Monday, January 18, 2010

death road; or, how i almost fell off a cliff

La Paz began on a rocky note, but after I got over the fact that I was entirely without my winter wear, I decided that I was in heaven (ie. finally back in civilization) and spent the rest of the week sitting in a hot tub with hilarious Israelis, continuing the attempts to breathe normally at 3600 meters, and eating quinoa soup. Once I regained my emotional capacities after the vomit chorus on the way into town, I made the executive decision to mountain bike the most dangerous road in the world in the spirit of pretending to train for a triathlon. I find this quite impressive considering the only biking I've done since middle school was to and from yoga class this year (a straight shot on Latona, and sometimes I cheated and rode on the sidewalks even then).
Death Road takes you through waterfalls, through overflowing rivers, nearly careening off cliffs when you get too cocky and start going really fast, and descends 3000 meters from freezing, foggy La Paz into balmy, jungly Coroico. I had a couple of Aussie friends with me on the trip, and the rest of our group was either Brazilian or deaf, but almost dying together really brings people together and I left the mountain with a new arsenal of ASL signals and Portuguese phrases. Additionally, I somehow got the entire relationship history of a sweet guy from Rio who spoke English like I speak Hebrew and discovered a butterfly the size of my bike wheel.

The day ended with a buffet lunch and a pool overlooking the mountains, which I'm not sure is normal for triathlon training, but something I'd like to incorporate into my normal routine either way. Death Road conquered, check please.

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