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The adventure week!

Bolivia | Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | 9 photos

Last week was full of emotions: we survived the death road!!! ;-) and we survived the mosquitos and the humidity of the Amazon rainforest.
1. Death Road: it's an old dirt road that goes from 4640m-15223ft to 1295m-4248ft. This road was so dangerous to vehicles that they closed it and opened a new safer road - in the good old days 300-400 people died every year. Crosses dot the road every few feet. Most of the accidents were due to big trucks and buses going to fast in wet conditions and trying to pass each other - it's very narrow and drops like a sheer cliff so no room for error. The old road is called the death road and is used now as a tourist attraction. Tourists bike down hill the death road in one day (64 km-39miles).
Here is a link that explains it better: http://www.wsj.com/articles/bicyclists-defy-bolivias-death-road-1430127002

So we survived and are here to write about it!!! :-) Wish I could say the same for some of the people in our group. Alas, God bless them. They signed the health/death waiver so nothing their poor families can do. No just joking! ;-) Nobody has died in like ... several months now. it's a great experience; you go from the cold mountains to the hot humid rainforest. People from all ages do it. At some point it started to rain so it being slippery made it a bit more stressful. Scenery changes all the way downhill through multiple different climate zones. The road is often very narrow with the cliff right there and very few guardrails, that's why there was so many accidents. It's also very bumpy with all the rocks and holes but we had good bikes with double suspensions so we weren't too sore the next day.

2. Amazon rainforest: we then flew to the Amazon rainforest in the Madidi National Park. It was only a 30 min flight compared to a 18h bus ride when everything goes well or 30h when it's rainy. We met people who took the bus and they said they couldn't sleep because the road was so bumpy.
We did a 3 day excursion in the rainforest. We stayed in an ecolodge in the middle of the rainforest with 2hrs of electricity every night and of course no wifi or hot water. The stay was very basic. The 2 nights we slept there were a bit scary with all the strange jungle noises. It was a very interesting experience to live in those conditions. We saw monkeys, toucans, caymans, poisonous snakes, and pink dolphins. Kurt swam with the dolphins but I didn't because I was afraid to swim in the brown water. :-( Our transportation was a pirogue like in one of those survival TV shows! ;-) Shows like River monster, Naked and afraid, etc.
We then flew back again to la Paz (there was a landslide anyways so buses were blocked for at least 4-5 days) with another airplane company that was a real joke (over 1h late, the pilot helped the airline stewards rush us in because I think he wanted to get home for dinner, no lights in the airplane, etc. ) but we survived. ;-) going back to la Paz felt like going back home, weird to say that I know. At least no crazy mosquitos and no gross hot humid weather.

Tonight we're taking an overnight bus to Sucre. I am updating the blog just now because we had no wifi for about a week. We are actually in a great Italian gelato place in La Paz with wifi.

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