La Paz

Trip Start Sep 09, 2005
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Trip End Feb 20, 2006


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Thursday, December 8, 2005

La Paz the worlds highest capital at 3660m, had a really dramatic entry as it is plopped into a massive chasm, with the suburbs clinging to the sides of the canyon´s lip. There is a massive urban sprawl inbetween the sides of the canyon. There wasn´t a lot that I really wanted to see in La Paz except that I heard it was in a remarkable location.
However the main goal for the La Paz was to hit the road form La Cumbre down the ´worlds most dangerous road´ to Coroico. The biking starts amid very cold snow capped mountains and valleys containing very few trees on a tar sealed road. The speed you can pick up on this section is amazing and by leaning lower on your bike it is possible to reach speeds of 70km while flying past the trucks and Buses.
The next section is where the road turns to gravel and takes a detour to the dangerous and longest section of the road. Here numerous people die every year plunging off the sides of the track and being hit by oncoming vehicles on the many blind corners. There is barley enough room for one truck to navigate down but this is a two way road on the only road to get down at present. One side of the road are solid walls of cliffs, many of which have recent scars of landslides and waterfalls splashing over and on the other pure drops of up to well over a 1000 meters.



There were about 3 or 4 times where I had too much speed and I thought I wasn´t going to make my turn, after a little anxiety at first the feeling quickly turns to adrenaline and you continue at a mad pace zooming past the vehicles.
Near the bottom the climate heats up dramatically and now you are surrounded by lush tropical jungle. At the very end there is a place to shower up and a lunch is laid on before the drive back up the road. Its here you get to appreciate just how dangerous the road is and how beautiful the surrounding areas are. Really Awsome experience. I spent one more day here before heading off to Uyuni. The elections are here in two days and I don´t want to be stuck here if anything goes down, which it usually does come election time here.
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