It was an early rise this morning for a downhill ride on the worlds most dangerous road (WMDR) according to someone with some authority who declared it as much. Unlike everyone who’d try to shrug such titles, this one has stuck and now a tourist attraction in its own right.
I caught a taxi to our rendezvous point, a local coffee place with the Canadian couple I met the day before (Mike and Andrea). The place already had a few downhiller’s awaiting their fate, and our guide, a young adventurous Andy turned up to get us all going.
The bus ride up to an altitude of 4800m was not too bad, and where we departed was mostly covered in mist and I couldn’t see too far ahead of me. Of course the dangerous bit at this stage was getting used to our downhill mountain bikes and riding them on a flat sealed road. In fact it was relatively easy to manage, not much to see or avoid either, except for maybe doing a radical pose for our other guide Willie who wanted a llama or two.
We then started the descent of the WMDR and initially while hesitant to go too fast, I soon realised I was far more likely to hit a big bloody rock aka “A babys head” because of the size of them than to go off the edge. Not that I could see the edge, other than be told it’s a 500m drop.
We eventually came to an amusing yet annoying situation. A bus of locals was stuck under a waterfall. Quite how it became stuck eludes me, but the engine miraculously stopped working while the bus was under the waterfall. I personally think the bus was stopped there for a bit of fun until they realise it wouldn’t start again. The driver was insistent on being pushed up the hill and out of the waterfall, which would have solved nothing, because there were already 3 buses waiting to go down. After some yelling from our driver and a few others the stubbornness of the bus driver was broken and he agreed to roll the 100m back down the road to where there was a wide area to allow traffic past until his bus was repaired.
We continued down with more views visible as the mist decreased. As our confidence grew and as our guides said more oxygen and thinking we had larger balls than we actually had, would lead to more accidents. Sure enough I stacked it, pushing it too the limit or so I reckon. The video isn’t too bad either. Mike and Andrea plus a few others stopped to check I was all right, but I got back on and kept riding. However a French girl wasn’t so lucky and being female most likely had no balls but clearly lots of confidence because she overtook several of us and then had a collision with the cliff face. Although the cliff face at least stops you, the edge just lets you keep on going.
We did make in the end, the hardest stages being those with peddling right at the end. A finishing beer and a strong, no way am I doing the flying fox, finished the bike riding and we transferred over to La Sende Verde, a wildlife sanctuary for animals that were kept as pets. I was in Macaw and Monkey Heaven. After a pasta lunch with lots of vegies (oh how I miss things like broccoli and carrots!) I checked into my treehouse with a suspension bridge. Pretty awesome and I even got a good nights sleep for once due to the lovely altitude of 1200m.
Downhill mountain bike stack on Youtube