Dynamite and the devil

Trip Start Oct 03, 2010
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Trip End May 02, 2011


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Where I stayed
Hostal Koala Den

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Friday, December 17, 2010

We decided to give Kev a taste of home and headed to one of Bolivia's main mining towns, Potosi. When in Potosi do as all tourists do and go on a tour of a mine.... In retrospect maybe not our wisest move but it was certainly something different! Arriving at the mine fully kitted out in our mine trekking gear (our best outfit yet) we realised that these were not anything like the Welkom mines. These were proper third world mines, no planning, every miner for himself and tunnels going off in every direction. Around 38 miners die here every year and thousands more from lung disease coursed by many years of underground working.
 


We were told that it would be a little claustrophobic and that we would have to belly crawl for 1m and duck walk for 10m. Incorrect!! More like 30m on the belly and 100m of duck walking. It was pitch black (thank goodness for those head torches) and altitude (4200m) and the dust made it difficult to breath. You had to stop yourself from panicking. We were able to look into the confined spaces the miners were working in, the conditions are harsh, we have a new found respect for our office jobs! Towards the end of the tour we were taken to a man made cave with a bizarre sculpture of the devil whom the miners give offerings to (coco leaves and STRONG alcohol) in order to keep them safe underground. We were very relieved to see daylight after that tour!
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Comments

Angela on

Hey Di and Kev,
Only got to read up on all your travels now - how awesome! Your pics are stunning!
Take care,
love Ang

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