Hunting for Silver
Trip Start Sep 19, 2009
87Trip End May 19, 2010
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Where I stayed
Compania de Jesus
About an hour into our journey our driver trying to do a three point turn(still not sure why) when the back wheels fell into a HUGE ditch. We all off loaded the bus while some keen Bolivians started pushing the bus only for it to roll back practically ontop of them. Many more attempts we watched in horror as the bus rocked around trying to get out and at one point almost
fell on its side towards us, thats when we saw that there must have been about 5 bolivians still up in the bus sleeping!!!!
After half hour of trying we got free and carried on......but it didnt end there, we had two more stops on the side of the road while passengers happily got under the bus banging spanners around triyng to fix am not sure what, best not to ask i thought
We had been told potosi was a complete dump and full of fumes but we were pleasantly surprised and quite liked it....Nice square and little streets and all the churches etc were lit up at night aswell as the Cerro Rico (hill).
So next moring was our mine tour, considering i hate pitch black and small> spaces (Dad, am sure you remember carrying me kicking and screaming into lifts!!) so was a tad nervous but to be fair there was no need. The company we went with was very professional (koala tours), we had very sexy outfits, check the fotos, and very good torches and 1 guide per 6 or 7 tourists. We were in the mine 2 hours in all and level 1 was fine, still air to breathe and could walk with my head high (well short arse Claire could) but going down to level 2 and 3 we were practially slideing down on our bums, not too bad until we hit a stone, owww! At level 3 we could feel the heat, lack of air and dust everywhere. We met a lot of miners at work and Ben even helped fill up a pot of minerals which left him rather breathless! (Luckily it was unlucky for women to work in the mines!) Clambering up the slopes in the mine with nothing to grab onto and out of breath was fairly tricky and by then end we were looking forward to fresh air
We had bought dynamite and cigarettes for the miners but had some dynamite leftover so the guides lit them, we all had a chance to hold it before the guides ran down the hill to bury them and run back...the blasts were so incredibly loud that although i took a video (hopefully upload at some point) am not sure how much you can see as everytime i jumped a mile!!
Back to town and absolutely emotionally and physically exhausted we had a wonder before heading off to Sucre in the evening, only a 3 hour journey on tarmac so happy days and sin problemas!!