Biking the worlds most dangerous Road, La Paz to Coroico

19 May 2004 2:55 pm

The road to Coroico was named the world most dangerous road by the World Bank because it suffers the most deaths per persons traveling in the world. Because of this, the World Bank spent a bunch of money and built a ‘new road’. But, as things go in Bolivia, the new road has a toll so everyone takes the worlds most dangerous road anyway.

Biking the worlds most dangerous road is very popular among us gringos as it’s all down hill and has fantastic views. You begin your day in the high desert outside La Paz and you end up in a lush jungly area which is Coroico, which is also a very nice town. Bikers have died by tipping over the edge so it’s important to get yourself a good bike. Gravity Assist is reputable tour company and well worth it the few extra bucks. For a few more dollars you get a great bike and gear, excellent information and good vehicles, experienced guides, and good food. The experienced guides part came in handy for our group. Towards the end of the day when the road was particularly dusty and slippery and we were all tired but going REALLY fast, one guy named Luke flipped right over the side. Shit! There were a few seconds where I couldn´t believe my eyes. He tipped right off his bike and went over the cliff. I saw our guide, Mac, get off his bike and look into the bushes. I thought, oh no, Luke’s already bouncing down at the bottom, 1,000 feet below! It turns out that Luke was a very person. He was caught by the vegetation. He was stopped by jungle just 20 feet down, braced on a nearly sheer cliff by shrubs and trees. Mac, our wonderful, calm, cool, and collected guide, pulled out rope and climbing harnesses and a sling and went down and rescued Luke. We pulled Luke up with a dislocated shoulder but not a scratch on him. Luke was wisked off to the local hospital for Xrays and we continued on down the worlds most dangerous road. Needless to say, we all finished the day speed very much in check.

We finished the ride in Coroico, at Hotel Esmerelda. Yeah, this is my kind of place. At Hotel Esmerelda, way up high where the Condors circle, there is a beautiful swimming pool and squeeky clean new sauna. We arrived to beers and a huge buffet lunch. I decided to stay an extra day up here poolside, watching the mountains with the birds of prey.

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