Deathroad

Trip Start Feb 21, 2012
1
51
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Trip End Sep 20, 2012


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, August 26, 2012

La Paz is nice enough. Not one of my favourite cities but it kept us entertained for a couple of days. There are markets everywhere you go, so we spent most of our time shopping - some warm lama wool jumpers and we even managed to organize some early Christmas presents. We are on a roll this year.

Luckily we were already acclimatized to high altitudes so La Paz, which is 3600 metres high didn't do us much harm. Although walking up the steep streets still got our hearts pumping. Also weatherwise we were lucky, the sun stayed with us for the first days so we didn't even need our new warm jumpers. When then clouds took over the sky we were ready for our next challenge...

We had flown through clouds before, walked through them, rode through them, so now it was time to bike through them. And what better opportunity is there for a nice bike ride than the DEATHROAD! Five hours, 65 km, we clung on to the last thread of life while cycling close to the vertical 30-50 metre cliff edges. Well, it wasn't really that dramatic. Although I was nervous at first, the road wasn't as narrow as I expected and hugging the safe side of the mountain I even felt comfortable picking up some speed half way down.

We had a very good group to ride with, seven people, who all started and finished together. There were no silly boys who thought they needed to help maintain the road's name. Generally I felt that the gravel road was far less dangerous than I had expected. It seemed as if it was only dangerous for cars when they had to overtake each other and then come too close to the edge. However, when we arrived back at the agency I was told otherwise. On the wall we found a picture of a young man named Theodore and a final letter from his parents. Theodore had died cycling the Deathroad in 2009.He wasn't even being wreckless, but passed out for a few seconds due to the drastic change in altitude (from start to finish 5000 to 1000 metres) and fell of the edge. I was glad I only learned about his fate after we had already done the ride!

xxx
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Comments

t&d on

so impressed that you guys did the death road! we passed on it as i was pretty sure i'd fall off the edge.

so glad that you guys are still blogging. :)

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