05.07.2016 - 07.07.2016
Potosi is the highest city in the world at 4100m!
And my goodness, that is high. It is built up a mountain, which turns your average gentle-stroll-around-town into a literal breath-taking uphill climb. I had heard dubious reviews of Potosi, which apparently had no more to offer than its´ still working mines. So I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful town centre, jam packed with churches, plazas, and colonnial architecture.
I arrived here from Uyuni, just a few hours by bus, with a new friend from Chile who I had got chatting to at the bus stop. Together we found a hostel, and checked out the delights of Potosi. I opted not to see the mines- I don´t particularly agree with this type of tourism. The working conditions are apparently horrendous, and I´d far rather spend my money to support improvements of working life, than paying to gawp at individuals in their daily lives. Instead I explored the town, walking and generally getting lost- my preferred method of getting to know a place.
I had also been told of a thermal lake, el ojo del Inca, just outside of the city, so I spent a lovely afternoon here with my (then) Chilean friend. At 35 degrees, this bath was the perfect way to defrost after the sub-zero temperatures of Uyuni. The man overseeing the lake directed us slightly downhill to some old Inca bath ruins, supplied by another three thermal lakes.
Two nights were sufficient in a place this small (and high!) and so I made the move onto Sucre. Unfortunately, so did the increasingly irritating Chilean, who squeezed in next to me in my taxi/bus for the three hour journey.
A beautiful ride through the mountains, saw us winding at hair-raising speed, dropping down to 2810m altitude. Much more manageable! Now all I had to do was rid myself of my unwanted partner, and I could hopefully really breathe easy!