The world´s most dangerous road
La Paz Travel Blog› entry 12 of 34 › view all entries
The world´s highest capital city was a critical juncture on our journey. Ten people left and eight new ones joined. This makes for a few interesting days while new groups are formed, roommates are shuffled, and everyone feels each other out. I will miss a few of the recent departies most notably Lieutenant Dan (my former tent buddy) and Cormac who was formerly the eldest on the tour and got us started on hacking.
La Paz itself did not really impress me a whole lot. The thing I will remember the most is that they have very poor electrical systems. There were thousands of seemingly random wires strung across every street. In one of the many markets that we strolled through there was a metal stairway railing that was fully charged to 120V which gave us a little surprise.
The best part about La Paz was it´s close proximity to the worlds most dangerous road. This stretch of steep winding road that drops from 4500 meters to 1700 meters in 67 km claims the lives of about 300 people a year in motor vehicle accidents. It has become a popular tourist activity to ride a mountain bike down it. Ten of us from the tour took on the challenge. I was a little nervous about it since I had not been on a bike for over five years.
The day started poorly, the girls forgot about the time change and were a half hour late, the bus broke down costing another hour and a half, Mike had to stop and puke, and we got stuck in traffic for better than a half an hour.
Three hours of fun later we reached the bottom. We had a nice buffet meal and beer while we watched the monkeys, parrots, snakes and other domesticated critters scurry around the tropical resort. We were warned not to get to close to the monkeys that were tied up because they were pick pockets in training. Even though this was a relatively expensive side trip at $75 USD I give it highly recommended. It was the best day I have had so far after Machu Picchu.