A Travellerspoint blog

Potosi Mines

The star attraction of Potosi are its silver mines. There was and still is a lot silver on Cerro Rico ("rich mountain"), the mountain just outside the city, and Spanish colonists have used million of slaves to mine that silver. Nowadays, the Bolivian government has allowed miners to harvest the mountain, and it's a silver rush not unlike the Gold Rush in the US. The conditions in the mines are very harsh because modern mining techniques are not used, but the hope of getting lucky lives on with Potosi miners. So we went on a mining tour where for 2 hours we navigated the mine tunnels, met and discussed with miners on a break, collected a little bit of silver and detonated a stick of dynamite that Matthias and Oscar bought at the miners market (yes, in Potosi *anybody* can buy dynamite!). It was quite an experience!

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Posted by AlainJacq 08:18 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

Potosi

In Potosi, at 4000 meters above sea level, walking up the stairs is not a piece of cake. But the city is a charming colonial town where life goes on almost in slow motion. The weather is really nice considering the latitude, almost 70 F during the day (but freezing during the night) and we enjoyed walking around, and once again visting churches and museums (of course, we have to agree to a pizza dinner with ice cream desert in exchange). Fortunately, none of us suffered from high altitude sickness, except for a bit of mild headache here and there, nothinhg that a few coca infusions can't cure!

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Posted by AlainJacq 03:58 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

From Sucre to Potosi

We hired a taxi to drive us from Sucre (170 km). The trick is that this road leads us from 3200 m above sea level to 4000 meters above sea level, Potosi is the highest city in the world! The road was captivating, and the drive was quite easy (3 hours).

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Posted by AlainJacq 20:46 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Sucre's Dinosaur Park

There is a big cement company in the outskirts of Sucre. One fine day, as they were mining one of the hills of their property, they stumbled into large dinaosaur tracks. Since then, a museum was opened, and you can have a clear view of the tracks from an observation point in the museum. After a first day of museums and churches, it was only fair that we focused on dinosaurs the next day. The park was fun but there was also a great panoramic view of the city of Sucre.

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Posted by AlainJacq 20:17 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

Sucre

We let Santa Cruz via an internal flight. The airplane was really small, 25 people max. Luckily, the flight was not bumpy. Sucre is a great colonial town, with most of the center comprising of white colonial buildings and churches. We visited a museum, a convent, and some churches. Our hotel was also in a nicely restored colonal house. Sucre is on the Bolivian Altiplano (High Plateau) at an elevation of 2750m (9000 ft), so we have our first experience with High Altitide Sickness... so far just a little bit of headache.

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Posted by AlainJacq 18:55 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

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