Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Death Road - Part One

We returned to Samaipata amd took a bus to La Paz, the capital city of Bolivia. It is a beautiful place with plenty of tourism things to do. Except that we had no intentions of finding out what those were. Eric and I had only one thing on the agenda, to tackle the famous death road on mountian bikes. We said our goodbyes to Sanne and Arjan, and signed up at a local hostel for the trip that would drop us on a 70 km ride descending from 4633 meters above sea level downward over 3300 meters to the small town of Coroico.

The road itself was used for years as the primary route between La Paz and Coroico winding and twisting through steep jagged mountains on a muddy, narrow, single lane road. It´s name was rightly deserved. Numerous buses, cars and bikes have slipped off the side of it plumetting over a 1000 meters to the rocky bottom. Not four days before we arrived an American died when he lost control of his bike and went off the edge.

Now the old road exists as a tourist mountain biking adrenaline destination. A new paved road has replaced it as a commercial truck route, to our disapointment, but a few cars and tourist company caravans can still be found driving it. We couldn´t wait to begin.

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