Had no clue who to go with, and everyone will tell you that gravity is the best. They are a bit more expensive and being on a backpacker budget I wanted to ask around a bit. Several agencies were booking with madness so decided to go with them after checking them our directly. Paid 650 bs for their newest bike as modeled in the store (full suspension - and yes this was the exact bike I ended up with - apparently you don't always get what you see)
Later on I went online to read so me poor reviewed and when there was only 3 of us taking the tour that day I questioned the low number... But in the end this just made the experience even better where there was such a small group.
They came to pick us up at the hostel at 6:40 in the morning, which was something other companies didn't do. went to their main depot to pick up our equipment etc. - was upset at first because we were told they'd have jackets for us but nothing was left out and the office wasn't open yet so we were out of luck. Anyways it didn't turn out to matter anyway as long as you bring warm layers.
The day was fantastic. As everyone says the same thing: you start out in the clouds and snow capped peaks - (verrrrrry cold so dress warm to start!!) we started on asphalt To get a feel for the bikes before hitting the loose gravel.. Got part of the way and paid our entrance fee of 25 bs and then re loaded back into the van to reach the start of death road.
One thing that most agencies will tell you: there is NO two-way traffic on this road anymore ever since the new one has been built.. This is a lie. Cars were going both ways throughout the day. When I first found out I was very uncomfortable... As a biker though you really have nothing to worry about if you are careful. Reckless drivers definately can come around a corner unsafely so you need to be careful of that but in general to bike this road is totally safe just pay attention!!
Our driver (olly) and guide (rick) were great! Learned a lot of cool facts and stories about death road along the way... Some may prefer to ask questions at the end but it just added to the thrill and experience of death road.
The whole day was amazing and Rick and olly took lots of photos and videos of us throughout (free cd and t shirt!!) perfect end to the day when we reached the little village... Started with an actually hot shower (somewhat unheard of!) went for a swim and had a buffet lunch. Forget the name of the hotel we went to (the different companies don't all go to the same place) but if going with madness then you will love the place it was beauty! Two pools... Go to the one around the back its less crowded and nicer scenery!
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