Tales from the road

Sand, shovels and adrenaline.


Did I ever mention that I am stupid and naive? I think I did, but, I have proved it again.

There is a road going from Paraguay to Bolivia (and visa versa) which is called the Chaco-road. Why it is called that way I don’t know. Not the Chaco part, that I understand, but the road part. Road? What ever you call it, trail, track, path, hell, but road? No, that does not fit the definition.

It started all nicely. It always does. I checked the weather-forecast, and had a three day dry period in front of me. Enough to make it. After all, it’s only 1.000 km. Starting from Asuncion it is a nice tarmac-road. Wide and smooth. There I was, remembering all the descriptions out of travel-guides. They talked about quick-sand if it rained, mud-pools, sandy tracks with big holes. Again ‘Lonely Planet’ is out of date” I thought. And is was, but for a different treason.

At the customs-check (300 km before the border) I enquired about fuel. No problem the customs-officer told me, a 150 km from here was an other fuel-station. At that point there was also a better road to Bolivia, just in case I changed my mind.


So, the sun was shining, there was plenty of fuel, and an easy way out if I changed my mind. What could go wrong?

Five minutes later the sky turned grey. No worries I thought, the forecast had said, clouded but dry, at least for another two days.

So, five minutes later it started to rain. Ahhh well, At least I am riding on solid tarmac, so who cares if it rains a bit. It will stop raining when I reach the dirt-road.

Thus, five minutes later the tarmac stopped, and turned to red, slippery mud. Hmmmm, this was not nice. What else could go wrong?