It sounds chilling doesn’t it? A road that overlooks death-defying cliff drops. A road filled with awkward rocks, a narrow width and vehicles such as huge lorries passing on by. Not many barriers, no rules. If you make a mistake, it could cost you dearly. Plus, its Bolivia too. A country which is one of the poorest in South America, a continent that sometimes feel has no rules, no laws. So what to expect from this trip?
Mountain Biking. I use to love to bike on my BMX as a kid, but I haven’t done much since. Biking around my streets and parks locally, that sense of invincibility. As you get older, that dimishes, and the worries can creep in. I felt this was my last crazy experience in South America, Part 1 Chapter 1, before heading back to the UK for Xmas. I didn’t want it to be a disaster or my last one. Yet this experience was truly incredible, a sense of freedom.
Heading up to 4700m start of point, we would eventually descend to 1100m at the finish line. The views were incredible, and the start of point was breezy. The roads were tarmacked and smooth, the drops not as steep as they were about to get oo. Geared up with a helmet, full body suit, gloves and pads, we sailed past lorries and cars through the drizzle of rain and the overcast skies. Swishing and swerving with the wind whistling in our ears and eyes. The drops of rain cooled us, and gave it an added affect of this adventure. I gained my confidence back quickly on being on a bike, balancing two legs on peddle, riding without holding the bars, peddling with long strides with my butt cheeks in the air. I felt like a kid again. The views were the best part. Seeing mountain rocks at every turn, natural lands just all around us was something of a motion movie. It was incredible. The adrenaline rush depends on how fast you go. Some want to go really fast, have that non stop craziness and unknown feeling of whats next. Maybe it depends o how experience you are. I was going fast but was always in control.
The REAL part of death road ensued after we got into the Andes. The rock paths, curley road bends, the green Andes all but covering your view but with a small pale path infront of you. This was the part of death road you hear about, this was were the accidents happened, the near misses occurred, the real challenge kicked in.
There was no need to peddle for most of it, the downward spiral of the track pulled you down most of the time. All you had to do was add speed if you wanted, or decrease your rhythm with your breaks. Front and back. Sometimes you would feel that, THAT rock infront of you would flip you, only for your momentum to be quick and strong and to empower over its existence and potential off course intention. The Andes was spectacular, Just being connected throughout, feeling the humidity, the heat, the breeze and smells at once, gives it a real element of satisfaction. Passing waterfalls, sharp corners, steep downward drops was awesome. I felt it was like a walk in the park. Maybe my experiences are getting bigger, and the air of fear or worry is dimishing with such activities. Maybe I’m enjoying them more than just doing them. 3 hours it took us and that flew by. I wish we could have done it for longer. A real sense of freedom and an epic activity. Ive heard so many horror stories of it also, but it really does depend on your experience and speed.
I survived death road. And I’d love to do it again.