Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Death Road

There´s a road here in Bolivia from La Paz called ¨El Camino de la Muerta¨ which basically means the road of death. It´s a bit outside the city and heads into the Bolivian jungle. The name comes from the fact that it has been dubbed the most dangerous road in the world by some public agency a couple of years ago. It´s basically almost all downhill and it includes dropoffs of about 600m off the side if you happen to be so unlucky and fall off.

At the top of the hill where the ride starts, there´s a sign that states that 43 people have died so far this year on the road. That´s quite a lot for a 2 lane mountain pass. haha

From La Paz, you can book a ride downhill on this road for 65km. I did this a couple of days ago and would have been completely fine except my back tire had 2 flats. When the 2nd flat happened, they decided to change bicycles for me temporarily until we reached a resting point to fix the flat tire on my bike. Well, I was stupid at that time and forgot that not every bike is the same, and so instead of learning to gauge the new brake system, I pulled on it on a turn hard like I needed to with the first bike and slid out. The rear tire went under my body and I ended up sliding on my right forearm for a couple of feet, which was enough to scrape up my arm pretty good. I´ll show you guys the picture on the next blog post when I upload it from my phone.

I had so much adrenaline pumping through me that the wound didn´t even hurt at first. There was a small flap of skin on my arm where it went in deeper but that´s about as bad as it gets. After we finished the trail down, I put some alcohol on the wound to clean it and that hurt like HELL. I almost had to scream as I applied the alcohol on myself.

Overall though, the ride was exhilarating and the view was amazing too. Sometimes the road got pretty darn narrow and there was fog blocking the view and so it felt pretty dangerous but of course I did it anyway, like always. I took some cool pictures and after I upload those I will display them on here, like always.

Because of my lack of planning on Bolivia, I didn´t even know this road existed until I got on the bus to La Paz and met Charlotte. She told me she was going to do this tour and so I basically joined her on the fun. It sounded somewhat dangerous, mildly expensive, and adrenaline filled so I couldn´t say no.

Something very funny happened about halfway down the hill. Charlotte somehow lost the nut and bolt that was holding her seat to the bike frame, and so her bike seat just fell off in the middle of the ride. To come down behind her and watch the staff picking up the seat and bar off the ground and looking for the missing screw was simply hilarious.

If you want to read a little bit about the road, you can click here.


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