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Published: February 28th 2012
Woke up early but didn't want to disturb the others so stayed in warm sleeping
bags till 6.45 am. Breakfast was most odd... biscuits and some fried bready-type
stuff. Then we had a guided tour of parts of the village. The Head man showed us his house and some of his collection of arrowheads and local stones. He was also
the Shaman for the village and used a collection of about nine bones which were
rolled onto a mat like dice and depending on which side they fell he could
foretell the future/answer questions such as: Will it rain? Will the world end
in dec 2012? All pretty useful stuff!!
There were lots of alpacas penned in for the night with some very young ones - two-day old llamas.
It turned out there are only 15 families in the village and whilst there are large families, many of the younger ones of working age were working away from the village and obviously, some were working the fields, looking after the animals.
After the tour we went back to the village where the 3 pipers seemed to have
recovered well from the night before and gave us a rendition
of their music. Not exactly ´Bolivia's got talent' material. We were then invited back for more food at around 10 am. This was much better than breakfast with some yummy deep fried potatoes, some baked potatoes and further cooked corn. At least we didn't need to bother about lunch.
Back on the road at 10.30am. The long drive back to the main road was uneventful.
Onwards to Potosi, the scenery changing to much less lush with a lot of red rocky
soil. We arrived at Potosi around 3.00 pm and went to the Mint Museum which had interesting displays and machinery used to mint the coinage. It's no longer
working as coins are now bought from abroad as it's cheaper than minting their
own. There was a lot of old wooden machinery and exhibition areas and we had a guide in English which was excellent.
Apparently, Potosi used to be as rich a city as Paris or London in and around the Sixteenth century due to the silver deposits in the mines. Nice little town and it is the higest city in the world.
Prior to this, we had a coffee in a local cafe and
The Mint Museum
a toasted sandwich. Back to the hotel for showers and then around 8.00 pm, we decided to go to restaurant
recommended on Trip Advisor - which according to their map was only a few hundred yards away. We wandered round the block which it should have been on but could not find it. Back to the hotel to ask and found out it was misposted on the internet and was actually past the town centre. This restaurant was described as more upmarket than McDonalds but less than TGI Fridays which was an apt description. It wasn´t really worth the effort of finding but OK food as there were not many choices of restaurants anyway.
Back to our hotel and bed.
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