Highest, Biggest, Richest City in the World!
Trip Start Jan 12, 2006
41Trip End Mar 12, 2006
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You can still visit the working mine: a hot, dirty, smelly, noxious and altogether very interesting tour. The silver is mined out, so the boom days of Potosi are over, but they still mine tin. Unfortunately the altitude got to us and we had to take a pass on the mine tour. We rested a lot upon our arrival here from an overnight bus trip. We feel better, in time to head out for Tarija City.
I did get to visit the pride of Potosi and perhaps the best museum in all South America, the Casa de Moneda: the mint which coined all the silver coins for Spain. It is a huge building, filling a city block, completely restored to its original elegance. More than a mint, it was a history lesson and an art gallery as well.
The overnight bus ride here was interesting. Boarding in Cochabamba from the bus terminal on Sunday night was an 'organized chaos' that I can't begin to describe here! The highway was smooth and wide, so we wound our way through the mountains easily and I slept well on the 'bed bus' we selected, one where the seats recline 45 degrees. There's no toilet on the bus and only one 20 minute break in the 10 hour trip! When we were about 20 miles away from Potosi we encountered a broken down bus, so we squeezed as many of those stranded passengers as possible onto our bus and continued on the way. You never know!
Potosi' is our midway stopover. We have a longer overnight bus trip next, after 12 bus hours we'll be in Tarija City, beginning the second half of our Bolivian adventures.