If you need a hedonistic binge: Mountain biking 45 miles down the treacherous road that connects Coroico to La Paz is a kaleidoscopic evolution of microclimates, and throws a bit of mud in your face. The aptly named “death road” was cut into the side of a mountain chain in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners. It connects the Amazonian rainforest to La Paz. You’ll note that many vehicles have tumbled off the narrow dirt road and met their fates far below. The 11,000-plus-foot drop means riders segue from thin, chilly air to baking humidity. Many outfitters compete for your business. Oh yeah, La Paz has decent hospitals.
Travel widely enough, and you’ll notice something about the Americans you encounter abroad. While the people I know in the States are too often shackled to dull jobs or unrewarding relationships, the entrenched expats I’ve met while visiting more than 100 countries never show evidence of boredom, worry, or regret. Nearly all seem to embody what a quintessential Outback man — twice my age and hitching in the opposite direction on an Australian backroad — yelled across the pavement: “Don’t spend time; enjoy it.”