Brian and Kyle opted to ride out of the city together with Frank and I, yet as we attempted to wheel the bikes out of the hostel, a parked police car blocked our way. We had since moved into the equally notorious Wild Rover, the manager of which did not take kindly to our predicament and a somewhat childish argument ensued between him and Brian. Frank and I squeezed our skinny bikes out with little problems but more of a team effort was required for Brian’s huge tour bike, yet eventually we were out and free from the clutches of La Paz.

With the city once again sprawling below us we parted ways with our new friends and left them to follow that wretched road South while we happily headed East towards lake Titicaca and the Peruvian border. A few uses of the SAG NAV system later (Stop, Ask, Go), plus some shrewd dealings at the petrol pumps where petrol is seldom actually available, and soon enough Lake Titicaca appeared below us. Fantastic winding roads led us around the edges of the lake providing stunning views of its tranquil waters and glistening surface.

Looking down on lake Titicaca

Eventually we came to a point where we had to cross the lake and with no other options apart from our bikes suddenly developing the ability to swim, we had to take the ferry. Really just a rickety wooden barge with a few planks to squeeze the bikes on and an unhealthy sounding outboard, the ferry got us across inexpensively and quickly. It was a great chance to spy Bolivia’s somewhat pointless Navy and Marine corps training on the lake, defending the land locked country from, well, Peru I s’pose.

Our ferry across the lake

Not long after that we were pulling into Copacabana. Unlike its Brazilian namesake Copacabana was a quiet, sleepy place on the banks of lake Titicaca where the restaurants served only Titicaca Trout and its population seemed to be in hiding. Sleepy though it was it became a great place to relax after a full on week in La Paz and the place was soothing to the soul. On a downside, after a sunset walk I returned to the room to find Frank breathing heavily on the floor beside his bed. What I had thought to be either a spontaneous press-up session or a furious wank turned out to be the tail end of an epileptic. Some water and a long rest got Frank back on his feet but it had certainly heightened my concerned for him.

a peaceful place to chill

With the Bolivia/Peru border just 8Km’s away we managed to beat the tourist busses and get to the front of the que. Something told us that the border crossing was not going to go as smoothly as the last, we were right. The lack of one item of paperwork that the fat guy back in San Pedro should have given us seriously confused a new fat guy who spent well over an hour looking through our documents until shrugging his shoulders and waving us on.

Frank and Larry, always in deep thought together

We weaved through some kind of festival taking place between the two border posts and pulled up outside the Peruvian immigration. Firstly with the transit authority, usually a simple step as our paperwork was all up to scratch. But as we watched this guy (also fat) shake his head and mutter “no, no, no” we knew what was in store for us. Some pointless exchanges preceded the suggestion of an inevitable “otre solution” from the official. The bribe ended up being just 50 soles (around £12) each and it certainly lifted his spirits, changing the man into our very own tour guide, suggesting sites to check out whilst we were in Peru.

Next up was the police, another mandatory stop to check in with them. The two cops faces lit up as they saw our gringo faces walk through the door and we could almost see the dollar signs in their eyes. This time, without a leg to stand on, me without motorcycle on my licence and Frank with no licence at all aside from what we could photoshop, a bribe was the easy way out. Bartered down another 50 soles each for our freedom and many a high five from our new bought and paid for friends. We rode on, lighter in pocket but richer in new chums, into Peru.

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