Riding down Bolivia's famed "Ruta de la Muerta " aka the "Death road" has a tick box beside it on most lists of those visiting Bolivia. So much so that well over a hundred of tourist rides down the road on mountain bikes on the daily.
I rode a turtle... and met lots of crabs.
There was much debate about which way to go leaving the Amazon. Completing the loop and returning to Quito via some hot springs was the initial plan.
Hindsight hurts. But sometimes it would really be nice to have some hindsight beforehand.
Crossing the Darien Gap isn't easy. There's no road, (I double checked) so you can't ride, thus the options are to fly or to sail. Flying costs about 700$ per bike, plus whatever it costs for you. There are many sailboats that take bikes, but they cost over 1000$. Each. To travel about 200 nautical miles.
"Do you have change for a twenty?" the man asked me in a distinct English accent as he emerged from the customs and immigration building on the small island of El Porvenir and spotted me sitting on the curb beside the path.
"I don't but I know someone who does. Come with me." I replied as I led him over the the tall, unbelievably hairy beast (also known as my brother) sitting under a tree writing in his journal.
The Pan American Highway stretches from the north of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina... almost. The road network ends twice, once in Panama at the notorious Darien jungle (aka Darien Gap), then once more at the true end in Ushuaia, Argentina. I really wanted to ride to the "first" end of the road.