Worlds Most Dangerous Road... on a bike...SMASH!!!
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
After what seemed like 10 minutes but in actual fact was more like 45 we arrived at the starting point where we got kitted up in our biker outfits - essentially pants, jacket, helmet, gloves, what looked like me to be a snood and a safety vest. We were then given our bikes and the panic really started to set in - the words gears was mentioned - shit my last bike had a bell where those things now were. Anyway the guides explained lots of things to us about the bikes and the road but to be honest I don't really remember much of it as I was now in full on panic mode and scolding Andrew for ever making me agree to do this bloody thing. The bits I do remember were 3.2m wide, no barrier, no record of how many actual deaths there have been of cyclists (maybe 14) but cars and van deaths were well in to the 100's, in fact in just one accident over 100 people were killed when a bus went over the edge. I was having a cold sweat. We blessed Mother Earth with some pure alcohol, poured it on the ground, then on our wheels and then took a sip - Wow it was like parafin. But it calmed the nerves a little.
The first section of the road started at La Cumbre (4,700m/15,400 feet) and was tarmac so allowed us to get used to the bikes, ha. There were a lot of bends and it was all down hill which was surprisingly Ok and I wasn't even the last to arrive at the drug check point (?)
Again this part was in sections which was great and Andrew got in to his stride and sped off so he could get photographs of me as I rode passed some 20 minutes later (bit of an exaggeration)
Most of the animals have been taken off individuals who illegally have them - the bear was resued from some kind of shop. They have tortoises, birds, snakes, cayman, but our favorite by far were the monkeys. The sanctuary has Spider monkeys, Capuchin Monkeys and Red Howler Monkeys. We were introduced to Nico a Capuchin monkey who was in the 'Naughty Enclosure' and he looked very coy. The volunteers decided to let him out and after a while (andrew edit which included the theft of a hair bobble, biting somebodies camera and trying to steal it and stealing someones hostel wrist band), after grabbing my boob with his hand down my top, he decided to make my knee his home and promptly went to sleep! I even had to wake him up to leave. Andrew even got a cuddle from a Spider monkey which took a shine to his beard (check out the video). The journey back to La Paz (driving in the bus along Death Road) took 3 1/2 hours by which stage my arse had started to hurt and the bus was slightly uncomfortable - god even my hands ached. Cody then told us that there had been 3 'incidents' that week and one man should have died (andrew edit he actually went over the edge but managed to grab a tree part way down the drop) - he was rescued by a guide abseiling down the rock face. I felt fortunate. We fell in to bed back at the hostel - I was glad that I had survived it and enjoyed it (even just a little bit).
I'd been there, done that and got the t-shirt.