Death Road Survivors!

Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
Trip End Jan 01, 2009

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One of the main attractions for travellers visiting Bolivia is the famous 65km long ¨Death Road¨ starting near La Paz and dropping 3.5km in altitude into the Bolivian Jungle.  In 2008, 16 people have already died while biking down the road and more than 300 while driving,  giving legitamcy to the name.

Even though we were staying at a hostel owned by the most famous death road tour agency, Gravity Assisted Mountiain Biking, we decided to go with another company with great reviews and a much cheaper rate (B-Side).  In the office we opted out of the extra pants, googles, and gloves.  In addition we decided to make the trip the start of our descent into the Bolivian jungle and therefore would not return with the group to La Paz, instead staying in the chilled-out mountain town of Coroico before catching a bus 15 hours further into the Amazon Basin.

Up at 6:30am to check-out and arrive at the bike company for the trip.  We were joined on the tour with 2 Poles (Polish) from the Huyana Potosi trip.  The tour bus climbed 2000m for the start of our trip....

¨Side Note:  Mountain Biking is very dangerous, much more deangerous than sports like Rugby so we were a bit concerned about dropping the Worlds Most Dangerous Road on 2 wheels...many people retire on this same road so we were sure to be extra careful the entire time! - Arik

At the top our guide took some pictures and gave a briefeing on what to expect for the ride.  All the equipment with B-Side was very good quality.  At 4700M is was snowing and very cold.  

The descent started with paved road in the freezing rain...we regretted not paying the $4 for the pants 5 mins into the trip.

After crossing a few drug check-points (this is a major Coca growing region) we verred off of the paved road and onto the start of the Death Road.  100m - 400m drops made every action and reaction very important.  At times we were speeding around corners or splashing through waterfalls and creeks.  The scenery was amazing.

5 hours later and 3.5km lower in altitude, we reached the bottom of the valley and the end to our ride - ALIVE!  We had a stop at a beautiful hotel for lunch and to clean up.  Our guide dropped us off at the Coroico town centre so we could find a place to stay before another night bus into the jungle.

The ride was really cool and actually made us think about getting into mountain biking when back in Canada.  The one Polish guy talked constantly about wanting to move to Canada for the great mountain biking.  The only thing that worries us is the danger...  :)
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