All across Bolivia you see backpackers wearing their “I survived the Death Road” T-shirts. It refers to a mountain biking trip you can take down the terrifying Yungas Road, nicknamed El Camino de la Muerte. It’s a ‘must-do’ for many on the stereotypical circuit around the country.
The trouble is lots of people – mainly Bolivians – haven’t survived. At one point, it was said that 200 to 300 were falling to their deaths here every year.
This week the road made headlines across the world again (including in The Telegraph and The Sun), because of this horrifying video of a fatal bus crash.
The driver died. I dread to think what he was getting paid to take such a risk.
There is much less traffic on this route these days and it is known to be exceeding high risk to take it on during rainy season (as this bus driver did). The figures quoted in the press this week appear to be outdated. Numbers from 2011 suggest 114 accidents and 42 deaths. But that’s still a lot.
And, by the way, you are seeing that correctly. The uploader of the You Tube video has used the opportunity to show appreciation for someone called Joe Rogan (a U.S. comedian who appears to have direct viewers/listeners/fans to the incident). And, over the screams of the bystanders, the Rogan fan has decided to advertise ‘a famous magic sock video’, complete with smiley face.