After two relaxed days in La Paz it was time for some action. So we decided to go for some bike riding on the North Yungas Road, also known as “Camino de la Muerte” or “Death Road”. The North Yungas Road first climbs up to 4700 meters at the La Cumbre pass and descends afterward over 63 kilometers to 1200 meters in Yolosa. For many years it was the only road connection between La Paz and the Yungas region (Amazonia) of Colombia. During these times, the road was used by vehicles of all kind, including big buses and trucks driving in both directions! The gravel road is mostly not wider than round about 3 meters, has no guard rails and the drop-offs on the left side are more than 600 meters whereas one faces the rock side to his right side. For an impression of the days this road was the used by all kinds of traffic check out http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2006/11/most-dangerous-roads-in-world.html. As a lot of fatal accidents happened during this time the American Development Bank declared it as the “world’s most dangerous road” in 1995. Luckily, a new road was built in 2006. The main traffic can now safely take this road and the old Yungas road between Unduavi to Yolosa is nowadays mostly used by mountain bikers.
We arrived early in the morning at the La Cumbre pass, high above the Altiplano. It was cold and rainy, there was a lot of snow and we got ready for the Delirium. Normally, the tours go down a paved road to the start of the “Death Road” but we opted for some small treks and gravel roads along the Orkojahuira River offered by B-Side Adventures and called “Delirium”. This part before the “Death Road” was definitely worth the extra money! Amazing landscape! With the lots of rain we had the way was sometimes a mixture between road and river. Yeah!
After this first part, we had a short break and bus ride to Unduavi, where the “Death Road” starts. Even with the rainy and foggy weather, we got some nice views down the valley and the drop-offs on our left side. Breathtaking! And I was sure not to go too fast as there is not much space for driving mistakes. It was probably very good that we had a lot of rain and fog, ‘cause thus I got not too distracted by the beautiful landscape that rapidly changes from snow covered rocks to lush green jungle vegetation and could concentrate and enjoy going downhill. Woohoo!
We passed under waterfalls, tried to stay on the road in sharp turns on the muddy gravel road, stopped for a few classic photos and enjoyed the ride down to the end point of this great trip, where we got a hot shower and a good lunch to fill up the spent energy and could relax in the warmth of the jungle. On the way back we had to stop to get two flat tires fixed and then returned to La Paz trough beautiful landscape. Back in La Paz we had our deserved beer and two burgers! Great day! Thanks to B-Side Adventures for the great organization and a big thanks to Kevin and Thomas for the fun and great ride! We have conquered the road!
Adrenaline filled greetings