Wednesday 23 December 2009
Highlights: Exploring a Potosi mine, buying dynamite, attending a Christmas event.
Today we travelled for 4 hours from Sucre to mining town of Potosi stopping a few times to stretch our legs and take photos of the beautiful countryside.
Potosi is famous for it’s silver mines, with the Spaniards began large-scale excavation in 1545. It is believed that up to eight million people have died in the mines of Potosi.
We suited up to go down one of the active mines run by independent miners. We are expected to give the miners we run into gifts which can range from coca leaves, drinks and dynamite sticks. As a result I bought and handled my first ever dynamite and was very keen to give this away to the first miner I ran into.
It’s surprisingly warm in these mines, I wasn’t surprised about the bad air quality however. An interesting experience and one I’m glad I don’t have to do every day to earn money.
Later that night we walked around the town which was running religious events associated with Christmas.