Have we mist our turning? Cyclists brave 700-metre drops on tour through fog along ‘the world’s deadliest road’, which claims 300 lives a year
- UK cyclists rode along Bolivia’s 40-mile North Yungus Road
- The single-lane track is also known as the Death Road
By ANTHONY BOND PUBLISHED: 13:23 GMT, 31 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:59 GMT, 31 July 2013
Cycling for six hours on a hilly 40-mile route is difficult at the best of times. But, when that route involves travelling along the most dangerous road in the world, it makes it all the more tricky.
These pictures show a group of cyclists from the UK during a ride along the notoriousNorth Yungus Road in Bolivia.
The single-lane track – which is also known as Death Road – is estimated to take the lives of around 300 travellers each year.
With no railings, the exposed and narrow road runs alongside a 700-metre sheer drop. The trek takes around six hours to complete, including time for a break on the most dangerous turn on the road, which has claimed the most lives. The bravest cyclists can sit on the edge of the notorious bend and dangle their legs into the valley below.
Nick Smith, 34, a graphic designer from Birmingham, travelled the length of the road during a cycling holiday. But to make sure he stood the best chance of survival he sipped a sacred drink and prayed to ‘Pacha Mama’, or Mother Earth, in the hope that she would help him complete the journey safely. Mr Smith, 34, said: ‘We drunk some of the Pacha Mama before splashing it on our wheels and the ground as a ritual.
‘I was scared of heights when I went but I was soon forced to confront that. ‘I had tried to prepare myself for the road but after actually being there, there’s nothing quite like it. ‘It was terrifying to begin with but by the end of the trip I was sitting on the edge, dangling my legs above the drop! ‘The views were incredible, I have never experienced anything like it.’ As one of the few routes to connect the Amazon rainforest of northern Bolivia to its capital city, the road ascends to more than 15,000ft before drastically dropping to 3,900ft.