I'm not sure if you have heard about the Most Dangerous Road in the World. This sounds silly because how do you know is the most dangerous? Are there many accidents? Did a lot of people died there? To be honest, so far, I never seen more dangerous roads then Nepal's. The kind of road that is so tiny that you wonder how is it possible 2 cars passing thru at the same time? Or the ones with many deep holes. Or worse, that ones you look thru the window and you think "We are going to fall anytime" Then you close your eyes, you take 3 deep breathes and start thinking about something else. It's an adventure riding buses in Nepal my friends, but so worth it!
But today I'm not here to talk about Nepal. I still have a bunch of South America stories and tips to tell you about. During our trip I didn't hear anything about The Death Road close to La Paz, Bolivia. One day I was bored in a boat trip and asked a backpacker his Bolivia Travel Book. I found out there was a road from La Cumbre until Coroico that we couldn't miss, because of the high green mountains and beautiful scenery. I kept that in mind.
To be honest, I thought La Paz would be a cooler city since so many travellers said such awesome things about the place... In fact, I wasn't impressed. There are a lot of Travel Agencies there and I could see big posters outside with pictures of the death road and this idea came out again. I discovered that you can't go there by yourself so you have to book a tour and this tour includes a bike :) We took a morning just to look at prices and we didn't find anything cheaper then 40 dollars. We thought was insane spend all that amount of money just to cycle in a beautiful place. By this time we had no idea how wonderful would be this experience. We were so excited that we said to eachother "F#ck, let's do it!".
The lady we booked our tour tried to made us choose a better bike because it was really dangerous and there were rumors every year there are about 300 deaths. So, let me explain to you: The price of each tour depends on the bike quality you choose, it could go from 40 dollars until 100 dollars. We didn't care and picked the cheapest thing.
I guess what really made us book this tour was the great stuff included: Breakfast (in the best coffee shop in town), snack, buffet lunch in an hotel, bike, all bike gear, a cd with our pictures during the tour, a t-shirt saying "Death Road Survivor", transportation (also, there was a van following us in the end all the time), going to the hotel swimming pool and an hot shower. We never take tours like this because it's luxury for us budget backpackers but who knows if we ever will come back?
We went by van to an altitude of 4700 metres (it was soooo cold, you could see snowy mountains) and would descend until 1100 metres to Bolivian Amazon Jungle with an extension of 64 kms total. The first part you cycle in the road, which is quite easy, the view is already speachless. We made a break every 10 minutes, checking if everyone was alright. The guides were super fun and made us feel comfortable with the feeling we are friends for a long time. One of the breaks we ate a great snack: egg sandwich + chocolate bar + banana + water + coca cola. We rode the van again, this time to go to the place we would start the real adventure. When I saw the small rocks in the pavement I couldn't believe... I really thought I was dead :) In the beginning I cycled super slow, I was afraid to go downhill out of the road, if you know what I mean. But after 10 minutes I got into it, Bruno passed me veryyy happy and I started enjoying myself.
Warning: It's an extreme adventure experience, so you if you don't like radical sports this activity is not for you. A Peruvian girl wanted to come with her boyfriend but she was afraid of biking downhill, so she participated in the whole tour in the van. I asked her if she was bored and she answered "Look around you, so wonderful, I'm enjoying the landscape, I'm glad I came!".
And so do I. It was one of the highlights of this trip for sure! And so much conditions. In the end we had to go a bit up but seriously you don't need to be all fit to attend the tour, I know it sounds crazy cycling 64 kms but actually you are mostly of the time (97%) going downhill and the bikes are super good with suspensions.
In the agency they gave us a small list of what to bring:
* 25 Bs, for Unduavi National Park Entrance
* Extra change of clothes and shoes
* Bathing Suit
* Sun Block and Insect repellent
* A lot of fun :)
Please guys, if you ever come to Bolivia promise me you'll book a tour to The Death Road, you will have so much fun, I guarantee ;) I'm so addicted now that I'm looking for other places to do same thing hehe
Have you experienced this tour? Or have you tried something similar before?