The boys woke up to a rather cold Day with temperature around 13 degrees C and set off on a beautiful drive along the shores of Lake Titicaca and around 40 km later they had to use a ferry to gross the lake and get onto the road to La Paz the Capital of Peru.
Soon they were driving on a nice highway and Lipstick opened up full throttle – something not seen in days during the windy ups and downs in the Andean mountains. They were cruising most of the times at an altitude of 3700m above sea-level.
Driving at high speed of course has its price and shortly before reaching the outer suburbs a BolivianCarabineer with the broadest of all smiles wielded his speed camera like a pistol showing team Lipstick that a speed of 122 km/h simply is not on when in an 80km/h zone.
Entering the negotiation part of such a stop the Traffic officer made his opening bid in very broken English and told the boys that they must accompany him to a police station some 40 km back from where they come from. The guys obviously countered in that they believe the 80-zone meant 80 miles per hour and that it would be very good for Bolivian’s tourism industry if any attack on their monetary funds could be waived.
After much here and there the Traffic Gaucho asked the boys to join his partner in a small hut to make a final offer and it was then agreed that a win win situation should be achieved in that Team Lipstick would save time and money by not going back 40 kmin order to pay an unavoidable fine and the 2 Carabineers would hesitantly accept some American greenbacks in return for such a great gesture.
So, Team Lipstick opened their Dollar purse and handed a note over to these highway robbers, shook hands with them and were back on the road again.
The traffic got very dense around La Paz …
La Paz, in Bolivia, is the highest administrative capital in the world, resting on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau at more than 3,500m above sea level. It stretches to El Alto city in the highlands, with snow-capped, 6,438m-high Mt. Illimani as its backdrop
After turning South towards another major City called Oruro and fthe boys ound themselves again on another highway where they drove for another 3 hours before turning off to Uyuni and the great salt lakes of Bolivia.
Uyuni primarily serves as a gateway for tourists visiting the world’s largest salt flats, the nearby Uyuni salt flat. Each year the town receives approximately 60,000 visitors from around the globe. The city also acts as a gateway for commerce and traffic crossing into and out of Bolivia from and to Chile, and there is a customs and immigration post downtown.
A few years back this was meant to drive on a gravel road as reported by previous overlanders but fortunately for Team Lipstick they found themselves on a brand-new tar road which again made driving very easy.
Despite the cold weather conditions the boys also felt some sort of dizziness which was caused by the very thin air whilst cruising for hours at 3700m above sea level.
On arrival at the B & B they were astonished by groups of Chinese tourists which obviously have flown in to Uyuni to visit the biggest Salt Lake in the world.