Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Potosí - One of the worlds highest cities...

Our journey to Potosí began when we realized (again) how much distance we needed to still cover...We needed to go that way anyway, and maybe we'd enjoy a bit of the silver mining town for a day or two...

Potosí, was at one point the richest town of the Spanish occupied Latin America.  It was also regarded as one of the biggest cities in the world, with the silver boom.  Nowadays, there are still many miners, and tons of tours operate out of here.  Did you know that Potosí is regarded as one of the highest cities in the world?  It sits at about 4,090 meters, or over 13,000 feet.  You can definitely feel it, that's for sure!

We took a bus from Sucre, which took 4 hours, fairly pleasant ride, mid-day.  Our friends Aoife and Luis, we met in La Paz were also in Potosi, and we thought of possibly planning our Uyuni tour together, for a few days down the road.  Turned out, we were heading in different directions, as they were going into Argentina after, and us to Chile...

We spent 3 days really not doing a whole lot in Potosi...Danica thought of possibly doing a mine tour, and we both talked about hitting up the hot springs, Ojo de Inca...

None of this materialized, and we ended up walking around the town, having a bite to eat a couple times, and hanging out in the hostel.  Our second night there, we met Juan, from Colombia, and figured out we were heading the same direction, and decided to head to Uyuni together, and find a good tour group.  That night, after a decent sized bottle of Singani, we headed to the main plaza to play some guitar.  It was way too cold for any of that, so a couple half-assed tunes ensued.  On the walk back, we met a few local bankers who just got off work, and insisted we join them in drinking a very sweet mix of some Bolivian liquor and juice...



The next day, the three of us jumped on a very uncomfortable bus to Uyuni, which took about 4 hours.  It wouldn't have been so bad, but it seemed as if everyone on the bus was ill.  Coughing, choking, hacking and sure enough, a woman vomiting in the back of the bus, made me feel quite ill also...To top it off, there were 4 or 5 small children running up and down the length of the bus, and touching everyone's things with runny noses and filthy hands.  Believe me, I am not a germ freak, but this was a ride from hell.

Once in Uyuni, we found a very cheap hostel for 25 Bolivianos/person, enjoyed a decent pizza in the town square, and figured we'd give it a day to figure out which tour group to take.  The next morning, after eating a very slow breakfast, we were approached by a woman soliciting a tour, that needed 3 more people...We walked to the tour office with her, sat down, and decided on it.  Not only would we not have to stay one more night in Uyuni, but it was leaving in one hour...