Driving to a certain destination especially if it requires long hours’ drive is not easy. Especially if it’s one of the strangest roads you’ve ever driven on. Unless you just go for a road trip, it will never be an issue. You’ll just drive aimlessly at dusk, enjoying the blows of wind on your face while playing good music. Ahh, how fascinating would that be?
But hey, not all roads are just like the way you imagine it. Some are so strange, that you will think twice if you’ll give it a go and drive. Or strange in a sense that you don’t expect the story behind its creation. But if you’re looking for some wild adventures along the road, you might consider these four strangest roads to drive on:
Guoliang Tunnel, China
If you put your mind into your goal, everything is possible. This is what the 13 villagers of Guoliang proved to everyone. Using only hand tools, and a tremendous amount of patience and determination, they carved a tunnel connecting to the outside world.
The Guoliang village was in isolation for several years. Its 350 inhabitants were beseeching their government to provide them a roadway but often ignored. With their frustration, 13 of their strongest men stepped up and made an incredible, death-defying feat.
The villagers sold their livestock and other necessities to purchase tools and supplies. The team carved a tunnel along the side of the Taihang Mountains. This tunnel links the village to the outside civilization. And after five years, they finally created 1.2 kilometers long, 5 meters tall and 4 meters wide tunnel. They opened it to the public on May 1, 1977.
The Guoliang tunnel’s creation sparked a huge interest in people. Even if its original intention is to have a road to the village, it became a tourist attraction over time. It is dangerous to pass through here due to its very little resistance. But knowing its history will absolutely astound anyone who will witness it firsthand.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Known as “Death Road”, this unpleasant moniker of North Yungas Road in Bolivia is no doubt terrifying. It would make anyone send back home or find any safest route to drive on. Built on the Cordillera Oriental mountain chain, this road has a steep, frightening cliffside. Most parts of the road have only 3.5 meters wide, with some unpaved sections. It has no guardrails, so the 600-meter abyss will certainly add up the fright of people passing by.
When it comes to the weather, don’t expect that it’s always good. Because winds from the Amazon could bring heavy rains and fog, making the road drenched with cascading water. There were several mudslides and tumbling rocks reported. And accordingly, between 200 to 300 people die every year on the North Yungas Road.
In the 1930s, Paraguayan prisoners built North Yungas Road during the Chaco War. The construction’s intention was to connect La Paz with Las Yungas and the Amazon. Over the years and due to its growing fame on the Internet, this road has become widely known to tourists. It also attracted a lot of extreme sports enthusiasts, especially those downhill bikers.
Kolyma Highway, Russia
Next in our list will probably freak you out. Not just because of its dark history, but also because of how risky it could be when you venture on it. Known as the “Road of Bones”, the Kolyma Highway in Russia is one of the dangerous roads to drive. It is a road through the Russian Far East which connects Magadan with the town of Nizhny Bestyakh.
The creation of Kolyma Highway started during the Soviet Union’s Stalinist era. Prisoners of Sevvostlag labor camp and the slaves of the country of Gulag were the ones behind the construction. Accordingly, other than building the road, another purpose of this forced labor was to mine gold and uranium. The area was reportedly abundant in deposits of these valuable earth minerals.
During the building of this road, hundreds of thousands of prisoners died mainly because of freezing. The corpses then left in the foundations of the road, not giving attention to at least bury them. And to terrify you with its construction, the workers used the meat as mortar and the bones as stones.
Nowadays, the Kolyma Highway is less traveled. This is due to the little population around the area, plus the fact that the route always remains covered with snow or mud. But if you still want to go and experience driving on this thrilling roadway, it’s safer to do it in winter. Because the road will be extremely muddy when the melting starts and a lot of fallen trees will fill the place.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
So enough with perilous and creepy roadways, and let’s move on to Stelvio Pass of Italy. Considered as one of the most dramatic and challenging to drive, you’ll get thrilled with the zigzags of this remarkable road. Having an elevation of 9,045 ft above sea level, this is the highest paved mountain pass in Eastern Alps. It has about 29 miles up and over the Ortler Alps in northern Italy, declaring it to be the second-highest Alps.
The Austrian Empire built this road between 1820 and 1825 to link the province of Lombardy with the rest of the country. But since August 1898, its original purpose has shifted to something extraordinarily different. Regarded as an excellent driving road, Stelvio Pass became a good location for drivers seeking a challenge.
Stelvio Pass got the attention of the public in 2008, when the famous TV show, Top Gear, featured the roadway. The automotive show has even named the mountain pass as the greatest driving road in the world. Because of this, it caught the interests of a lot of extreme driving enthusiasts.
If you’re a driver who is willing to take the challenge, make your own extensive research first. Not all the time, Stelvio Pass is open to the public. At some time, the authorities close it completely due to the heavy snow that blocks the road. And accordingly, it is usually open from June to October.
It is no doubt that human hands can do a lot of amazing things that could mark human history.
But let’s keep in mind to learn from their back story, no matter what it would be. Enjoy its purpose, and treasure it while it lasts.
How about you? Did you drive on any of the roads mentioned in our list? Or have you had an unforgettable experience from different roadways? Let us hear your story.