A Travellerspoint blog

Cycling The Death Road

sunny

Bolivia's Yungas Road is officially the most hazardous on earth. Local people pray before using it and the nearest hospital is a two-hour drive away. In it's worst year someone died on average every two weeks. Now the main road goes a different route but some drivers still opt for the short cut. Daft tourists hurtle over its bumps and skid around it's terrifying hairpin bends on push bikes at speeds approaching 40mph.

With the dubious label of 'The most dangerous road in the world', this spectacular 38-mile ride drops more than 11,800ft from the cold, dry oxygen starved Andean mountains into the hot and steamy Amazonian jungle. The first part of the four hour ride is paved road. Flying down, crouched over my handle bars, squinting out of teary eyes I was enjoying the staggering views and getting used to being in the saddle (it had been a few years to say the least!) then the road split, we headed down a steep gravelly track and the proper ride began. The trail, in places no more than a muddy track maybe 10 feet wide, wound precariously down around the mountain, past waterfalls that spilled onto the trail and cascaded over the sheer drops of up to 500 meters. And not a safety barrier in sight. It was sobering passing all the crosses and memorials where people had lost their lives. We stopped briefly by the cross marking the spot where a young British lad misjudged a corner just a month before.

Our guide was a crazy Peruvian who spent a good deal of his time turned around backwards on his bike filming and taking photos of me and my cycling buddy George. He occasionally turned around to one-handedly negotiate a tricky corner or avoid a bus. I have him to thank for these pictures.

deathRoad_001.jpg

deathRoad_002.jpg

deathRoad_003.jpg

deathRoad_004.jpg

deathRoad_005.jpg

deathRoad_006.jpg

deathRoad_007.jpg

deathRoad_008.jpg

deathRoad_009.jpg

Posted by lauraj 12:59 Archived in Peru

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

Oh Laura! I am so glad we did not know about
this until after you had got down safely!!

by mum-dadjok

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint