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Conquering Death Road

La Paz, Bolivia

sunny 10 °C
View South America on ladiesofleisure's travel map.

One thing we had been looking forward to since purchasing the GoPro video camera, was being able to attach it to one of our helmets and hoon down the world’s most dangerous road. We were hoping for footage that did not include either of us sailing over the handlebars and tumbling a few hundred metres to our deaths - which we achieved (hence the somewhat pedestrian account of the ride, apologies). This may make for a more boring video, but we were certainly happy to both come out the other end in one piece. (Mike we were inspired to be extra careful with your story in the backs of our minds).

We were expecting to ride down a very narrow gravel road but neither of us had anticipated that the ride itself would also be stunning. We descended from 4700 metres above sea level to just 1700. This drop lead to a dramatic difference in climate between start and end. At the top we were freezing our butts off, while at the bottom it was time for a refreshing dip in a pool as we had entered a tropical rainforest. Totally crazy.

Keep to the left - why? So I can fall over the edge? Scary! The rest of the country drives on the right but on the most dangerous road we are supposed to stick to the left - no sense!
Foggy roads
Geared up and ready to record
Many crosses along the way
Playing silly buggers - safety first.
Hayley the he-woman
Three of us on a precipice
The road from afar
Much deserved congratulatory beer at the end to celebrate being alive

We had a few days in La Paz to look around the city sights and recover from the ride. It is quite an ugly city at ground level but from afar is dramatic and striking as it is nestled in amongst mountains.

Witch doctors abound. These Llama foetuses are used to bless a new building
Cool colonial streets in Spanish section of the town
Shopping trip for Alpaca goods
Sweet buses

Something adding to the cities crazy atmosphere were the almost continuous strikes and protests. Various strikes had been underway for 90% of our four weeks in Bolivia, but previously they had been at the borders of the towns in the form of blockades. We had been quite removed from them in the past. In La Paz however, the protests and dynamite explosions were occurring right outside our bedroom window. Made for entertaining viewing even if it was a little scary venturing out in amongst it all. Now don’t ask us what the protests were about, everyone in Bolivia has a different story to tell and it is the land of little to no information after all so who really knows?

Protests as viewed from our hostel window

A quick video showing what we saw - not all the smoke from exploding dynamite!

We enjoyed our time here in one of the nations capitals (It has two) and perhaps it was because we ate well. Everyone is well aware of how much we both enjoy a good feed and they have been seriously lacking to date. There has been excellent produce used in South America, but for the most part there is little creativity when it comes to food. Remember the good ol’ days when we all lived on meat and three veg. We are living that right now. So boring!

Much to our delight, three weeks prior to our arrival in La Paz, the owner of the world’s (ex) number one restaurant (Noma in Denmark) opened a new restaurant in La Paz by the name of Gustu. Off we went with our buddies Jared and Marie to celebrate Jared’s 29th birthday to indulge in wonderfully prepared local produce. We had planned to get the 15 courses but upon arrival there was only an option for the 5 course with matched wines. Disappointed though we were, we tucked in merrily to our measly five courses. It was INCREDIBLE and so filling. We could not have handled any more courses so it worked out for the best. It was an incredible experience and we can’t wait to hit up Lima in Peru to indulge in some more gastronomic delights.

Amazing cocktails


The birthday boy pretty delighted with his gifts!

We have now entered Peru where we are gearing up for a 5 day trek up to see Macchu Picchu.

Peace out all

Posted by ladiesofleisure 18:23 Archived in Bolivia Tagged landscapes mountains buildings bolivia la_paz mountain_biking death_road worlds_most_dangerous_road blockade gustu degustation pro_downhill

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Looks amazing. I want to do that trip now.

by Colin

Who would have thought upon Googling the starting altitude for the Death Road bike ride that it would send me to your blog! Hope all is well wherever you are now! Karly & Will - herewhereweare.com :)

by Karly

Whaaaat? Hilarious! Turns out the blogosphere is a small world too! Enroute to Colombia today - hope all's peachy with you guys too - Sophie + Hayley.

by ladiesofleisure

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