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Kel and Rob’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 11 Jan 2006

Location: Death Road, Bolivia

MapGiven the title of being the 'Worlds most dangerous road' for the most fatalities annually it surely lived up to its name. Unfortunately Kel had eaten a dodgy Bolivian food and therefore had to give it a miss - Rob's pretty sure she faked the sickness.

Starting early in La Paz a group of 11 of us caught a bus another 1000m up (to 4600m) to where we would plummet 3400m in just over 64km on Mountain Bikes. Thatís not the dangerous part though. It's the 800m vertical cliff straight off the one lane (two lane traffic though) dirt road with no barriers that makes it dangerous.

Within 5 minutes of the journey we had already passed another group which had a hospital case splattered over the road - with more to come.

As we plummeted from the alpine heights down into the Jungle forests Rob had one of his two main near misses. When a Kamikaze mini-bus driver wanted to get past Rob obliged only for his breaks to lock up as he headed for an eroded ledge. Luckily for the sake of the attached photos he did manage to stop with the front type resting cautiously on the lip and a very much shaken Rob looking down into the Amazon Basin below.

Other than the three other wild Aussies on our tour who all managed to get superficial injuries, there were luckily no major injuries in the Group.

Once we reached the bottom and had devoured our buffet lunch the worse was to come. Hoping we weren't going to join the many car/bus bodies at the bottom of the ravine, we headed back up the death road in a packed mini-van with less tread than my 20 year old Dunlop KT26's. Just to make it even more exciting the clouds set in and most of the journey back up was done in visibility of less than 100m (see attached photo).

Although it is extremely dangerous (and the number of crosses you see keep reminding you of that - over 100 more each year) you can go at your own pace and the scenery really in mind blowing. From the numerous waterfalls that you get to ride behind to the amazing ruggered mountains stretching as far as the eye can see.