La Paz and Death Road


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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz
July 21st 2007
Published: August 6th 2007
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Crossing the borderCrossing the borderCrossing the border

This was crazy
After a interesting 15 hour overnight bus Journey from Cuzco we arrived in La Paz. The bus company was Litoral, the bus smelled like a toilet and it was freezing. There was also some blockades coming into Bolivia so we had to go down some really small roads and when we met other vehicles it wasn´t much fun. The bus also got stuck in a deep hole going across one part of a road so the bus drivers were running around trying to find stones to fill the hole and they were pick axing the road. We all had to get off, we just sat there and took pictures.
La Paz was a lot different than we expected, it is a city filling up a valley with great views of its surrounding mountains. The streets were bustling, people everywhere and the usual south american traffic. The people of La Paz were so friendly and very helpful. Everyday there seemed to be something different going on in the city, parades, protests, comedians or musicans playing in san francisco plaza. Everday we would get our freshly squeezed orange juice from one of the stalls. It was so nice and at 1 boliviano (10c euro) a glass, it was well worth it.
We also went to the Witches market, there was some very strange things here. There was all sorts of potions, mad ornamental statues and even dried llama foetus!
But one thing to watch is the altitude in La Paz. It didnt really affect us in Cuzco. But it really got to us here, we found it really hard to walk around or drink alcohol and you know thats not like us!

Before I go into the Death Road tour. I dont know what has got into Niamh, she´s like miss motivator. First it was the trek in Peru walking for 90km mostly uphill, then it was going into the amazon, where there are jaguars and anacondas everywhere. And now it was "Stephen theres a road in Bolivia thats really dangerous and its called death road, lets go down it on a mountain bike!!" Its called Death Road and it is the most dangerous road in the world because every year people die from plummeting off the narrow stretch of road. I think she must be able to claim off my health insurance because she´s definitely trying to kill me..

Some info on Death Road: The company we booked with were B-Side and very good, friendly and safety is a major thing with them which is good.
Distance 65KM, 85 % downhill on gravel. We only had to peddle 1KM of the 65KM.
Descent is 11,811 feet - very steep (you start at 4800m and descend to 1200m).
Speeds of 40KM and more and with nothing between you and the huge drop from the cliff, it made cycling a bit scary. But it was great fun, check out the pictures!



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