Potosi is the highest city in the world, at 4100mts its hard to keep your breath while out walking. In days past Potosi was a major economic force, due primarily to the abundance of silver and other minerals mined from the nearby hills.
Today the mines are a dangerous mix of private co-ops and larger companies all digging into the same huge mountain, the scary bit is that no one knowsw exactly where anyone else is mining so this is a disaster waiting to happen. Tourists can visit the mines to see first hand how bad the working conditions are. There is nothing safe about this particular venture. Mal tried it and was glad to get out. The mix of downright dangerous work practices and wreckless guides means you really do take your life into their hands. The constant boom of dynamite going off and the fact that no fresh air is piped into the mines along with the high altitude means that breathing is really difficult. To be honest Mal wished he hadn´t done this particular excursion... way to dangerous.
Pics from the mines
Yes this guy is trying to pull the roof down..
Potosi has some really nice churches and buildings, the views from the city centre out to the mines are quite spectacular.
Just 3 hours fro Potosi is the charming city of Sucre. At a mere 2400mts we can again breath more easily. Our hostal in Sucre turned out to be a real gem. Our friends Liz and Kim from New Zealand also arrived here a couple of days later, in fact within a short while, Harp and Amon and Diete and Virgil were also here ! So a good few evenings were had out with our travel buddies. All was going until Diete and Virgil had their hotel room broken into and had their camera, mobile phones and laptop stolen, this was really sad as they had effectively lost all their photos of their 3 month journey.
That said Sucre is a fine city, some great restaurants and some great architecture. There was even a few days of practice carnival.
From the nearby mirador there are great views over the city.
More views of Sucre
Just 5 km out from Sucre is the geological wonder of the Dinosaur footprints. A side of exposed hill with hundreds of huge footprints, sadly like a lot ofm things Bolivian, maintenance is a low priority and a recent land slide has demolished many of the better paeleontological specimens.
Only now are steps being taken to protect the remaining footprints.
Next Blog Samaipata.