Was this the best ride of my entire Argentina to Alaska trip?
“El Camino de la Muerte” or “The Death Road” in Bolivia is dubbed as one of the world’s most dangerous road. It runs between La Paz and Coroico. A 2006 study estimated that 200-300 people were killed on this road every year. About 18 cyclists have died here since 1998.
From La Cumbre Pass, at the elevation of 4650m, the road descended rapidly and provided stunning views of the mighty Andes mountains. I stopped every few hundred metres and set up the tripod to take pictures. I took me forever.
After 36 km, the death road began. It was a narrow single-lane unpaved meandering through the rolling hills of lush green Amazon rainforest. There were massive drops of over 1000m on the left with overhanging waterfalls.
For 66 km, I descended about 3750m and ascended only 300m. Starting with 4600m elevation at La Cumbre Pass, I arrived in Yolosa at just 1100m.
It was already dark, so from Yolosa I took a bus to La Paz. It was my first bus ride in 6 months. It was suffocating, and I felt trapped inside. What a change of fortune in a few hours, I thought to myself! I arrived in La Paz at 11 pm and collapsed on the bed. Even in sleep, I could see the views of the hanging road.
There has been plenty of beautiful bicycle rides in my four year Argentina to Alaska trip, but cycling the death road has to be one of the top five from the entire trip.