این جاده در کشور بولیوی قرار دارد
THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS ROAD
TEXT BY MARTIN LI
Martin Li is a freelance travel writer based in London. He writes mainly for Travel Watch, a California-based publisher, and Travel Intelligence, a UK-based publisher. His main writing expertise is travel destinations off the beaten track, in particular wilderness retreats and remote hideaways. He has a passion for the world's great mountain ranges (admiring them, not climbing them), in particular the Andes and Himalayas.
Reproduced with thanks from SOUTH AMERICAN EXPLORER Vol 69 fall/winter 2002
It was an early morning in July. Alberto Olivera maneuvered his minibus down the treacherous mountain road from La Paz to Coroico. Rounding the notorious San Juan section, where the rough surface was wet from a nearby waterfall, fresh tire tracks veered towards the edge.
Moments later, Alberto's worst fear was confirmed. A lorry with a load of passengers had careened over the side. Far below in the steep wooded valley, amidst the mangled wreckage, 22 bodies lay scattered about. It was a miracle that seven survived.
ROAD OF DEATH
Starting high in the rarefied air of the Bolivian Andes, the steep and bumpy La Paz-to-Coroico road plunges down almost 3,600 meters on its spectacular 64-km path to the lush, sub-tropical Yungas and the sleepy town of Coroico. The narrow -- occasionally very narrow -- track hugs the walls of the sheer valley as it snakes its way beneath waterfalls and rocky overhangs. A fatal accident every fortnight is not uncommon on the Coroico road. The July disaster brought the death toll during the previous eight months to 55. In 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank dubbed the La Paz-to-Coroico route "the world's most dangerous road."
Five weeks after helping to pull bodies from the wrecked lorry, Alberto is once again on his way to Coroico. This time he is driving the support vehicle for a dozen mountain bikers drawn to the spectacular scenery and thrill that comes from biking Bolivia's "Road of Death."
On this crisp early dawn our group gathers in central La Paz to meet our guides, Pancho and Tony, who will take us up to La Cumbre. At a chilly 4,700 meters, La Cumbre, surrounded by unclimbed, glaciated peaks, is desolate and windswept. Along the way we encounter straggly herds of llamas and the occasional wild dog. The journey takes just over an hour. As we climb steadily towards the barren summit, the landscape turns harsh and rugged, our mouths turn dry, and our chatter becomes increasingly nervous.
At La Cumbre, near a stark statue of Christ, Pancho distributes the sturdy mountain bikes, gloves and helmets. He then checks the saddles, tire pressure and repeats the basic instructions one last time. We ride in circles for a while to get used to the bikes, then... we're off.
Though our bikes have 24 gears, Pancho has told us to ignore them. "Get into high gear and leave it there," he says and, almost immediately, we can appreciate the wisdom of this advice. Pulled by gravity, we are flying downhill over the beautifully smooth tarmac. Even riders like myself, who haven't ridden in years, are reaching tear-streaming speeds of almost 80km/hr with virtually no effort at all.
طرح گروه اندیشه ایرانیبه صورت تلاشی خود جوش در جهت تسهیل دستیابی دانشجویان و محققان ایرانی به منابع علمی آن لاین توسط جمعی از دانشجویان و اساتید ایرانی داخل و خارج از کشور عملی گردیده است.شما نیز علاوه بر پیوستن به گروه اندیشه ایرانی (برای عضویت کلیک کنید)با اطلاع رسانی در مورد آن در وب سایت (وبگاه)، وبلاگ (وب نوشت)خود و یا از طریق ایمیل،در مسیر تحقق اهداف طرح گام بردارید