The World´s Most Dangerous Road

Trip Start May 17, 2006
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Trip End May 2007


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Saturday, December 9, 2006

We arrived in La Paz, Bolivia, yesterday and were blown away by setting of the worldīs highest capital. It is situated in a valley with slums climbing up the steep hillside and is surrounded by snow capped mountains. The Lonely Planet descibes La Paz as one giant street market and it is. Every street is lined with stalls selling everthing from paint to plant seeds and the markets continue at night and it looks spectacular. There are lots of truely tacky christmas decorations for sale but we havenīt seen any decorated streets or shos yet. We have also been spared shopping whilst listing to Slade!
The main attraction in La Paz and something we had both been really looking forwards to was a chance to mountin bike down "The Worldīs Most Dangerous Road" (so called by the Inter-American Development Bank in 1995). The road (or track) clings to the mountain side and has a vertical drop most of the way down of up to 1200ft. We went with a company called Assisted Gravity and we canīt recommend them highly enough. The guide was fantastic and the attention to safety was excellent (our bikes were checked each time we stiopped). Importantly for us though we had fantastic full suspension Kona bikes which were so much fun to ride.
We rode 64km with a vertical descent of  3,600m from the snow line down to the jungle. We started on sealed roads (some what a novelty in these parts) before reaching the gravel single lane track which is TWMDR. Trucks and buses plough up and down and often off the road and so not only do you have to make sure you stay on the road, you also have to avoid the traffic! To add to the fun, the rode is driven on the left (unlike he rest of Bolivia who drive on the right) and as you go down hill, the left hand side is where the drop is!
We had a great time blasting down the hill. Mark was infront with the lads and I did a good job leading the lasses down. It made the north downs seem very safe in comparison.
We donīt have any photos but have ordered a CD which will be arriving in T Wells soon. But check out these links for more info and pictures!
http://gravitybolivia.com/view?page=12
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspon dent/6136268.stm
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