Kelowna man stuck in Bolivia after borders close

Local man stuck in Bolivia

A Kelowna man who rode his motorcycle to South America now finds himself stuck in Bolivia, after many South American countries closed their borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert Gaspari left Kelowna on his motorcycle in November, making it down to the southern tip of the continent. He's now on his way back home, but he's been forced to stop, after Bolivia closed its borders to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

He said he's spoken with the Canadian consulate, who told him there may be a flight back to Canada out of Lima, Peru in the coming days, but that doesn't help him.

“For me, it's only a day's drive but all the borders are closed, everywhere. Argentina, Chile, Brazil, everywhere around here,” he said from Uyuni, Bolivia, where he's staying in a hostel.

For now, he plans to sit tight for a few weeks, while he works on his Spanish.

He says his family back in Kelowna is “a little beside themselves right now,” but he's trying to stay positive.

“I'm healthy, I'm in a safe place, I'm in a small town, there's about 20,000 people, the weather's great, the food is fantastic,” Gaspari said.

As for his health, he says he feels fine, and he's been recently checked by authorities at two roadblocks and given the all clear.

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