10 May 2010

Dinosaurs and Mines

The over night bus from Samaipata to Sucre was a little much. A combination of the altitude, the windy roads, and the chickens lining the overhead luggage holders kept us awake all night. We arrived, however, no worse for wear; I am now with a Dutch girl and an English couple.

Sucre is a pretty standard city. I started my adventures with dinosaur footprints found just outside of town. It was a pretty standard Museum, and then a viewing area for the uplifted footprints across the way. A siesta followed, with some hanging in the plaza for the afternoon; the pleasantness was broken by children trying to shine my sandals, women selling bits of string, and general beggars. I unloaded some of my currency from other countries (i.e. pesos, Guaranis, etc) on the children. Despite the altitude (about 9000 feet) I was able to get some excellent sleep that night.

The next day only saw some early morning market-going, a siesta, and some more fighting off panhandlers in the plaza. A nice view of the city was found for the sunset, and we met up with some Aussies to party in the night. The next morning, I fought off a hangover with a giant Chipotle sausage, alongside locals enjoying soup, etc. A bus ride followed to Potosi, the highest city in the world.

Potosi entire economy is based on a giant mining complex looking for lead, silver, and zinc, and is arguably the most dangerous in the world. The dust and other is supposed to kill miners in 15 years, if they survive the frequent cave-ins, fall-outs, runaway carts.

I took a tour of the mine, and it was truly something else. A combination of the dust, altitude, and heat made the scrambling, ducking, and crawling very difficult. An hour and a half later, and we were ready to leave; people spend up to 20 hours a day there. Outside, we got to blow some dynamite up, which was AWESOME. Don't worry though, I still have all my limbs.

Next is Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world. I get on a bus in an hour.

Somethings Interesting:

--An estimated 8 million people have died in the Potosi mines.

--The area I am in now, with the highest city in the world, the dinosaur footprints, and the salt flats, used to be connected to the Atlantic Ocean. The creation of the Andies saw to the split.

--I thought it would be smart to slowly drink the water, to let myself become acclamated to the bacteria in Bolivian tap water. I was sadly mistaken, and am paying for it dearly now.


  1. yeah, that is totally not how the tap water thing works. hopefully you're feeling better.

  2. I hope you feel better too. I think Dr. Klaw gave you medicine for this sort of thing. Maybe you still have it.