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Patience in Potosi


View South America on rcally's travel map.

Fun fact!

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.

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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.

el Ojo del Inca

el Ojo del Inca

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!

Posted by rcally 08:09 Archived in Bolivia

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