Death Road, Bolivia

Part 3 of the Bolivian Death Triangle.

And finally, the infamous Death Road. You start out at a very high altitude, where it’s freezing cold and you hope that you can get down quickly to get more oxygen.

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The biking itself starts on paved road, with an amazing view of the valley and clouds in the background. I was in a fast group, so we raced down the curvy highway.

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Then, you see “the sign”.

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As it says, traffic is left-ordered like in the UK. That’s so that the driver nearest the cliff edge (on the left side) can see her two left wheels, and make sure they are just barely not falling off when passing a car in the opposite direction.

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The next 40 kilometers or so are a winding dirt road, through a beautiful green countryside. The road is completely safe these days, but in our fast group it was still an amazing adrenaline rush.

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Only some parts are like the stories make it sound like, with a steep sheer drop to the left side.

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The road is only about two meters wide in the center of the picture, and a constant flow of water makes the road slick.

Towards the end, it’s a couple thousand meters lower and many degrees warmer, although it still looks similar.

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After several rivers and waterfalls, the bikes (and people) are muddied up…but a hot shower and full lunch await soon after!

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It’s a ride that people of many different ages and physical conditions complete and enjoy–the only caution I would advise is for nervous or inexperienced bikers, who tend to break with the wrong wheel and end up sailing over their handlebars into the rocks. Definitely the highlight of Bolivia for me, though!


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