Most of the time I would consider myself a grown-up and responsible traveler. My crazy idea to book Jess and I on a mountain bike trip down the Camino de la muerte – the Death Road, in English – may not have been one of my most rational travel decisions.
The road was given the title of the most dangerous road in the world by the Inter-American Development Bank in 1995, thanks to the hundreds of cars that had disappeared over the steep cliffs all along the road. This loose gravel and dirt road is often only 3m (9 ft) wide and essentially a single-lane road with two-way traffic – with almost no guard rails at all.
Even though I knew about the dangers of the road, we kept hearing such positive things about this tour and I thought that the trip from the La Cumbre at 4,670 meters (15,320 ft) to Coroico at 900 meters (2,950 ft) – that’s a drop of over 12,000 ft over a distance of 64 kilometers – seemed like a great adventure.
There is relatively little traffic on this road as a new, paved one was constructed in 2006, which left this road (almost) entirely to us thrill-seeking cyclists. The big news is that we survived the trip without any major injuries or broken bones – though not entirely accident free – and we can’t wait to tell you the whole story here soon!