The Worlds Most Dangerous Rd

Trip Start Jan 08, 2007
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Trip End Oct 01, 2007


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Madness Downhill was the company, Erin the guide and La Cumbre (4640m) the start of a 3345m vertical decent to Coroico clinging onto full sus mountain bikes we cruised down tarmac past drug checkpoints with sleeping dogs before finally what it was all about "The Worlds Most Dangerous Road"!
After a fairly sleepless night possibly because of trying to get an early one without the aid of beer or maybe pre death road jitters we arrived at La Cumbre to receive our first briefing. IŽll leave the history to the Internet as you can all use a mouse and just mention that the the road is still open to the public but since the opening of a new road to Coroico 6 months ago the likelihood of coming head to head with a drunk lorry driver is slowly becoming a thing of the past and now its only nutters like myself that have any inclination to go anywhere near it.
The extremely sketchy dirt road was in truth a slightly harrowing experience especially when you see the drops into nothingness but the stunning beauty of the landscape did a little to help calm the nerves as we started off. My group who started first and actually went down so fast that the jeep had a lot of trouble keeping up and so only managed a few pics of us after leaving the tarmac behind consisted of 9 lads and one girl. I'm happy to say that there were very few incidences on the way down however I of course had to have one near death experience when my bike skipped over a rock and hurtled towards a jungly grave. Thankfully I didŽ't have to throw the bike to its doom and I'm telling this story now so It cant have been that close can it? Haha only joking. Anyway it wasn't all fun and games we stopped many times for further briefings and stories of destruction, where the exact locations and death toll were expressed solemnly before continuing onwards.
The final section pushed all boundaries as we took on the last few ks in extremely good time, plunging through rivers and hopping the bumps until the end and a well deserved cold beer and a buffet chow at Hotel Esmeralda complete with sauna and swimming pool to ease those aches and pains.
Maria, Grainne and myself set out for Madness's jungle lodge in preparation for the following days white water rafting, unknown to us all was that the scariest part of the day of death lurked just round the corner. If we had dreamed that the WMDR was a death defying stunt we were more than a tiny bit shocked to find ourselves stuck inside a jeep with completely no control over our own destinies. Steaming through the jungle following the Rio Coroico's course there were points when the dust was so thick it was impossible so see a few feet in front of us(probably a good thing when all there is to see is the horrid 100m drops into foliage. A comforting thought is thankfully I wasn't just being a big girl and from the expressions on both the girls faces as we overtook lorries spraying up dirt around blind corners it became clear none of us had been fully prepared for this Bolivian rally course. We were totally speechless by the time we bumped up the small dirt track to the lodge.
For those of you who have not been subjected to Bolivian roads I should quickly point out that nearly all the roads here are of similar style and although worryingly different from what us westerners may be used to the drivers here seem to know every curve and rock like the backs of their hands... This didn't help at all at the time!
The lodge itself turned out to be a true haven complete with canopy walkway to a tree house and after a candlelit dinner the route we took getting there was a distant memory.
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