More Death Defying Tourism in Bolivia
Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
285Trip End Ongoing
After gearing up in protective clothing, our first stop was the miner's market where we were encouraged to buy them things they need on a daily basis... this includes soft drinks, alcohol, cigarettes, coca leaves, and the best one ..
Armed with our dynamite and other products, we were off to the processing factory where the rock that comes out of the mine is crushed and the individual elements are separated. This mine contains silver, zinc, lead, and tin. After that, the tour of the actual mine began. The temperature dropped quickly as we first entered the tunnel but the further we went down, the hotter it became. Temperatures deep inside the mine are as high as 113 degrees F! As we made our way deeper down, dodging the occasional 2 ton rail cart whizzing by, we got a real sense of what a life enslaved to this place must have been like. Horrible! In most places in the mine, you can't even stand up straight because the tunnel is too low and in other places we literally had to crawl on our hands and knees to reach the next level or cavern where miners were working. In the past, these exact same passages were used by miners, also crawling on hands and knees, except they were carrying a 100 pound sack of rock on their back to get the treasure to the surface
When the underground adventure completed and we were all able to breath fresh air again(like that's possible at 14,000 feet) the last part of the tour commenced ... it was our Terrorism 101 Class! Yes, the extra dynamite we bought for ourselves had to be exploded and to do that we had to learn how to rig the fuse and blasting cap along with the ammonium nitrate ... a basic bomb making class! The poor victim of our new education was a stuffed teddy bear that we blew to smithereens. I posted lots of pix and a video of all our dynamite explosions ... including the demise of poor teddy bear. Many stories and explanations are included with the photos so be sure to enlarge them to learn more.