Bolivia
Serrania Sacramento

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25 travelers at this place:

  • Day84

    The Death Road

    January 2, 2019 in Bolivia ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    Wenn man in der Nähe von La Paz ist, gibt es einen ganz wichtigen Punkt auf der ToDo-Liste, und zwar mit dem Mountainbike die gefährlichste Straße der Welt herunterzufahren.
    Also geht's erstmal zum besten Touranbieter um uns über die Death Road zu informieren. Immerhin klingt der Name recht gefährlich und wir haben nach Bolivien ja noch ein paar Länder auf dem Programm.
    Laut den Guides kommt jedoch jeder, der schon mal Fahrrad gefahren ist, auch diesen Berg runter (anscheinend wollte dieses Jahr auch schonmal ein Mädel auf der Death Road Fahrradfahren lernen, was nicht so gut ausgegangen ist).
    Na da bin ich mal gespannt...

    Nachdem die Evi entschieden hat, dass ihr die Abfahrt nicht ganz geheuer ist, fahre ich alleine mit einer Gruppe Adrenalinjunkies zur Death Road.

    Wir starten auf über 5000m. Es ist neblig und vor uns liegen über 60km Schotterpiste und 3500m Höhenunterschied.
    Die erste Stunde geht's aber erstmal über Asphalt um uns an die Fahrräder zu gewöhnen. Das ist zwar noch nicht die Death Road, aber das Überholen von LKWs bei bis zu 60km/h find ich dann doch nicht so ohne.
    Dann geht's endlich richtig los. Alle 20 Minuten bekommen wir von unseren Guides Anweisungen auf was wir beim nächsten Streckenabschnitt achten müssen und von Stopp zu Stopp wird die Straße anspruchsvoller. Es geht über Stock und Stein, durch enge Kurven, Wasserfälle und Bäche. So unanspruchsvoll wie es verkauft wird, finde ich es dann doch nicht und bin froh wie ich nach 4 Stunden ankomme (und Evi hat’s bis heute nicht bereut, dieses Abendteuer ausgelassen zu haben 😉).

    Damit der Tag nicht "zu langweilig" ist, gibt es im Anschluss zur Tour noch ein paar Ziplines. Bei 75km/h kann die Aussicht auf die tolle Schlucht genossen werden.
    Zum Ausklang des Tages gehen wir dann noch zum La Senda Verde Animal Refugium in dem wir zu Abend essen. Das lustige ist, dass der Essensaal in einem Käfig ist und die Affen drum rum einen beobachten. Es ist wie im Zoo, nur umgedreht...

    Noch ein paar interessante Fakten zu der Death Road:
    Bevor die Alternativstraße 2007 eröffnet wurde, galt die Straße als gefährlichste Straße der Welt mit -laut Guide- 360 Unfällen pro Jahr. Obwohl die Straße an den engsten Stellen nur 3 Meter breit ist und der Abhang meistens hunderte Meter in die Tiefe geht, gibt es Verkehr in beide Richtungen. Um besser sehen zu können, wo sich die eigenen Reifen beim Herunterfahren befinden, herrscht Linksverkehr. Außerdem haben die herunterfahrenden Fahrzeuge Vorfahrt. Im Gegensatz zu der allgemeinen Meinung ist die Straße immer noch für den normalen Verkehr offen, sodass man beim Mountainbiken sehr vorsichtig sein muss um nicht nach einer Kurve einem Auto zu begegnen. Auch Jeremy Clarkson war mit Top Gear vor Ort, hier ein kleiner Eindruck:
    https://vimeo.com/86398626
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  • Day288

