Silver mines and the highest city in the world - and what a cute little city it is!
16.03.2010 - 19.03.2010 22 °C
We arrived and joined Yoni and Idan in La Casona Hostel, run by 2 rather rude men!! We were with Dan, Safo, Nico and Marie too (the guys from the salar tour) but unfortunately Saj had gone to meet her friends in La Paz She was a lovely open minded girl from London and we were all sad that she couldn't come with us.
The first night i cooked a big curry for everyone with carefully selected vegetables from the rather yukky market - the meat stands were quite close to the veggies and made us all feel rather sick with the lack of cleanliness and the smell.
The next day we wondered around the city a little, it was only small but rather likeable and everything within easy reach. We then found an awesome alternative cafe where a little old women was home cooking all the food. Unfortunately this meant that we waited almost 2 hours for our food, even though we were her only customers. I can't imagine what it was like when it was busy. Yoni and Idan then caught their bus to Sucre as they had already been in Potosí for 3 days, and we said we would catch them up there soon.
The six of us visited the thermal lake outside of the city the next day. It was nice to be in the sun and the very warm relaxing lake but way overly priced for us gringoes!
Me and Josh headed back from the thermals early to go to the view point on the rooftop of Iglesia (Church) San Fransisco that shut at 5pm.
After that the sunset in the city:
The next day Josh, Nico, Dan and I headed down the silver mines to see how it all was as it is still a huge industry here. The conditions were primitive and the 'health and safety' craze had definitely not hit here! As we walked thro the mines there were fumes emitting from broken pipes, the passages from above were held shut with bits of wood and the ladders were broken, slippy and very tall - needless to say my knuckles were white and my eyes wide for the whole of the tour. I was very glad when we got back to the fresh air, especially as our guide had just told us how many people die every year just as we were asked to step over a 60ft deep hole and climb down a wet ladder!!
After we came out we drove above the mines to where the factories were refining the minerals and blew up some dinamite!!
.....Then the 3.30pm bus to Sucre....