Published: August 23rd 2010August 21st 2010
After arriving in La Paz late in the afternoon, we said yes to mountian biking the worlds most danderous road the next day!
Up at 530am, we signed the waiver, paid our bolivianos and got kitted up at Downhill Madness Adventures!!
The G banger wasnt feeling to great after a nite spent sitting on the can, but a light breakfast (nothing) and a few imodium later off we bussed to 4640metres above sea level...
A quick safety briefing and a checking of the brakes and we were off... hurtling down a bitumen road in excess of 50km/h, less than twenty minutes later and we had dropped over 1300m!!!
Back on the bus for 10mins and a snack to drive up some uphill and we parked on the gravel ready for the dirt. Off we went down the gravel, dust flying, the landscapes were amazing, from snow capped mountains to lush sub tropical rain forest. Through waterfalls and creeks, stopping for the occassional photo opotunity...
I was right behind gretchen as we went into a sweeping left, she went in with too much speed, and skidded to a rutted out gutter, luckily on the cliff side, almost holding
it together, I had the best seat in the house to watch as her handle bars snapped back and over the bars she went... bit dusty, grazed knee, but to her credit up she jumped strait away, dusted herself off and back on the bike to the next snack stop!!!
What started as freezing on the bitumen, we finished the ride at 1295m sweating it out in sweltering humidity. Over 64kms of downhill maddness, 500metre plus drop aways on a track no more than 3 metres wide!!
Got changed, got taken to a dodgy buffet lunch and the best cold shower ever... thinking our day was pretty much done we settled in for a 3 hour bus ride back to La Paz... our fun was only just beginning...
After a bit of a bum numbing nap, we were three quarters of the way back, just watching the the bus driver passing trucks and cars on blind corners was sphincter tightening enough then we realised we slowed down considerably, the smell of a stinking hot engine humming away and the driver riding the clutch in and out all the way down. The gearbox had shit itself.
we came into the outskirts of La Paz, we then got pulled up by the police for a routine check, the whole time Gretchen busting for a wee.
We got through the check, another ten minutes we ran into a street parade and the traffic became a total standstill as colourful half drunk bolivians danced thier way down the street.
Gretchen decided to make a dash for a toilet wile the bus was idling along, til the guide turned and said ´too dangerous, bad people in this area´that was just the plug she needed to hold it the rest of the bone jarring ride back.
It was a brialliant adrenaline fuelled day, and hector and the boys from downhill madness did a superb job, as did Mr. Bus driver!!!
There are more photos below