    Camino de la Muerto

    May 15, 2019 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Wenn es um Aktivitäten in La Paz ging, war eine Sache in aller Munde - „Camino de la Muerto“, die Death Road. Nach unserer Tour in Neuseeland konnte ich Caro nicht überzeugen mich bei einer Downhill-Tour auf besagter Straße zu begleiten. In aller Frühe startete der Bus mit unserer 12-köpfigen Gruppe und wir machten uns auf den Weg. Als wir den höchsten Punkt bei 4.700 müNN erreicht hatten, gab es Frühstück und wir bekamen unsere Fahrräder und Ausrüstung. Die ersten 20km der Tour legten wir dann auf dem asphaltierten Teil zurück um ein besseres Gefühl für das Equipment und die Gruppe zu bekommen. Nach einem 10Km langen Anstieg den wir im Bus zurücklegten gelangten wir zur eigentlichen „Death Road“. Einer Schotterstraße die größtenteils nur breit genug für ein Auto ist. Auf der einen Seite geht es steil nach oben, auf der anderen steil nach unten. Um die Fahrt für Autos zu vereinfachen wurde auf dieser Straße Linksverkehr eingeführt, damit hinunterfahrende Fahrer die Abbruchkante besser sehen können. Seit 2006 gibt es eine Alternativstraße, die zwar wesentlich länger ist aber dafür auch sicherer und komplett asphaltiert ist.
    Jetzt konnte es endlich losgehen! - und es dauerte auch nicht lang bis der erste stürzte. Ihr ist zum Glück nichts weiter passiert und es blieb auch bei dem einen Sturz. Die Strecke an sich verlief mal steiler und mal flacher und der Untergrund mal Schotter oder Grundgestein. Wir machten regelmäßig Stops für weitere Instruktionen und coole Fotos und ab und an mussten wir unter Wasserfällen hindurch. Nach dem Mittag erwartete uns ein längeres gerades Stück und zum Glück bemerkte ich vorher, dass meine Schaltung kaputt war. Die Guides lösten das Problem aber im Handumdrehen während der Mittagspause. Auf dem letzten Teilstück gab dann meine Schaltung völlig den Geist auf - der Umwerfer brach ab, kam in die Speichen, Kette und Hinterrad blockierten aber zum Glück konnte ich Anhalten ohne zu Stürzen. Jetzt bewährte sich die Strategie des Anbieters neben genug Ersatzteilen und Werkzeug auch ein Ersatzrad dabei zu haben, welches schnell vom Bus abgeladen wurde und mit dem ich die letzten 10Km fahren konnte. Unten angekommen, fuhren wir noch ein kleines Stück in ein Hotel wo ein tolles Buffet und ein Pool auf uns wartete. Nachdem alle gegessen und getrunken hatten, bekam dann jeder auch sein „Death Road Survivor“ T-Shirt für die geglückte Abfahrt. Insgesamt war es eine tolle Abfahrt, sowohl anspruchsvoll als auch landschaftlich sehr schön. Die Gesamtlänge die wir gefahren sind waren 64Km und es ging von 4.700 m auf 1.200 m hinab.
    Die Rückfahrt dauerte 4 Stunden über die neue Asphalt-Strecke und abends gönnten wir uns dann noch ein Bier und einen Burger (zur Burger Happy Hour) im Hostel.
    Konrad
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  • Day13

    Death Road

    March 22, 2017 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    What a day! Der wohl bisher Beste des Urlaubs. Start kurz vor 7 im ungeliebten Hostel in La Paz. Raus aus dem Muff, Rucksäcke auf und zur Abholstation für die Death Road. Relativ pünktlich waren wir dann auch alle im Bus und es ging mit unseren Guides eine Stunde bergauf auf 4700m. Wir zählten 3 Australier, 2 Amis, 3 Italiener und 2 Schotten zu unserer Crew und schon beim Weg herauf verbreiteten unsere Guides und die Musik beste Laune. Es war Regen angesagt. Und so starteten wir im Nebel mit 4 Schichten Kleidung im Winteroutfit auf die ersten Kilometer Asphaltstraße bevor es auf die eigentliche Death Road ging. Zahlreiche Zwischenstops und Sicherheitshinweise lockeren die ersten Kilometer gut auf. Und dann ging es nach einer kurzen Busfahrt auf die eigentliche Todesstraße. Trotz Nebel und zwischenzeitlichen Regengüssen hatten wir unglaublich viel Spaß über die steinige Piste bergab an steilsten Hängen zu fahren. Immer mal lockerte sich der Nebel und wir erahnten welchen Ausblick man hier sonst hat. Im Tal hatten wir dann klare Sicht und mussten immer mehr Kleidungsschichten loswerden, bis wir am Ende nur noch im tshirt fuhren. Angekommen im Tal ging es dann direkt in eine kleine Lodge mit Pools und wir genossen unser Bier und Mittagessen nach getaner Arbeit bei 30 Grad im Sonnenschein. Freut euch auf grandioses Videomaterial! Da wir als einzige nach Coroico weiter wollten, wurden wir an der nächsten Kreuzung rausgelassen und in einen Minibus gelotst, der uns zum Zielort bringen sollte. Angekommen im Hostel dann die nächste Überraschung. Unser Zimmer wurde noch von Gästen belagert und so wurden wir upgegradet. Mit was für einem Blick <3Read more

  • Day66

    Drago D20- Death Road

    April 25, 2017 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    If you mention the death road to many what pops into their head is Jeremy Clarkson nearly meeting his maker as he passed another car under a waterfall with just inches before he fell into oblivion. If you google it its called the most dangerous road in the world, and certainly if you drive a car or bus down it there have been deaths as recent as 2015.

    However on a mountain bike with common sense death is very unlikey and those with bad luck come away with a fracture. We set off at 07:30 with our dutch guide of the day Robbie. An ex chef he decided a decade ago to make his hobbie his work, and joined the gravity team in La Paz. Our other guide was Will an experienced mountain biker who came 3rd in the most recent Bolivian race.

    We were geared up and were matched to our bikes according to height. We all had our bikes blessed by Paccamamma (motherearth), mine was Sunday and with a trial ride around a parking lot we set off down 22km of asphalt road first. James shot off down the road, and whilst I idled in the back for the first few km I soon found my confidence and took it at my own speed behind the boys of the group. Its an amazing feeling wizzing down a road, the wind rushing around you. Izzy and I paired up having similar confidence so we could look out for each other.

    Having had our practice it was time for the real deal. Fulled up on sandwiches we started down the gravel death road, so named after the deaths of the POW who built it. One guide was at the front and the other at the back. Every 10km or so we would stop, regroup and get a brief on what to expect on the next section.

    The death road is almost continiously downards gravel. Going from around 4200m down to 1200m altitude its 64km of awsomeness on a bike. There were narrow parts, hairpin corners, waterfalls and river crossings. The views were amazing, but only to be enjoyed at a stop unless you wanted to fly into a 800m ravine. Having never mountain biked before it was a brilliant introduction.

    At the bottom it was high fives all round as not one of us came off our bikes. Gravity was a great company, due to the combination of good instructions and good bikes we passed many of the other slower groups who looked unsteady, uncomfortable and scared on their bikes. After a round of beer we went on to a monkey sancturary for a hot shower and food before taking the new road back to La Paz.

    It must have been an amazing way for Sheila, John and Charlotte to end their trip. With a heavy heart we said goodbye as they had an early flight the next morning. We will be joined by two new people Karen and Ollie as we continue on to Copacobana tomorrow!
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  • Day269

    Dead Road - Mountain biking

    May 22, 2019 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Wer sich früher viel N-24 angesehen hat, kennt diese Straße. Lange galt sie als die gefährlichste Straße der Welt.

    Heute gibt es eine Neue. Die alte Youngas-Straße (besses bekannt als "Deth Road") wird heute kaum noch befahren. Findige Agenturen bieten jetzt Mountainbike Touren an. Sterben tun dabei nur noch sehr wenig Besucher. "Meisten beim Selfies machen" erzählt der Guide.

    Wer sich auf die Straße konzentriert, ist sicher. Zumindest Halbwegs.

    Bikes und Equipment sind gut gewartet und in Ordnung.
    Wir können also Gas geben und
    die knapp 35 km machen richtig Spaß.
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  • Day19

    Death Road with Barracuda Biking

    October 4, 2016 in Bolivia ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    Getting up at 6am after the long day and night yesterday was not fun. None of us wanted to get up and it was especially difficult trying to creep around and not wake anyone else in our room.

