Overland Traveller



The world’s most dangerous road, by bike and bus (Page 3)

The world's most dangerous road © Gravity AssistedOncoming traffic and uncontrolled testosterone are the two major causes of death for cyclists on the Death Road. Thankfully we encountered only a few small vehicles. The vast majority of vehicles on the road these days are those accompanying the tour groups; they travel even slower than the cyclists and always in the same direction.

Going down, my wrists started to ache from constantly applying pressure to the brakes; I wasn’t very hardcore in my approach to the whole escapade – no excess of testosterone here. The temperature rose higher and higher until even I shed some layers, having weighed up falling off the bike with fewer layers to protect me from the gravel against passing out from the heat and toppling over the edge to certain death.

The world's most dangerous road © Gravity AssistedAfter five hours of almost constant downhill we reached Coroico, to my immense relief what with all the portentous warnings and hype. Unlike the other tour groups who were treated to a drink at an uninspiring roadside shack, we were given a cold beer and buffet lunch at an animal sanctuary, complete with macaws, coati and curious monkeys.

We were also given our t-shirts, although I don’t think I deserved mine until after the journey back. Travelling in the bus up the world’s most dangerous road (complete with photo stops underneath a waterfall to demonstrate the narrowness of the road on which our vehicle perched, does not make a relaxing end to a day, particularly in the rainy season…) was indescribably more petrifying than being in control of my own transport. After all, it’s much easier to leap off an out-of-control bike than out of a falling bus, hype or no hype.

Read related features and reviews
Video - Bolivia's Death Road by bus
Video - Bolivia's Death Road waterfall

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Overland Traveller copyright © Emma Field 2010