The worlds most dangerous road...
Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
47Trip End Sep 01, 2011
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The North Yungas Road (alternatively known as Grove's Road, Coroico Road, Camino de las Yungas, El Camino de la Muerte, Road of Death or Death Road) is a 69-kilometer road from from La Paz to Coroico, 56 kilometres northeast of La Paz in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It is legendary for its extreme danger and in 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the "world's most dangerous road" because of the extreme dropoffs of at least 600 metres (2,000 ft), single-lane width – most of the road no wider than 3.2 metres (10 ft) and lack of guard rails, as well as it has been estimated that 200 to 300 travelers were killed yearly along the road.
The road includes crosses marking many of the spots where vehicles have fallen
Got to the cafe where we were meeting the group early so i could have some breakfast and was pleasantly surprised to bump into Amelia (another Aussie that we'd met in Potosi).
There was 14 in our group along with our driver and 2 guides. One guide was a Bolivian and a downhill champion, the other was an American who was also into extream sports. Both guides were qualified search & rescue/first aids.
We jumped on the bus and set off. It took about an hourish to get to the first stop where we were given our bikes, helmet, gloves, high-vis vests, wind proof clothes (if needed) and then the safety lesson began.
The first 22kms of the ride is on a paved road which allowed us to get used to the feel of the bikes, the breaks as well as riding on the wrong side of the road. The guides stop regularly to keep the group together, make sure that everyone is still with us and to exp the conditions in the next section.
The next section was where the challenge actually began, unmade, dirt road with no guardrails and the sheer drop on one side.
Our guide exp that on the road is the only play in Boliva where the drivers drive on the left side of the road. This enables them to better see where the road ends and on coming traffic.
Death Road is by far the best, most exhilarating experience of my life and would highly recommend it to anyone!
When we at last arrived safely at the bottom we were taken to an exotic animal refuge (for black market and abused pets) where we could shower, eat and then see blue and gold macaws, toucans and have monkeys climb all over us.
The refuge really was an awesome place, so beautiful and we all could have spent hours playing with the monkeys and just watching them do their thing.
On the way back we drove back up the road (hard to fully appreciate the view when your busy concentrating on staying on the road!) our guide pointed out features of the road and also all the crosses and stories where people have gone over the cliffs.
So far 17 tourists have died cycling the road and the latest was in April of this year.