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Potosi - A travel report by Devin
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Potosi,  Bolivia - flag Bolivia -  Potosí
1747 readers

devinhunt's travel reports

getting high in the andes

  7 votes

potosi sit at an altitude of, making it the highest city in the world. the lack of oxygen in the air makes breathing difficult and tramping up and down its' steep cobble-stoned street an arduous task. it is a

Favourite spots:
my favourite place in potosi was cerro rico. the view of the city from there is unreal. doing a tour of the silver mines was an obvious highlight so i've written about that below. la casa de la moneda is well worth a vist as the displays shed some light on what potosi was like before the silver on cerro rico dried up. the markets in potosi were great too. like the mines on cerro rico, the markets were a never-ending maze of windey passages with a surprise around every corner. they were a great place to meet the local campesinos and pick up the odd bargain. the tiny village of chaqui, which is out of potosi and just off the road to sucre, is a great place to relax. there are a number of thermal springs here and they're really nice to go swimming in. the hotel in chaqui has a pool full of the steaming, spring water and some natural saunas which are just superb after a long journey along a bumpy bolivian road!

What's really great:
the best thing that i did in potosi was a tour of the silver mines on cerro rico. after organising a guide, we headed to the local markets to purchase dynamite, fuse wire and detonators. after heading up cerro rico our guide, who was no more than ten years old, rigged the dynamite and blew the shit out of the side of the mountain. this was a fantastic start to the tour! we then gave some of the miners cigarettes and coca leaves before heading into one of the shafts. rocks and dust fell from the ceiling as we crawled deep into the mountain and the ground shook as miners in other shafts used dynamite to create new tunnels. in one cavern we came across a statue of 'el tio' - the devil who owns and guards the mine. we gave him offerings of coca leaves and alocohol in a hope that he'd protect us as we entered his underground world. we spent quite a few hours in the mines and it was an incredible experience that gave a heart-wrenching insight into the tough lives of the people who work there

Hangouts:
be careful when you open a bottle of the local beer, potosina! at such a high altitude it tends to become very fizzy and you'll end up with half a bottle of beer spilt down your front if you aren't careful. if you want to sample the local moonshine called chicha, look out for buildings with little white flags out the front. these are 'chicherias' and serve chicha throughout the day and most of the night. it is served to you in a bucket and you drink it from the shell of a nut. the chicha in potosi is okay, however it is much better in cochabamba.

Restaurants:
saltenas potosinas have the reputation of being the tastiest saltenas in bolivia. personally, i much prefer the saltenas in chuqisaca as they aren't as messy! saltenas are eaten in the morning and can be purchased from street vendors in the market or from a number of small restaurants in town.

Published on Wednesday December 4th, 2002


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Wed, Aug 04 2004 - 11:41 AM rating by nedkelly

Devin what a cool report mate , sounds like a right laugh , my friends have been but Im trying to prersuade them to take me next time.

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