Monday, 23 April 2012

Cycling Death Road

On a rare night in from our partying, we decided to take advantage and do something with ourselves the next day rather than roll around the hostel with a hangover!

So we signed up to cycle death road which is quite a popular 'traveller' thing to do.

We set off early with a 8am pick up drove up into the mountains around La Paz. Towards the end of the journey we were so high up (around 4700m) that the mountains were completely snow covered and the scenery was stunning. It was a good job we had wrapped up warm and were wearing so many layers as this is where our bike ride began - the snowy mountains tops. It was so lovely and the views took our minds of the nervousness Alice and I were feeling about Death Road.

The beginning part of the ride wasn't actually that hair raising as we were cycling along a tarmac road and although it was windy and downhill all the way, I felt in control of my bike all the time. When we got to the bottom of this section of road, the mountains were no longer snowy and we were just surrounded by gorgeous green everywhere you looked.

After a quick snack, we headed to the official death road and soon discovered that the tarmac road we had just cycled was definitely to ease you into it and we were in for a much rougher ride.

Death Road itself (the name sort of speaks for itself) is more of a trackway which is at most 2 metres wide with the edge of the road falling into the sheer drop of the mountain - which is about 3000m high.

The road winds, twists and turns down the mountain side (you can sort of see it from the last photo), while going through waterfalls and rock tunnels etc, so it's a proper full on 'mountain biking' experience.

The road is also a proper mountain track with rocks, stones and gravel everywhere, making my teeth chatter and brain wobble in my head for the whole ride as the vibrations of the bike just went straight through me. All I can say is thank goodness we opted for the full suspensions bikes!

The road downwards was about 8km and by the end of it, we were into tropical climates and were sweating. My hands we sore from breaking the whole way and I was kind of over being bumped around all over the shop. By this point as we had been riding for more than 3 hours. There were some hair raising parts but all in all good fun.

After we finished the ride, we went for lunch in a hostel nearby then headed back to La Paz which was about a 3 hour drive away.