However, our trip was brightened by a colourful parade of children, villagers in traditional costume and wild horses, pigs and geese.
Around one corner, we were confronted with a narrow road that looked like Bolivia’s “Death Road” and a massive truck taking up all but 1m on the cliff-edge side.
He stopped and beckoned us forward and I shook my head. But he laughed and insisted, so I gunned it and we made it through.
By now Mrs MBW was resigned to the dangers and numb to the pounding pain. At least the muddy conditions weren’t slippery with my pillion adding rear-wheel traction.
Over the intercom she kept asking for a countdown of how far to the destination and after about 50km of the most challenging road we’ve ridden together, we finally caught up with Mike Ferris, just 1km short of blessed concrete road.
The 180km trips took about eight hours and in that time we were converted to the challenging pleasures of this raw and exciting country.
Those shiny shoes are going to need another polish!