Lodgey and Life on the Road. Stories from South America.

17 July 2010

Bye, bye Bolivia

After bidding Meg and Hunter farewell, our next adventure is a mountain bike tour down the ‘world’s most dangerous road’. It is a narrow, rocky road with mountains on one side and a sheer drop on the other. It has earned its name because of the number of deaths from cars, buses and trucks going over the side.

Not so confident on a mountain bike – let alone on a road with that kind of reputation – I am extremely nervous.

We start at high altitude, 4300m and, as well as struggling to breathe, the bike I’m riding is much heavier than I’m used to.

The first part is downhill on a tarred road so it’s not too bad. But then we hit the dirt road and I’m all over the place. The road is covered in massive stones and, although we stop every 15 minutes to make sure no one has gone over the edge, I’m always the last person in. Geezer rides with me until a guide offers to escort me down so that Geezer can whiz down and enjoy it.
It takes us a few hours to get down to the town at the bottom and, as time goes on, my confidence picks up. Geezer has the time of his life but I’m relieved it´s over.

The next day we board a bus to a lovely little town called Copacobana on Lake Titicaca near Peru’s border. Needing a few days just to chill, we skip all the tours and relax in a cafe watching the World Cup. We get up early one morning to watch New Zealand play Slovakia and I wake the whole town with my yelling when New Zealand scores a goal.

To our delight, we bump into Meg and Hunter and after reassuring each other that we aren’t encroaching on each other’s space we agree to travel to Puno in Peru to see the floating islands made of reeds.

So after five weeks we leave Bolivia, having only intended to spend two. But who’s counting!

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