Death defying madness

Coroico Travel Blog

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Pretty good scenery...

We managed to keep ourselves in a sober state to attempt the madness of mountain biking down the World's Most Dangerous Road.  It was given that tag in 1995 by the Inter American Development Bank, because over 300 a year used to die driving down it.  Today, a new road has replaced it, so the dirt track is used almost exclusively by tourists on mountain bikes.

We set off from La Paz at about 8am with Xtreme Downhill (www.xtreme-downhill.com) and after about an hour or so we were at La Cumbra, the starting point for the ride at about 4,700m.  It was pretty nippy so me, Abby, Stan, Leo, Angus, Izzy & Steve layered up and put on our protective gear - knee pads, elbow pads and a full motocross helmet!  Our bikes were pretty good with hydraulic back brakes, so I felt quite comfortable.

  We set off on the first 22km stretch which was a normal tarmac road.  I was getting some decent speed up and having a good time and that first bit just flew by.  After some snacks, we had to jump back in the van to go through a police check-point and half an hour later we were back unloading the bikes in some light drizzle and pretty crap visability - the next bit would be a bit more challenging!

The remaining two-thirds of the ride were on the actual Death Road and it was all dirt track.  We took it steady to begin with, but as my confidence grew, I was following the guide's pace pretty closely.  It gets really narrow in places and you could see why all those buses, cars and lorries used to plummet off the side.  But even tourists still die - we saw a plaque made out for an Israeli girl who died in 2001 at the age 24...a pretty sobering stop for us.  We carried on through mini-waterfalls and eventually decended to about 1200m - the scenery was stunning as the valley went on for miles and miles.  About 4 hours after we started we all made it to Coroico unscathed, just hot and sweaty.  Luckily, our tour included a stop at a hotel for a buffet lunch and a couple of hours in their swimming pool - a great way to round of surviving Bolivia's most notoriuos road.  And of course, we celebrated later with a few cold Huanis...

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Pretty good scenery...
Pretty good scenery...
With our t-shirts!!
With our t-shirts!!
Relaxing in the pool!
Relaxing in the pool!
Coroico
photo by: Belluomo