Exotic meat No 2....Llama mmmmmm
Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
76Trip End Aug 27, 2006
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The following day we go on a tour to the silver mine. We´re kitted out in bright yellow suits, with yellow Bob the Builder style helmets...I think we pull them off?!? We set off to the mines with our guide Sol (an ex-miner woman, who made Lucy look tall). Our first stop is the miners market where we buy presents of coca leaves, soft drinks, 96% alcohol (which is like drinking fire) and ciggies. We also bought some dynamite, for the cost of a swift half in your local - just to arse about with
We then stopped at the ore refinery plant, where they extract the silver, lead and zinc. Certainly no Health Safety and Environment regulations put in place here as we try to avoid the crushing machinery that´s whirring round at some ridiculous speed. We ask our guide whether there are many accidents. She told us that two people had died recently because they had mistakenly drank the VERY poisonous chemicals used to extract the minerals - mistaking it for water!!
We then enter the mine network. Note to anyone planning to take a trip into a mine, they are not designed for people over about 5´5". So anyone like Quinn who is over 6 foot will struggle, and for 1 and a half hours he did just that.
The group trudged through the mines (which are still very operational) avoiding the mine carts that were whizzing by (Indiana Jones style) gaining an insight to the awful working conditions of the miners. At points the mine can reach 50°C and the dust was choking. A long career in the mine is 25 years. After that the lungs of the miners have taken such a battering they often contract bronchitis (however you spell it). Add the fact that they consume huge amounts of coca, smoke unfiltered ciggies and drink 96% alcohol, 16 hours a day 5 days a week, its unsurprising they´re in such bad health.
Went out that evening to a really nice restaurant, Quinn had Llama steak in garlic, really tender, a bit like steak but nicer mmmmmm.
Ok people, next entry will be the salt flats of Uyuni. Really looking forward to that bit.
Lucie pee pee and Quinny poo poo