Biking Death Road
With thanks to Freak Out Biking and Travel Store Bolivia, I was able to take on Camino de la Muerte or Death Road from La Paz, Bolivia. I’ve ridden Death Road before when I was in the Bolivian capital about eight months ago, but this time was a much different experience.
It is known as the World’s Most Dangerous Road and rightly so, with crosses marking casualties throughout the four-hour downhill bike ride. The old section of Death Road was formerly used by vehicles and with tight bends and barely enough room for two-way traffic; there have been plenty of fatalities. Nowadays, it’s mainly tourists who mountain bike down the road and get to experience the breathtaking views, whilst of course concentrating on the undulating gravel road.
The day starts at over 4,700m above sea level and I was greeted with snow and buckets of rain. Great. As I made my way down the new section of Death Road, which is a paved bitumen road, the weather began to clear up and eventually my rain-soaked clothes were starting to dry. I ride a road bike at home and getting back on a bike and being able to dodge cars whilst speeding downhill was pure joy.
Disaster struck at the first corner of the old Death Road, though, when my GoPro fell 25m over the edge and down the cliff. Shit. It was barely two-months old and now it was gone! The guide told me I could wait for the bus and get roped up and try to abseil down and retrieve it, and despite a few nerves about descending down the mud cliff, I thought I’d give it a go. Watch the video to find out what happened:
Yes! Got it back!
Riding Death Road is a tourist attraction not to be missed in La Paz, or Bolivia for that matter. The views are stunning and it’s a great chance to get out of the city and onto a bike. My tour was a little unconventional with some free abseiling thrown in, but it all worked out in the end. Just remember to fasten your GoPro on better than I did if you dare to take on Camino de la Muerte!