The Most Dangerous Road In The World

Trip Start May 30, 2005
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Trip End Sep 30, 2006


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I had to get up early in the morning to catch my ride. Traveling with a group of about 10 other tourists we got into a minibus and away. Now you`re asing, "Whereīs the bike?". The minibus took us about an hour outside of La Paz to a place called īLa Cumbreī sitting at 4750 meters above sea level. Here we jumped on our bikes and started riding down the road through clouds that completely destroyed any chances of seeing any views.

This road pretty much just goes down, hence itīs pretty popular with the tourists. In 70Km we drop 3650 meters to īYolosaī at 1100 meters above sea level. The start of the route is on proper asphalt roads but it was absolutely freezing on my hands, they were really numb after only a few minutes on the bike.

It was great fun and really easy, This changed as we hit the only uphill section of the road. Although it wasnīt that steep, I wasnīt used to that kind of excercise at this altitude, therefore it was really slow going and I had to in fact get off my bike more than once to push it up these sections. It would have been nice if the others in my group had waited for me! but instead I found that I was coasting down large sections of this road along, a brilliant feeling.

For the second half of the road, things got a little more hairy and interesting. The road changed to a bit of a dirt road, the weather cleared up and peopleīs confidence grew, a scary combination. The road is only as dangerous as you want it to be, and I was driving Miss Daisy near the back, just enjoying the ride and the view. I didnīt feel it necessary to turn it into a huge adreneline rush.

Others in the group did though. I arrived late on the scene to see our group huddled around and Irish guy that had come off his bike. Heīd been going too fast, hit a rock and started flying. He was lucky though as he didnīt do any damage and managed to stay on the road rather than experiance one of the 500 feet drop offs to the left hand side of this road.

Next up on the dare devil stakes was the Israeli that came flying past me, right up towards a blind corner, true enough a car came round it at just the wrong moment. I watched in slow motion as both slammed on their brakes the Israeli first skidded to the left but was still going to get hit, at the last second he managed to get his back wheel out of the way and avoid the accident. He took it kind of slowly after that as well!

As I got near the end I started to dream about finishing, My finger, hands and wrists were really sore due to the amount of vibrations being sent up my arms from the bumpy road. Despite loving the trip it was briliant to finish and finally get off the bike in Yolansa.

We were taken up the road to Coroico in the van as itīd have probably have taken us several hours to climb that little bit! Here our group split up as we were with two different agencies that had grouped together for the day. I was left with the guide and two Israelis. After having a quick shower to refresh ourselves we headed to the buffet lunch. I arrived first after the guide and sat with him at a table of four. The two Israeli friends then came in, saw us, and then sat at a table by themselves. No Comment!

So, that as they say is how I came to arrive in Coroico!

I found myself a nice hostel with a great view near the plaza. This is where time stood still again. Iīd planned to stay for only a few days before heading on, however the best laid plans were destroyed by the fact that the view from my room was just so good and the town was really relaxed. I had a great time here.

There were loads of great walks around this area that I didnīt do, but I did visit a few good restaurants.

I did take the walk out to the three waterfalls one day, it was tough motivating myself but I eventually I got out there. The walk was along a beautiful valley with brilliant views over to the other side. I passed several Coca plantaions on the way, it turns out that the climate here is perfect for Coca cultivation and itīs one of the premier areas in Bolivia for this.

After a while I came to the first waterfall, it could have been so beautiful. However, someone had built concrete walls and fences around it, pipes came out of these and completely destroyed the natural beauty of it. I guess these were to help supply the local fields and towns with water.

Walking to the second fall I discovered exactly the same setup. It was starting to get a little disappointing now. The path to the third fall was in terrible condition so I decided to head back to my hostel to look at the view a little more. I did get a little lost on the way back and ended up walking through fields and up steep hills to get back on the right path, just a little too difficuilt for me!

I spent the first few days here on my own before I got talking to other tourists. Hank the Dutch guy turned up one days and I got talking to him. He was keen to visit the pool and have a swim so got changed and then came out to ask me how to get down to the pool. I had to admit that I had no idea and that I hadnīt actually made it that far yet. I did rectify this situation later on though and blaze a path to the pool for a lesuirely, if not cold, splash around.

I ended up spending a bit of time with Hank, Max The French Guy and Donalita the Italian here before I felt like I really had to leave after a week. I loved it.
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