    We left to head to the meeting point, a restaurant that did breakfast, and were very much looking forward to food. We ended up ordering a great breakfast of eggs and bacon with tomatoes and bread and the bacon and eggs were delicious. So tasty! Perfect start for a day of biking.

    The guides eventually arrived and we were ushered onto a small bus with a ton of bikes on the roof. They looked really good so we figured the review reading we had done had paid off. Except for one white bike which didn't look great, we hoped none of us would draw the short straw with that one.

    The journey took us through La Paz and then up into the mountains. We met our guides, Jubert (or Jubee for short - and weirdly for Spanish he pronounced it with an actual J, not an H).

    Jubee did most of the talking and was a really good laugh, made us all feel at ease and reminded us it was not a competition and to just take our time.
    We put on some tunes and listened to music the rest of the way to the top, looking out the windows at the volcanic sandy mountains and the clouds that crept around them. We got higher and higher and thankfully anxiety did not rear it's ugly head. I knew we were going the highest yet but for some reason felt OK this time. Eventually we reached a point where we stopped. It was 4700m and from here we would begin our descent to 1200m, a journey from cold, rocky mountains to lush and warm jungle.

    We had been given our kit on the bus and now had to get off and step into the cold to put it all on. I was so glad to have brought many layers and my thin gloves, as I felt quite toasty once I had this on with their overalls and helmet. The buff scarf came in very useful indeed and my eyes were the only thing visible once we set off.

    We were soon given our bikes, each set up to our height and with the brakes matched to our country. We had a ride around on the gravel getting used to them. We were all given some advice and instructions and told what to expect and then we were told we had to do a blessing. It is a tradition that has apparently gone on for years and drivers and bikers alike will usually participate to keep safe. Basically, we were given a bottle of 97% alcohol and told to pour some on the right of our bike on the ground, onto the tyre of the bike and then take a small sip. It tasted gross, and I barely had it touch my tongue. So, so bad. They took photos of our faces after trying it (some definitely gulped more than others, they were the ones with twisted faces) for us to laugh at afterwards. After making our journey a little more dangerous with alcohol (maybe that is why people die!?) we headed off down the tarmac section of road, where we could get used to the bikes and how to lean and turn correctly.

    We were riding above and through the grey and damp clouds which was stunning, they just clung to the edges of the mountains and made you want to spend more time looking at views than at the road.

    Every now and then you found yourself crouching down and speeding past a slow moving truck using the road, which was quite fun if not a little scary. I saw an eagle or condor, absolutely huge, take off from the side and into the clouds which was incredible. It just disappeared into the silvery fog. The feeling when speeding past the trucks was awesome, but the cold...wow. It was freezing, and after stopping half way down this section we were all huffing and puffing on our hands to get some feeling back in them.

    We soon carried on down and then came to another stop by a tunnel. We went around the tunnel on some rocky terrain, which was a bit of a mini test to see if would be OK on Death Road. Me and Rob took a bit of a stupid route and ended up going over the bumpiest parts and through all the puddles. We finished up covered in quite a bit more mud than anyone else but I was glad to have felt quite secure. Having never mountain biked before it was still going to take more convincing that the bike could make it over the bumps OK, but so far so good.

    We got back on the bus and continued along up a hill before finally reaching the beginning of Death Road.

    There was a sign to warn you and the ground was definitely not smooth. Green forest clung all around to the walls of the mountains, which dropped off the edge of the road, in some places completely vertically. We set off after some more instructions about which side of the road to ride on (the left...the side closest to the sheer drop!! whaaaat!?) and just hoped we wouldn't come across any cars, especially on the corners.

    I soon got used to the bike and the terrain, but still wasn't so keen on picking up crazy amounts of speed and so Rob and Richard gradually disappeared into the distance. We all met up at the next stop, where an old town existed. It used to be a stop for cars on the road but since the new highway has opened it is a bit of a ghost town. We took some photos of the stunning backdrop, the clouds still lingering through the trees and I was lucky enough to see some giant bird of prey swoop over our heads and glide into the distance, which was awesome. You really get the feeling up here of it being quite desolate and wild, despite all the people around you on bikes.

    We set off down the next track and were told there were more corners here and to be careful. One of the worst corners was here in terms of car accidents and there was a large cross that marked the spot of one of the worst disasters, where over 300 people died. We took it slow (or at least I did) and wound our way down the next few thousand km. By this point, I was getting pretty bad pains in my hands and arms from all the vibrations of the road. Looking back, it was probably because I was basically always holding the brakes and so my hands were quite tense, but it was becoming very uncomfortable. Rob came and chilled near the back with me for a bit, I almost fell into the wall trying to stop at one point (I don't think mountain biking is for me) and I also rode under a waterfall which apparently we had been told not to as it can put people off and they skid (fortunately I didn't, I was probably going too slow lol - got a good photo of it though!).

    Along this first stint, we also came across the sheer overhanging drop that is famous for photos and we all gatherered to sit along the edge. The drop below was just straight down and so we didn't lean too far forward to take a look. Really awesome picture opportunity and great to be able to stop and take in the breath taking views.

    The next leg would be the last of the first section. This was when I started to get frustrated by one of the Italians riding with us. He kept on darting past to my left, where there was barely a gap, and making me jump out of my skin. Over and over he did this, no shouting to let me know he was "passing left" like we were supposed to, and each time he got past me he would stop and wait for his girlfriend at the back and then do it all over again. Not fun when someone does this to you and you are already terrified, stupid man. Even Rob noticed it and was getting annoyed.

    At the next stop, we were aware that rain was coming, you could see it and hear the rumbling in the distance. We were told we could have the planned snacks and brave the rain sat still, or we could carry on and try to outrun it. The vote was to outrun. I, however, chose to spend the second leg on the bus, my hands hurt so much that I couldn't safely rely on being able to press the brakes and so I figured that wasn't very safe. Very annoying as it looked like an awesome bit of road and half way down it seemed a lot less bumpy. Also, on a bike you can avoid being right by the edge, you can't on a bus. I think it was scarier on the bus than off it! I did get to appreciate the view more though as my eyes weren't permanently fixed to the road ahead. I took the opportunity to capture some photos on the good camera.

    Eventually, I caught up with the rest of the gang who had come to a stop under a shelter for some lunch. We were greeted by chickens and a young girl who liked to climb trees and asked if we wanted some home made honey. We were told they sell juice in the right season which might have gone down better. We had some nice sandwiches and a drink and enjoyed the break and chance to take more photos. We were two thirds of the way down now and the view had opened up a lot more, so that you could see the river and jungle at the bottom, making its way through the valley.
    Rob and Rich were caked in mud, as the rain had outrun them despite their efforts. Rob had also managed to get grit in his eye half way down and Rich had had chain problems, although Jubee fixed it on the promise of free beer if it broke again (it didn't).

    For the last leg, the road was a little easier and again Rob came and rode with me for a bit. The rest had given time for everyone's hands and forearms to start to ache, so it was a bit of a painful ride for everyone. We got to ride through another stream, but unfortunately, we all had to stop alongside another group of cyclists whilst we waited for some cars to get through, which meant we were all going a lot slower than we wanted to through the water. Bit of a shame as at speed the photos would have been awesome.

    It was a fun ride to the bottom though and with a more open road and less of a drop I gathered a bit more speed, I actually thought I was going quite fast, but Rob informed me it was still slow.
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  • Day19

    Death Road - part two*

    October 4, 2016 in Bolivia ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    It felt great to reach the end and we were all pretty tired by this point too. It was also mega hot now as we were basically in the jungle and we had all stripped down to our most basic layers. We had gone from freezing cold to hot and humid in the space of a few hours. It was also amazing to hear all the jungle noises again and we took a few moments to take photos of the river we had been viewing from up high, which now ran under a bridge by the village we were in.

