Blogs from Potosi, Potosí Department, Bolivia, South America


South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi July 15th 2018

Potosí Silver Mine: Playing with Dynamite (15/07/2018-16/07/2018) Silver is big business in Bolivia. In Potosí (4000m) lies Cerro Rico (4800m): a huge mountain full of silver veins. Since the beginning of the mining, Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) has lost over 400 meters in height due to the now 60 miles of tunnels created in eager search of silver. Now it is in imminent danger of collapsing into itself but all thanks to Bolivia's lack of health and safety standards, gringos are allowed to enter. Yay! Not only that, but you can buy miners presents from the local miners market and give them as gifts during the tour. Some bought lemonade, some bought gloves, some bought masks.. But I bought an actual stick of dynamite (it also comes with detonator and a bag of ammonium nitrate to ... read more
Playing With Dynamite
Ready to go!
Cerro Rico (4800m)

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi October 14th 2017

We arrived to Potosi at night and scurried to find a Hospedaje that is within our price range. We walked for a bit and then took a cab. Lorena took the reign. I just went with it. A day before we were still in Sucre. I approached Lorena, impatient with waiting, I told her my plan to leave for Potosi. To my surprise, she replied "We are leaving tomorrow." The next day we took a cab in the afternoon to the bus station. We were early for our bus to Potosi, so we grabbed a bite at a chicken rotisserie. The bus ride was beautiful. It felt great being alone with her. It felt so natural. I wanted to envelope myself in her warmth. We found a room at a Hospedaje. It had two beds. ... read more
Plaza Simón Bolívar

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi December 3rd 2016

We are only spending one day here in Potosi . It is the oldest city in Bolivia founded by the Spanish in order to develop the silver mines. Many of the group are at and in the mine today . Somehow being underground , even wearing pounds of safety equipment did not appeal to me at all . The very idea sets me into a claustrophobic panic. I wish them well . The rest of us have a free day in the city . After all the charm of Sucre it took a while to see it´s soul . THERE ARE so many CHURCHES , ALL CLOSED AND LOCKED OF SOURSE . IT IS OBVIOUS THEY ARE TO REMAIN PLACES OF PRAYER NOT PLACES TO VISIT . I AM SADDENED BY THAT FOR I HAVE ALWAYS ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi July 20th 2016

Feeling better after my first bout with some bad food my next stop on the trail was Potosi. I met a limey named Matthew on the Salar de Uyuni trip who is heading the same way as I am so we joined forces as we both had interest in going into the silver mine of Potosi. Potosi was founded in 1546 by the Spaniards and has an elevation of 13,420 feet making it one of the highest cities in the world. It is dominated by Cerro Rico or "Rich Mountain" and this was a main source of Spanish wealth back in the colonial times. Today Cerro Rico is still a working co-operative silver mine although the ore is much less abundant today. This was the reason I had come here. I wanted to learn the miner ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi April 27th 2016

Du 5 au 9 avril 2016 Marie C'est bien fatigués que nous arrivons à Potosi... Fatigue de notre tour magnifique dans le Salar de Uyuni. Fatigue du trajet de trois heures depuis Uyuni...trajet soit dit en passant super joli à travers des villages aux maisons et cultures authentiques et des panoramas sur de magnifiques vallées. Fatigue liée à l'altitude aussi, nous nous trouvons à plus de 4200 mètres d'altitude ! Mais tout de suite, nous sommes saisis par l'animation qui règne à Potosi, les petites rues du centre-ville grouillent de monde, il y a des tas de petits marchands de rue, la circulation est extrêmement dense... Petite parenthèse à ce sujet, depuis notre arrivée en Bolivie, impossible de s'habituer aux odeurs de pots d'échappement extrêmement fortes qui s'échappent de tous les véhicules ici ; au moins ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi March 25th 2016

BOLIVIA...Unethical Tourism & First World Voyeurism. A friend fired a warning : "You are scheduled to take a tour of the mines in Potosi--DO NOT DO IT! I saw the film, The Devil's Miner, boys and men working the mines and their horrific conditions. You will be suited up and then descend into the jaws of hell. If you have issues with claustrophobia, you'll die. Also, you will be breathing horrendous, thick, toxic dust that will sear your lungs and ruin your camera. Breathing this dust, most miners only live to be about forty. Worse yet, you'll be a first-world voyeur, using as entertainment, the terrible, short lives of these third-world people who, unlike the tourist agency, will not benefit from your visit except for the pitiful alcohol, cigarettes and dynamite you give them. ... read more
The best gig in Potosi town
Patrolling the Cocaine Highway

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi March 6th 2016

Dejando atrás 3 días boquiabiertos por la belleza del Salar de Uyuni y el Sur de Lipez, bam! nos encontramos en Potosí. Uf! Podria decir que fue un shock… Como describir la ciudad mas alta del mundo (4100m)… Pues para que engañarnos, se respira la crueldad que los colonizadores, ejem, españoles, tuvieron con este pueblo con el objetivo de explotar la riqueza de sus minas. Sin ganas de ver el resultado de hoy en día, decidí no visitar las minas, así que será Tanguy quien cuente mas abajo la experiencia mas de cerca. La mirada dura de los potosinos, las subidas y bajadas de sus estrechas calles sombrías con aceras casi inexistentes, demasiados coches circulando bajo las reglas del caos, un mercado en el que no dan para nada ganas de comprar, y eso sí, todo ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi June 29th 2015

Hello Friends, Today we started the Silver Mine tour at 9am, after a good breakfast of scrambled eggs and cereal. We had the opportunity to witness working conditions in one of the cooperative silver and zinc mines, the conditions are among the most grueling imaginable. We had plenty of guide books telling travellers not to underestimate the dangers involved in going into the mines and to consider the voyeuristic factor involved in seeing other people’s suffering. It definitely was at our own risks, and there were plenty of dangers with the stability of the mines, which had me terrified during most of the tour. Although we didn’t feel like we were prying on the workers, the miners are proud of their work in such tough conditions and generally happy for visitors to observe their toil. We ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi June 28th 2015

Hello People, Today we had nothing planned, and as it was a Sunday there wasn’t anything open for us to do anyway. We did have a walk around Potosi however, to discover there really isn’t much here! I wrote up a cover letter for P&O to apply to the Tours and Excursions department because Neil has been offered Arcadia from October. There is not a youth department onboard, so I’m going to see if I can work onboard Arcadia in the tours department instead. It could be a long shot to actually get the job and then specifying only for Arcadia. Who knows what the future holds. All I know is that I don’t want to be apart from him for 3 months, and I don’t particularly want to be an unemployed travel partner...but a world ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi December 12th 2014

Nous réservons donc un tour dans les mines auprès de notre auberge. Le départ se fait le lendemain matin. On commence par s'équiper : bottes, pantalons, veste, foulard, casque et grosse lampe frontale. Avant de sortir de Potosi, un petit tour par le marché des mineurs. La coutume veut que l'on offre des cadeaux aux mineurs qui nous laissent visiter leurs galeries pendant leurs heures de travail. On peut leur acheter des feuilles de coca, de l'alcool pur, des jus de fruits (à mélanger avec l'alcool), des cigarettes artisanales et même de la dynamite. On se dirige ensuite vers le Cerro Rico (le "Mont Riche") avec Orlando, notre guide. Les mines étant considérées comme l'enfer, Orlando commence par nous présenter le Tio, autrement dit le diable. Nous lui faisons quelques offrandes, comme des cigarettes ou de ... read more
Mineurs au travail
Apero en enfer
On se fume un pétard

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