Bicycle tour to Coroico

I had seen on tv as well as met people who had done this tour before. So I decided to do a bike tour in the “most dangerous road in the world”, it is from La Paz to Coroico.

We left La Paz at 8:30am and went by a bus van to the highest point called La Cumbre. There we got our bikes to go down. In the first kilometers the road has pavement and it was not too busy. We could reach hight speed. Some say it can be 70km/hour, for sure I was not one of those.

After a short period of time we stopped to see the landscape and have a chocolate, after all, it was really cold. At La Cumbre it was snowing and with the cold wind of the speed, I had the feeling of freezing. We went up a little bit to reach the end of the pavement. There were many tractors and trucks on the road and then it started the unpaved road. Here it began the very dangerous part of the tour. From there on, we had to go down by the left side of the road, that means, the side of the precipice. It was where I stared to become afraid. I have fear of height and going down in high speed by an unpaved road busy with trucks and buses by the cliff side, it was a very good test for me. When we stopped for lunch we sat down on the ground (gave me a secure feeling) to eat a sandwich. From here I didn’t want to go anymore, but I didn’t say a word. I knew we still had more 3 or 4 hours on bike to get to Yolosa.

As we were going down we could feel the different climate and vegetation. Our itinerary started at an altitude of 4725m and end up at 1700m.  It was getting warmer and we were taking off layers of clothing, but the fear continued with me the whole trip. Every time I looked down the cliff I remembered that I heard when I was in Ecuador that an Israeli girl had fallen and died. In one of the stops there was a gravestone marking the place. Our guide explained exactly how she had fallen. I asked him how he knew it. He said he saw it, he was her guide. He said he was in the resting point and saw when she was going to pass a friend and flew down the cliff.

After hear the tragedy I was even more worreid and trying to go slowly (what it was impossible). I was always the last one in my group and my hands hurt so much of trying to break. The last 20 minutes were worse. I was already tired of being 5 hours on a bike and tense of the fear. This part of the road was very sandy and busy, that means lots of dust. I had lost my sunglasses and the dust would stick to my contact lenses and I couldn’t see anything. The idea of having a huge cliff by my side and I couldn’t see scared me a lot. I decided to stop. I did a sign to the van that was following us and hopped in. It was a relief. Well… in part, because the driver also couldn’t see anything. He had to stop the car many times for not crashing on someone or getting down the cliff. In Yolosa we met the rest of the group and we all went in the van to Coroico.

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