LA PAZ - PART 2
08/07 - 16/07
Afterwards we got given our equipment.
We got onto our bikes and we were off...
It was a rush heading down the gravel path, dodging rocks and trucks, taking sharp corners and navigating narrow bridges all whilst trying to not get too distracted by admiring the incredible views of the valley!
Don't try this at home kids!
As we had quite a big group and everyone was riding down at different speeds, there were points at which we were quite separated. We would always try stay close together though. At one point Joy was in front and as we were coming around one of the many sharp corners, she saw car approaching. The guides were not near us so we didn't hear the whistles. Joy shouted to Roxy who was just behind. Rox then tried to warn the people behind us. The car was moving very fast and would intersect with the other cyclists at the corner and they wouldn't see it coming beforehand. If they had been cycling in the centre, as we tried to do most of the time, they would have been goners. Rox heard no responses so took her one hand off the handlebars to give the 'Stop' signal. Unfortunately, her hand went off the back brakes, leaving her only clutching the front brakes. She thus went flying over the handle bars and OFF THE DEATH ROAD, OVER THE CLIFF!!!!!! It all happened so quickly and she doesn't remember exactly what happened but when Joy looked back, she could only see Roxy's helmet sticking out from below the cliff, she dropped her bike and ran over. The guide was behind us and also ran over. We looked over the edge and about 1m down there was Roxy, alive! Luckily, she had been caught by a bush growing out the side of the cliff. Her bike had fallen about 2m down below her. The guide was absolutely freaking out once we got her back onto the road. He kept asking if she was okay, he urged her to check for broken bones and ribs. After all, people had actually died doing this route before. But she was totally fine... Not even a scratch! Just a couple of bruises that appeared later. It was a complete miracle!
Flights out of Bolivia are four times the price of other international flights between countries in South America, we guess because it is more challenging to fly into a county at such a high altitude. So, we had booked a 30hr bus to Lima (Peru), leaving the next morning. Therefore, we had one last day in Bolivia to finish up all the things we needed to do. We wanted do post home a few things that we had collected over the last two months but when we weighed our package and saw how much it would cost, we decided against it. We just sent a few postcards instead, which were still actually very expensive to post.