Thursday, February 15, 2018

Death Road: The Point of No Return

In the 1930's a road was built connecting La Paz to the Amazon Rainforest region of northern Bolivia that is so dangerous it has been named "Death Road." People take their life in their own hands just by traveling on Death Road.

Death Road also known as "the world's most dangerous road", is a one lane road that is ten feet wide with extreme drop-offs of at least 2,000 feet. Visibility can be very poor due to elements such as fog, rain and dust. Rocks can loosen because of the muddy road causing the road to become damaged. Because of the narrowness of the road there are no guardrails, even if there were, the road is so unstable that they would probably not hold up if they were hit.

Passing another vehicle on Death Road is extremely dangerous. The right of way is never given to the vehicle going downhill. The vehicle going downhill must move to the outer edge of the road while the other car passes putting it in danger of falling off the edge of the road. Many times the wheels of the vehicle are partially off of the edge of the road with the 2000 feet drop-off below. The two vehicles must stop for the pass to be negotiated so that the vehicle going uphill can pass.

Image result for pictures of death roadThere are times when vehicles absolutely can not pass each other on the road, which requires the vehicle going downhill to back-up. This can be extremely dangerous due to the narrowness of the road and the twists and turns.

It is even more confusing and dangerous to drive on Death Road because the vehicles are required to drive on the left side when taking the road whereas they drive on the right in the rest of Bolivia. Driving on the left side of the road gives the person who has to pull over when passing a better view of the outside wheel of the vehicle so that it can be turned to stay on the road when passing.

On July 24, 1984 one-hundred passengers were killed when the bus they were taking went off the road into a canyon marking it as the worst road accident in Bolivia.

In 2006 a new road that was twenty years in the making was finished connecting Bolivia and La Paz. The new two-lane paved road bypasses the most dangerous sections of Death Road.

Death Road is not  traveled often anymore however thrill seekers still travel Death Road. It is a popular road for mountain bikers. It is still extremely dangerous and mountain bikers have died while riding on Death Road. It is a road where a person might find the point of no return.

+Death Road

Picture courtesy of Google Images