Once the richest city in the world

Potosi, Bolivia

 


It was a long drive from La Paz to Potosi, once one of the richest cities in the world as it was known for its silver mines. These mines were exploited by the Spanish and although the mines are still in operation all you can see of its wealth is the magnificent churches and for some reason everyone is driving brand new cars!

I spent the morning in Potosi exploring the city with my friends, Jen and Anthony. We opted to give the silver mine tour a skip basically because it sounded horrible to be trapped underground with traces of arsenic and all sorts of other dusts. It was also not appealing to be watching 14 year old kids working in the mines which still use original equipment in other words ancient!

The town had great character and the churches lived up to expectations. We managed to find a mirador (viewpoint) overlooking the main square were we saw a religious festival and a protest go by.

In the afternoon we visited Miraflores Hot Springs. We ordered a taxi that took us to the hot springs and agreed to wait for us for an hour and bring us back to Potosi. This was a great idea as it was off the beaten track and we probably would not have been able to get back into town. Not exactly what we expected but it was great to be away from the usual touristy spots and visit places the locals go too. Obviously we were a surprise to everyone there and every move was watched.

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