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Cycling down Bolivia's Death Road

All I could see around me was thick fog. It was raining heavily and the gravel underneath me was slipping away with every further meter I drove. I have never been so nervous in my life. Why? Because I was biking down the world's most dangerous road in Bolivia, aka the death road.

The death road claims up to 300 deaths per year. The road is only about 2m wide and curls its way down from about 4000m altitude into the jungle at 1000m altitude. The road has no safety barriers on the side and all upcoming traffic has the right of way, which means that everybody coming down this road has to drive near the edge. So knowing these facts coupled with the bad weather conditions actually really scared me, but there was no way back now.

The scenery down the Yungas Road (its official name) is absolutely breath-taking; when there is no fog that is. Because of the fog I couldn't see more than 10m ahead of me, but I also couldn't see how deep these sheer drops right next to me were. Maybe that was a good thing as I suffer from vertigo and seeing how far down I could plummet into my death, would have made me even more nervous I think.

The entire bike ride took about 4 hours and towards the end, once we have reached the jungle, the rainclouds finally gave way for a bit of sunshine. I could finally see the stunning scenery around me and secretly made a pact with myself that I will return to the death road one day. But this time in the dry season.

Would you bike down the death road?


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Tammy is the owner and editor of the travel blog Tammy & Chris on the move. Her job as an aid worker has enabled her to live in three different countries so far and she has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and South America. Tammy writes about her adventures and misadventures as a freelance writer and travel blogger.



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