A thrilling ride down the “Camino de la Muerte,” or “Death Road,” has become a popular adventure destination in Bolivia. I, personally, get nauseous just looking at the photo.
A 56-year old U.S. tourist, Kenneth Mitchell, was killed here in mountain-biking accident after tumbling from his rented bicycle and falling down a 200-foot cliff. Mitchell is the 12th cyclist to die on the road in the last decade.
The highway east from La Paz, the world’s highest capital city, winds dramatically down the face of the Andes, dropping 11,800 feet in just 40 miles. According to IHT, the narrow dirt track earned its nickname for the frequency with which Bolivian buses would plunge off its 3,300-foot cliffs, killing hundreds a year until a new paved highway opened 2007.
The cause of the accident is unknown. Mitchell’s bike, left behind at the cliff’s edge, was in perfect working order. Strange.