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WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS ROAD

 

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Please note that the link to the original photos from this article seem to have disapeared, and we can't find the actual web site it came from anymore either. HOWEVER the article still makes good reading, and you can always click here to: See the photo slideshow of the World's Most Dangerous Road (in a new window)!!!
Biking Down the World's Most Dangerous Road
March 20, 2003-Coroico, Bolivia

Rain. Fog. Mud. 3000-foot cliffs. Landslides. A narrow 1-lane dirt road with buses and trucks. Sounds like an unlikely combination for a holiday bicycle outing. But somehow it works, and indeed, it was quite exhilarating.
The drop is much deeper than the photo shows
The 'Worlds Most Dangerous Road' drops over 11,000 vertical feet as it snakes its way through the Andes to the edge of the Amazon basin. It is the only way provisions can get from La Paz to Coroico and the other small towns in the region.
For years it was a 1-way road. On specified days of the week you could only go down. The other days it was 1-way uphill. Currently traffic flows both ways. At some of the more treacherous blind corners, human traffic signalers stand to guide the traffic safely past each other. We are told that the people who do this work are volunteers from one family, a family who lost several members over the side.

Drop Dead Gorgeous!
Now the road is actually tourist attraction. Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking (www.gravitybolivia.com) provides mountain bikes and guides to shepherd riders down the 64- kilometer course. A bus follows behind pick up stragglers and to transport riders and equipment back up to La Paz.
The proprietor and head guide is a wild-bearded New Zealander who spices up the tour with stories of cannibals in Bolivia and anecdotes about casualties along the dangerous road.


Wild-bearded proprietor and guide, Alistair

The dress code on the ride called for layers. Layers that would accommodate the outrageous extremes in altitude and weather. We rode through chilly mountain air all the way down to steamy jungle, not to mention passing through waterfalls, rain and fog. The fog was a blessing at times, momentarily obscuring the view of the 1000-foot drop-offs just a few feet from out tire tracks.

Waiting for a truck to pass in the fog
Everyone must purchase accident insurance or show evidence of their own coverage. Amazing as it sounds, even rank beginner bike riders are welcome on the tour. Everyone rides at their own pace with a guide and the bus bringing up the rear.

Waiting for a landslide to be cleared
Riders are welcome to board the bus at any time for any reason. Perhaps the ride is not as crazy as I have made it sound. Then again, perhaps I'm crazy. But if you ever come to Bolivia, don't miss this ride. Bolivia in general has been a blast, and so far, this has been the highlight.
Filmtrips.com Bolivia Journal

CUT TO THE CHASE: Show me the photo slideshow of the World's Most Dangerous Road (in a new window)!!!


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