us all the way. Not sure there are any more Southern detours we need to do. Its all North I think. We will be skipping through Paraguay and then eventaully to the tourist mecca's in Peru.
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