    We hopped back on the bus after taking some survivor photos (no-one even fell over) and we were given t-shirts too as a souvenir. We headed five minutes down the road, to a place where a lunch buffet had been put out with a free beer on offer and a swimming pool available to dunk in. The lunch was great, plenty of meat, pasta and rice and the few sips of beer I stole from Rob were pretty good too!
    We headed for a swim after chatting to a few of our fellow bikers and came across the most adorable kittens and their mum playing amongst some wooden pallets. There were so many of them and they were so cute! We stood and watched for ages but don't have many photos as they were mostly on Robs now stolen phone.

    The pool was a bit nippy and so it took a while for us to brave it, but we did eventually! It was pretty glorious once in the water and we enjoyed a bit of a swim and a few ball games before getting out and basking in the sun, whilst listening to the birds and watching the butterflies.

    Jubee, our guide, was being followed and clung to by a young girl who he clearly knew and she seemed besotted with him (was very cute as she was only about 10 and she would not leave him alone). When he eventually gave in and got on his bike to pull some stunts for her, he managed to fall over hard and gained quite a few cuts and bruises, oops! The only person to fall over and it wasn't even on Death Road.

    Eventually, it was time to head back to La Paz. We got back on the bus and turned on the tunes for the three hour journey back up. This time we used the highway! It started to get dark and the clouds further up were so thick that it became a running joke that maybe we hadn't actually survived yet. It was a little scary and we had to keep overtaking lorries that were too slow in the clouds. It got a bit much for the Italians apparently and one of the men surprised us all when he stood up and stormed to the driver to shout "NO, STOP NOW, STOP, NO MORE, NO MORE!!" We were all a bit taken aback. It was a little scary, yes, but also none of us had driven this road a hundred times before and the driver knew the road a lot better and could see ahead a lot further than any of us. Jubee explained this, and the fact that from the back of the bus it looks a lot worse, but the Italians refused to allow us to overtake any more lorries. The music was turned off, the mood became a bit sombre and we sat behind a lorry going at 10mph whilst all the lorries we had overtaken on the way up, now overtook us both. At this rate, we would be in La Paz in several long hours. Eventually, the driver decided enough was enough and we began overtaking again, I think most of the bus were glad as we wanted to be back in La Paz.

    Eventually, we arrived back and after enjoying one of the beautifully made pizzas at the hostel, we crashed out for the night. I felt quite ill and flu-like at this point and the aches from the day didn't help, so I was pretty much out like a light as soon as my head hit the pillow.

    All in all a great and exciting day!
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  • Day47

    Death Road

    July 27, 2018 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    * Downhill Mountainbike Tour mit RideOn

    * Gruppe mit 14 Personen (Hälfte weiblich), 3 Guides und 2 Kleinbussen (Siri war nicht dabei)

    * Höhe: Von kalten 4700m in La Cumbre bis heißen 1200m in Yosolita (beeindruckende Veränderung der Landschaft und Vegetation)

    * 2 Etappen
    + 1,5h auf Asphalt
    + 3,5h auf Schotterpiste (ursprüngliche Death Road)

    * Auf der Death Road sind schon einige Leute mit ihren Fahrzeugen ums Leben gekommen bzw. von der Klippe gefallen (viele Kreuze am Straßenrand)

    *Begegnungen:
    + Caio (Brasilien, Travelblogger mit seiner Frau seit 4 Jahren, mit dem Auto durch Südamerika, sie war nicht dabei, sondern zuhause arbeiten trotz Krankheit)

    + Silja (Finnland, mit Freund auf Reisen, der Auslandssemester in Uruguay macht, er war nicht dabei, sondern auf Begehung eines 6000m-Berges)

    + Ben (Stuttgart)
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  • Day83

    Ruta de la Muerte o_O

    January 12, 2015 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Stond er niet bij stil dat dit niet alleen toeristisch en mooi, maar ook echt gevaarlijk was tot ik iemand van een andere groep een tiental meter lager op een rots zag liggen... En hij had nog ongelofelijk veel geluk, een paar meter verder hadden we die tiental door een honderdtal kunnen veranderen...

    Wat alles ook wel ingewikkelder maakte die dag, was de modderstroom die de alternatieve en nieuwere weg blokkeerde waardoor er heel veel verkeer was op deze verschrikkelijk gevaarlijke weg.
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Serrania Sacramento

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