BOLIVIA, SOUTH AMERICA

Graphic "Hades Rising" by Dark Project Studios. --- (Click here and go direct)

 


Road of Death

 In western Bolivia, surrounded by lush foliage, great humidity and frequent foggy conditions, there is a road connecting La Paz to the southern edge of the Amazon basin.

North Yungas Road is hands-down the most dangerous in the world for motorists. This one clearly endangers your life. It runs in the Bolivian Andes, 70 km from La Paz to Coroico, and plunges down almost 3,600 meters (11,811 ft.) in an orgy of extremely narrow hairpin curves and 800-meter (2,625 ft.) abyss near-misses. A fatal accident happens there every couple of weeks, 200-300 people perish there every year. In 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank named the La Paz-to-Coroico route "the world's most dangerous road."

 

This is a group of random photos which are self explanatory. You can compare it with your trucking on the turnpike, and figure whether you have it rough going or not. You be the judge.

 (Click on Photos to enlarge)

 

 

Built by Paraguayan prisoners during the Chaco War in the 1930's, the road have frequent landslides because of the rainy weather.

 

 

     

 

200 to 300 people die each year on this 43 mile road through the Bolivian Andes.

 

One of the local road rules specifies that the downhill driver never has the right of way and must move to the outer edge of the road. This forces fast vehicles to stop so that passing can be negotiated safely, not only that but the stopped driver himself is sitting on the edge looking down.

 

 

If you are looking for a real experience of what it is like; check out this web page description, it tells it like it is. Click here and go direct. It is worth the trip, but not before scanning the balance of my page first, OK? Then you can tour the other sites at your leisure.

--- http://www.boliviangeographic.com/yungas_road.htm   ---

     

Photos above --- The photographers unknown.

 

The trucking game is not all hearts & flowers no matter where you are. Most North Americans & Europeans really do not have it all that bad when it comes to road conditions. This trail would scare the hell out of most truckers who think that they have it rough going on paved hills of any grade. This is really no place for the west coast wheelbase rigs.

 


 

The photos (Left and Below) are courtesy of Jordi Busqué Peréz.


The (left photo) shows the new highway to bypass the old Death Road. It is almost completed, but as crazy as it may seem, the truckers with heavy loads will still prefer to use the old route. The high altitude and grade create engine heating problems whereas the many water falls on the old road give a constant supply of coolant.

 

Just a few of the hazards traveling this route are, --- the narrowness of the road along with a total lack of guardrails, the loose rocks that may come down on you anytime, the constant rain washing portions of the road away right from under you. What some would call heavy fog is also considered clouds at that altitude. The visibility can be downright scary at times. All of these conditions  together make most people label this the most dangerous road in the world. It certainly is not for the faint of heart.

 

     

 

Just a couple more notes on this road. With the narrowness of the road, traffic going in both directions, you really have to be alert for unexpectedly meeting someone head on. There are extremely bad locations where visibility around a curve is non existent and at times a human stop light is required, just to cut down on the death toll as much as possible. (Lower Center Photo) His signal paddle is green for go on one side and red to stop on the other, controlling traffic flow by flipping paddle around.

To visit Jordi's web site to see more great photos of the road, along with other subjects of interest, click here and go direct, ---  

---   http://www.jordibusque.com/Index/Stories/YungasRoad/YungasRoad_01.html   ---

 


 

---------------- William (Diesel Gypsy) Weatherstone                RETURN TO HOME PAGE