The day after my birthday was a freaking wreck. I was so hungover I didn't wake up until 1pm and didn't get out of bed until 3pm. I tried to be a normal person so I left the hostel to get food but was struggling so hard the entire walk to the cafe, the actual meal, and the walk back. I went straight to bed after and didn't get out again until 8/8:30pm. I even had to have Alex and Doug sign me up for Death Road since I couldn't get out of bed to walk 2 doors down.
Death Road is a major tourist attraction of Bolivia. We rode down hill on mountain bikes for about 3 hours, basically didn't break a sweat but the adrenaline was totally there. It's the world's scariest road because its a straight decline along the mountain with a really far drop to your left. However our guide made us bike as close to the left as possible to let cars pass so bikers on this road are at a definite disadvantage. At some points I think we were going about 60KMH.
I actually wish we could have gone a bit faster because it wasn't as scary as I had thought it would be. Our guide was biking at a slower speed than most, I think, which made it safe but not as scary or crazy as it could have been. I did eat shit though... I was trying to avoid a waterfall because the water makes the ground really slippery and the bike tends to slid. I did a quick turn to avoid the water and completely fell over. However I wasn't the only one! A few others ate shit and one girl didn't have enough speed going into a big puddle so she got caught and fell forward. I couldn't help but laugh because it was hilarious but also looked like it hurt. Poor Doug had a hurt knee so he couldn't bike about 2 hours of it and only came out for the last 30 minutes or so.
My advice is to pay a bit more for a better company to get better bikes. We went with the cheapest one we could find and the bikes were absolutely terrible. Some breaks weren't working, parts were held together by tape, and they were all just really old shitty bikes.
Some unfortunate Death Road stories:
There is a dirt path that runs along the side of a tunnel and this hotshot Dutch guy was trying to keep up with his guide going down hill but he was going too fast and grabbed the front break. He flipped forward and hit his balls against the handle bar. When he reached down, it was bleeding because his balls had ripped out and he has to get 25 stitches. Now they call that section "Dutch Ball Alley."
This girl was trying to catch up with her boyfriend and the guide but as she was trying to stop, she only grabbed the front breaks and flew forward, smashing her face against the ground. She lost all of her top front teeth... the guide and her boyfriend had to pick up her teeth one by one on the ground. Funnily enough (not funnny) but she was studying to be a dentist.
- 25 people have died on Death Road and 17 of them have been Israelis, not sure why
- One Aussie was being reckless and somehow he ended up falling off the side of the path but luck was on his side and he fell on top of a tree instead of to his death.
- A friend of mine fell off her bike from going too fast, hit her head and got a concussion because the next thing she knew, she was in the Bolivian hospital.