So being sick sucks and I felt for Dave and wanted him to do something he would enjoy other than reading his book while I feel sorry for myself in bed. So I considered the famous Death Road mountain biking adventure. We, in the end, booked with Altitude Adventures as they were recommended by Bolivia Hop, we got a discount and our friend Ben and his girlfriend Michelle did it through them and couldn’t speak more highly of them. Clearly we had a difference of opinion. At 630pm the day before we called Altitude and they were still open and had space for the next day trip, as this was our only free day. We quickly made it to the office to book, which was super easy and we paid 1060 BOBs total which included the discount from Bolivia Hop. They explained the process and said that with a group over 20 there is a front and back guide and a guide in between every 5 riders, we will get back to that! The following morning, we were picked up from the hostel and were on our way, upon arriving there is a group of 26 riders total and we all get fitted and get a basic explanation of the bikes. Basically, use both breaks not one when riding to avoid going over the bike. Nailed it with the safety briefing Altitude (insert sarcasm)! The riding gear, even the size small, swam on me and made it hard to ride.
Anyhoo, we start the ride on paved road, which was my favourite part, minus hitting a weird bump and my bike veering a bit to close to the edge (whoops). Then we go to Death Road and things just went downhill from there (no pun intended). The whole Death Road is a big, bumpy fest and with an uncomfortable bike seat my bottom got bruised. I can ride a bike but I wasn’t full comfortable on the path and wanted to take it easy and not be the person of the day that goes over the edge. We agreed prior to the ride to stick together and that if he wanted to go ahead I’ll just stick with the guide. So Dave rode in front of me and stayed back with me which annoyed me (I know right) because he clearly wanted to go ahead as he is better at it then me. It was obvious when I would lose sight of him so I wished he had just said he wanted to go ahead. Anyway as couples do this caused an argument, which are always fun ;).
Anyway, the actual Death Road is fine, there wasn’t a point where I felt like I was going to be a fatality but I still took it easy as I really hated the bumpy road, which goes for endless hours, well two or so total.
Back to Altitude and why they don’t get my/our vote. Firstly, the bikes are supposed to be regular maintained and we got the middle range ones (transition) and Dave’s bike had to be replaced three times for brake failure. My bike got a flat tyre but that was expected. Second, as we decided to take it easy we were at the back of the group and maybe 10-15 minutes behind the front group and we weren’t included in any group photos or over the edge photos. So after looking at Facebook pictures was annoyed to see that we weren’t included. As a tour company you need to expect that people are at different speeds and accommodate. Thirdly, there wasn’t a guide behind us at all times. Sometimes he rode ahead so if we had gone over the edge who would have known?! Based on that I wouldn’t recommend Altitude to others and we also met some other travellers who did Death Road with other companies who complained the Altitude riders were all over the place and not properly guided making it difficult for other groups. So overall it was okay for me, the scenery is perfect and if it was paved the whole way it would be perfect but it wouldn’t be Death Road then. Dave enjoyed it the most out of us both.
Goodbye for now.
P.S: Bit delayed with posting, been busy catching up with friends in NYC.