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- Bolivia -

City of Potosi

Spanish Imperial capital in the 16th century, Potosi was providing with its mines most of the silver and coins to the old continent. La Casa de le Moneda is now a museum but the building was manufacturing silver coins. Spanish, thank to slavery (africans and indians), were leading the world. Today, no more slaves, only volunteers digging inside mines trying to find their fortune... Potosi, the Spanish Imperial city has been forgotten by the rest of the world !

View on the Cerro Rico (4800m) where stands the mines A church again... Fountain at La casa de la Moneda

In front of the hostal during the Censo Desert street during the Censo

Desert street during the Censo Sunset on Potosi

Potosi Mines

The story of Potosi is lead by the story of the mines. These mines are still used since bolivian people think only 30% of the silver potential has been dragged out. A company and a cooperative are exploiting today the mines. We visited the cooperative part with real miners. We will never forget it ! Small galeries, dim light, miners working in very rude conditions with very poor materials. Children of 12 years old are working inside as assistant !!!! Last point, altitude is 4500m...

My friends Jipé & Manu buying some gift (Coca leaves, cigarettes and dynamite !!) for the miners Ready to visit the mines with the gifts (Picture from Manu)

View on the minery company building Miners working in very hard conditions (Picture from Manu) The Hell is the king for all underground activities (Picture from Manu)

Our guides (Center and right) for the mine visit (Entrance in background)

Leaving Potosi to Uyuni

The bus station in Potosi is a living place with a market to buy some food. It took 7 hours to go from Potosi to Uyuni. We had some mechanical troubles with the engine but landscapes are fabulous. In this region, you can easily understand the meaning of INFINITY.

Market at the bus station with the Cerro Ricco as background The bus which we used to go to Uyuni

On the way to Uyuni