A Cautionary Tale
May 4, 2017
We are not necessarily risk takers, but we have found ourselves in some situations that have tested us. Whether white water rafting, trekking into the jungle, or hiking to the top of a mountain, we take all necessary precautions to hopefully avert disaster. We have had a couple of close calls, but fortunately are here to tell the tales. This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Danger! and we immediately thought back to our trip down Death Road in Bolivia. We should have known that our trip was going to be an eventful one when we came across a skull on a stick as we started making our way down the narrow road. After driving for a short while, we saw a bird in a tree that we wanted to take a few photos of, so the driver stopped our van. As we took a few pictures, there was suddenly some loud noises on the slope behind us. We turned to see a few large boulders sliding down the hillside towards the road. We have seen the results of landslides on other roads in Bolivia, so the threat of us and our vehicle being swept over the side of the cliff was a real possibility. We quickly scrambled back into the van and continued winding our way down the extremely narrow road. The main reason that Death Road is so dangerous is that there isn’t enough room for two vehicles to pass one another, but today traffic mostly just goes down as there is a new, modern highway that most vehicles use instead of taking the treacherous route. At one point, we did come across a truck that was broken down on one of the hairpin turns where a waterfall flowed across the road. As we started to pass the truck, the back wheels of our van started to slide toward the edge of the cliff, being swept by the water running across the road. Our driver pressed hard on the gas pedal and the engine revved as we slid our way back up onto the road. We were all a little shaken, including our driver who clearly knew what a close call it really was. If a vehicle or bicyclist goes over the edge of the cliff there is no rescue attempt, it is simply too steep and dense, so it is truly a death sentence. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or, in this case, gives you a great story to tell later. We talked all about our trip down Death Road in a previous post, al Camino de la Muerte, so feel free to see more photos from our adventure.
Since this is a photo challenge, here are few other danger signs that we have encountered. We hike in bear country quite often, but you have to be careful, especially in Autumn when the bears are preparing to hibernate or in Spring when they have cubs.