When drawing up the original route for South America. It is safe to safe to say Potosi was not on the list. It is actually safe to say that I never heard of Potosi before even arriving in Bolivia. Going to Potosi came from a recommendation from a friend on our travels but he raved about it. There is not a whole lot to do in Potosi but what there is to do is completely worth it. We went to Potosi to go down into the mines. Great great fun. Easily one of the highlights of the year in South America. I was not sure what to expect but it was amazing. I was not sure what to expect but it was insanely fun.
We stayed in "Casa de Huespedes" and booked the tour to the mines from the hostel with the owner. GO HERE AND BOOK IT THROUGH HIM! The dude is an absolute legend and a hero. The build up is great. I unfortunately cannot remember the guides name but I think it was Diego. We shall refer to him as Diego. Before going down the mines, Diego brought us to the miners market. One of the very few markets in the world where you can purchase dynamite. As you do.
You buy the miners some gifts for basically climbing around their mines while they are trying to work. The gifts are basically dynamite and coca leaves. Coca leaves help with the altitude. We went with two other girls and a guy. We were all suited and booted, ready to go down the mine. When the other 3 saw the entrance, they pussied out. It was not a particularly cheap tour either. Such losers. What a waste of money. No doubt their Facebook was loaded with pictures of them in their mining gear. It worked out far better for us as we basically got a private tour. It is hard to explain the tour but it involved lots of climbing in and out of holes. Some were waaaaaay small. I would not recommend it if you don't like tight spaces. You love several devils penis's on your way around the mines. There were loads of devil statues with huge penis's which we had to rub for good luck.
As you do.
Being under ground, closer to the devil than god. We pray to the devil to look after us. Each devil has a fairly well in dowd member considering their size which we rubbed. Sounds fairly gay for what I would have assumed quite a manly profession. Now, that I am writing this. I cannot help but wonder was this the guide taking the piss out of us by telling us we need to rub the devils cock...
Perhaps the highlight of the mining experience was playing with dynamite. In a brilliantly Bolivian end to a tour, the guests are allowed blow up a section of the mine. I'll honest, my bowls wanted to make a move south when holding the stick of dynamite. We had a few shots of 98% alcohol before the explosion to calm nerves. Nerves were not calmed. I was just a bit drunk and nervous. We lit the stick, place it down and ran for our lives (singing the mission impossible soundtrack).
I was not unlike a giddy school girl after the explosion. I could not wipe the smile off my face like a mental case. Thankfully, I have managed to control my urges to play with dynamite since then. I could not recommend doing the mine tour more and make sure to book it through Casa de Huespedes. Several other tour companies take you to the tourist mine. The tourist mine is basically a straight line while with this particular tour, you climb around. I think we were 8 levels down at one stage. 3 thumbs up. I think I got food poisoning while in Potosi but nothing new there in Bolivia. From Potosi, we hopped on a bus to Uyuni for the much anticipated salt flats...