Surviving the Death Road

The Yungas road, better known as El Camino de la Muerte (The Death Road), is one of the few routes that connects the Amazon rainforest region of northern Bolivia to its capital city. Reportedly the world’s most dangerous road, it was build in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners. Nowadays, the single-lane road is dotted by hundreds of crosses, to remember ones whose journey ended in the jungle below the 600 meter cliffs. Upon leaving La Paz, the road first ascends to around 4,650 metres altitude at La Cumbre Pass, before descending to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) at the town of Coroico, transiting quickly from cool Altiplano terrain to a lush rainforest, as it winds through very steep hillsides and atop cliffs.

To go down this road on a mountain bike was possibly the #1 most exciting thing I’ve done in my life, and comes heavily recommended to all who enjoy adventure and adrenaline.

Some of the photos were taken using a compact camera, so please excuse the decrease in image quality. A few were made by our tour guide.

You start high, more than 5000 meters above sea level. Here, Andes of the Altiplano offer some excellent views for the morning travelers.

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Merry Christmas from a Winter Wonderland

Whether you are a casual visitor, or an old friend, I’d like to wish you the most wonderful Christmas, and may the next year be even better, than any year before. Fun fact, 2013 is BBB in base thirteen. :-)

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Welcome to Jordan!

Last year we undertook our first adventure in an Arabic country. Jordan is a special place full of quirky people, exotic sights, emerging tourist services, dangerous roads, rich history, and overenthusiastic ‘professional friends’. For some reason, everyone ostentatiously wants to be your friend in Jordan, and this fact is usually accompanied by a sum of Jordanian dinars (JD, pronounced jeedee) leaving your pocket in their direction. “Hello, my friend! For you, I have a very special price! You are my first customer today!” Overall though, it was a very positive experience, and Petra (Wadi Musa) is one of the most breathtaking places within a three hour flight range from the old continent.

Our “friend” took us for a ride around the evening Wadi Rum.

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Greek fairy-tale on Amorgos

Since English summer is rather underwhelming and I’m not getting anywhere close to a warm sea this year, it was a pleasure to go through last year’s photos from Amorgos. Many thanks to our Greek friends, especially Iakovos and Nikos for making this trip possible.

Ladies enjoying the view at descent from Hozoviotissa monastery.

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El Valle Sagrado de los Incas

Now that we’re adult, it’s our turn to decide what matters… :-) For me, it was fulfilling the dream I’ve had for longer than I can remember. Many years ago, when little Martin saw a random photo of Machu Picchu in an old magazine, he became obsessed with native Andean cultures. Incas, Mayans, Moche, Tiwanaku, reading everything he could get his hands on, history and fiction, even trying to learn Quipu. Well, to be honest, it was more like designing his own knot-based writing system, which you could only read if you remembered what was written there. ;-) But even long after this phase was over, the hope that one day he will get to see those places persisted until now.

The first houses of Pisac.

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