Prehistoric Mining - Potosi Bolivia

Prehistoric Mining - Potosi Bolivia

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Well after Uyuni was a quick visit to Potosi – which is the highest city in the world (not to be confused with La Paz which is the highest Capital City in the world).. and the altitude sure makes it known.. 10m uphill walk, and its time to stop.. crazy, even the fittest suffer so made me feel better. Potosi is a historical mining town, which still uses these historic mining practices.

A visit to the mine is an eye opener, not much electricity down there, so everything is manual – getting down and up, carting the minerals around etc.. the most entertaining practice they use is, the use of TNT Dynamite to look for minerals.. especially as it’s the tourists who supply it! Before getting to the mine, we stop at the Miners market to buy them supplies – dynamite, cigs, cocoa leaves, booze, choices etc.. funnily enough, everyone buys mainly dynamite. After a quick demo of the effects of dynamite within the mine - from about 50m you can feel it shake the fun begins.. Outside the mine, the guides will let some of us build our own little bomb. Which is quite amusing, until he lights it and poses for pictures with you and your holding a ticking piece of dynamite in your hand. A couple of seconds of terror later you place it down far enough to be safe, but you have no idea on when it will go off.. and when it does it scares the life out of you… one loud bang, and a cloud of smoke and your heart rate must near 160.. quite scary. Well that would be nothing compared to the next day – Tinkuy!

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