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Death Road

BOLIVIA | Thursday, 4 October 2007 | Views [3024]

Yes, Death Road. Doesn´t that sound nice...

And some how this morning I found myself being driven to the top of this road (the most dangerous road in the world) put on a mountain bike (oh, not any mountain bike... one that didn´t fit me and whose back tire was questionable) given a helmet (albeit the wrong size and broken) a pair of wind pants, a wind breaker, and gloves... and off I go, 5hours, 64km (40miles) and 3,600m vertical (thats over 11,800ft down) We started at 4,700m and ended at 1,100m. I´d have to say my favorite parts were where the guide would stop to point out where busses had plummeted off the road and killed all their passengers (this apparently happented multiple times, in 2003 killing 23 people) Of course this made me much less nervous.

Did I mention that mountain biking is one of the few things that really scares the crap out of me, honestly I´d rather jump out of a plane. So, really I have no idea how I ended up on this tour. And lucky me, I was with the group with a guide who spoke not a word of english, so I was having to figure out all his directions thru my limited knowledge of spanish, and translating the french the two swiss girls on the trip spoke. So between the 3 of us (none of us having an actual workin knowledge of spanish) we could almost decipher what exactly we were supposed to do. You know, nothing important, just the little things like "stay to the left, or you might get hit by a car" believe it or not staying the left is opposite of every impulse in your body, because the left is not the side next to the mountain... the left puts you between a car and a 2,000ft vertical drop off with no guard rail. Yeah, I asked the guide to repeate himslef a few times regarding this direction.

So, I havn´t mountain biked since I was 12 when my parents took me up the the top of Mammoth Mt. and told me to go. That ended in tears, haven´t mountain biked since. So why not push myself into the deep end and jsut see how it goes. I usually swim. And you know what? After about the first 15 or 20 miles, I started to get the hang of it... and I could see how people could enjoy it. Actually by the end, the gravel road and steep incline no longer bother me. I actually ended up having a blast. It didn´t hurt that the scenery was breath taking (even though the entire country of bolivia is on fire at the moment and shrouded in a thick hazy layer of smoke, but I´ll get to that later)

So, I didn´t die (no thanks to the equiptment or my guide) And I actually had a blast, I highly recommend people do this, if for no other reason than just checking out the view (I do reccomend not going with Bolivian Astrid Tours though) The town at the trip practically makes the whole the worth it. Coroico may be my favorite place in S. America at the moment... and thats not just because of the hot showers and pool. (but yeah, that probably has something to do with it) It really was adorible and I wish I could have spent more time there.

So, If anyone is visiting La Paz anytime soon... Death Road- Highly recommened. But find yourself a good company, good equiptment, and a guide who actually speaks your language.

Off to Rurrenabaque tomorrow... amazoning it up!

So there were some vertical drop offs

So there were some vertical drop offs

Tags: Adrenaline

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