Jan 4, 2010

The Most Dangerous Roads of the World

1. Bolivia's "Road of Death"


North Yungas Road is hands-down the most dangerous in the world for motorists. If other roads could be considered impassable, this one clearly endangers your life. It runs in the Bolivian Andes, 70 km from La Paz to Coroico, and plunges down almost 3,600 meters in an orgy of extremely narrow hairpin curves and 800-meter abyss near-misses.

A fatal accident happens there every couple of weeks, 100-200 people perish there every year. In 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank named the La Paz-to-Coroico route "the world's most dangerous road."

Among the route there are many visible reminders of accidents, wrecked carcasses of lorries and trucks lie scattered around at the bottom.



The buses and heavy trucks navigate this road, as this is the only route available in the area. Buses crowded with locals go in any weather, and try to beat the incoming traffic to the curves.

It does not help that the fog and vapors rise up from the heavily vegetated valley below, resulting in almost constant fogs and limited visibility. Plus the tropical downpours cause parts of the road to slide down the mountain.




Apparently some companies make business on the road's dubious fame by selling the extreme bike tours down that road. "Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking" is one of them. (you can read one such biker's account here.) If you are nuts enough to consider it, please be advised that you will be only adding to the road hazards, as it's hard to spot a cyclist on the road's hairpin curves, and your shrieks (as you fall down the abyss) will disturb the peace and quiet of the villagers nearby.




Note: The Bolivian road of death has been closed to regular traffic for a year or two now. There is a newer, much much safer road connecting La Paz to the Yungas now. The road of death is now open only to tour buses, hikers, and bikers. The traffic now is so low that others are not really an issue.


2. Russian Siberian Road to Yakutsk



This is the official federal-government highway to Yakutsk, and it is also the only one to get there. As there are no other roads, the intrepid motorists are doomed to wallow in this dirt, or wait in week-long 100 km car line-ups (they say women even gave birth there while waiting).

This can turn into a major humanitarian disaster during rainy spells, when the usual clay covering of the road turns into impassable mud blanket, swallowing trucks and tractors alike. In the meantime the city has to partly airlift food products.





Here is an aerial shot of this road in winter:





The "Haunted Road" in Russia

There are also rumors of seemingly quite normal 30 km stretch of Russian country road, which nevertheless gets an unexplained amount of car accidents; the locals suspect underground gas seepage which causes motorists to fall asleep...

This creepy tale is supported by the evidence of car crash statistics and the tales of survivors, who do not remember anything prior to the crash and act strangely "drugged" afterwards. Hopefully this will be properly investigated before the road claims more victims.



3. Magnificient Guoliang Tunnel Road in China
- Road that does not tolerate any mistakes

The road shown here is the Guoliang Tunnel in Taihang mountains (China). It has been built by villagers themselves, which is an inspiring story in itself:

"Before 1972, the path chiseled into the rock used to be the only access linking
the village with the outside world. Then the villagers decided to dig a tunnel through the rocky cliff. Led by Shen Mingxin, head of the village, they sold goats and herbs to buy hammers and steel tools. Thirteen strong villagers began the project. It took them five years to finish the 1,200-metre-long tunnel which is about 5 meters high and 4 meters wide. Some of the villagers even gave their lives to it. On May 1, 1977, the tunnel was opened to traffic."




The wall of the tunnel is uneven and there are more than 30 "windows" of different sizes and shapes. Some windows are round and some are square, and they range from dozens of metres long to standard-window-size. It is frightening to look down from the windows, where strange rocks hanging form the sheer cliff above and a seemingly bottomless pit lying below. A village, opposite the tunnel, appears to hang on the precipice.







4. Nepal, Tibet & Bangladesh Roads

Those bound for Mount Everest will know what we talk about. There are some hair-raising, hardly maintained roads in the area - which bus and truck drivers have to negotiate to get to small villages. A road in Nepal, leading from From Katmandu to Everest Base Camp:





A typical India-Nepal Road:







5. Most Dangerous Tourist Hiking Trail (China)

Not a car road, but the most hair-raising experience you can have on your own two legs. This is a heavy-tourist traffic area in Xian (Mt.Huashan); this link explains more about the area.

The hanging wooden planks are a real tourist hike path, which hundreds of daredevils navigate - with no safeguards in sight. Try to step on them in slippery / snowy conditions... or better not.





This is the original article, as written by Avi Abrams in November, 2006. All rights reserved, @ Ian Media.

Source: www.darkroastedblend.com, BBC, ochevidec.net, turkontakt.ru, www.cualquiera.com.ar, kartograff.ucoz.ru/f, MarkoP, Pasiki Journal, www.skyscrapercity.com, blog.china.com, rickmccharles.com, www.topspeed.com, weblinks.ru


Share:


You Might Also Like:

loading...

2 comments:

FYI, the Bolivian road of death has been closed to regular traffic for a year or two now. There is a newer, much much safer road connecting La Paz to the Yungas now. The road of death is now open only to tour buses, hikers, and bikers. I've biked it, its beautiful and only dangerous if you get a little overzealous and shoot over the edge. The traffic now is so low that others are not really an issue.

Thanks, your information is inserted in the post

Post a Comment