Potosi and Sucre

Fiona and my final destination together was a place called Potosi. The town itself isn’t particularly of interest, however just outside the town are numerous mines which was the reason for the town existing at all. We had been told that a tour of the mines was a great insight into how tough life is working there.
We booked ourselves onto the tour and headed to the mines. We needed to get kitted up in boots, overalls and a hard hat and light, then we headed to the processing plant. When the mines were first opened silver was mined from here at around 95% purity, which was obviously very lucrative. Today the purity is much lower and a number of other minerals are extracted as well.
We then spent 2hrs in the mine itself at times walking bent double in absolute darkness except for our headlamps. Just walking around felt like hard work (to make it even harder the altitude is over 4000m), so I cannot imagine being able to work in there. The miners will often carry around 50kg of ore on their backs.
After 2hrs in the mine I was desperate to get out. I don’t think mining is a likely second career for me!
We finished our gruelling tour and treated ourselves to a lovely lunch and had a nice chilled out afternoon. Then it was time to go our separate ways. Fiona to la paz for a flight home and me onto Sucre.
After arriving late in the evening to Sucre I set out to explore Bolivia’s capital city, often called the white city due to its numerous white colonial buildings. Sucre certainly is a beautiful city and has an almost European feel about it. By far my highlight of the city was the food market. My breakfast everyday was an enormous fruit salad with creamy yogurt, which cost around 50p. I would have been happy to have had this for every meal! There are lots of great restaurants, cafes and street vendors in Sucre, so eating here was an absolute pleasure.
There was some sort of national holiday on one if the days I was there, which meant I was treated to lots of live music, dancing and general celebration. The day after this (as if the ensure I remembered I was in Bolivia) the centre of Sucre came to a stand still as a group of people decided to block streets in protest of something. As a bolivian I met earlier in the trip told me, bolivians see protesting, in particular blocking roads, as the way to get change. I certainly sww this in action!
After 3 lovely, relaxing days in Sucre I got on yet another night bus to head further south to Tarija.


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