Days one hundred and thirteen and one hundred and fourteen, 5-6 and 5-7
The ride to Potosi was equally as unexciting as the previous days ride. Straight and pavement. I did pull off for a break and find some decoration for my bike.
We arrived in Potosi and signed up for the mining tour the following morning.
Then went out for drinks. There was some sort of festival going on with a band and fireworks so we joined in on the festivities. The next morning we woke up for one of the most touristy things we have done on this trip. They dressed us up like idiots and loaded us on the bus.
before you go to the mines they stop off at the miners market, where you are supposed to buy gifts of coca leaves, soda, and 196 proof alcohol for the miners you meet in the caves. And where you can buy DYNAMITE! Awesome. I bought some extra booze, and alot of spare dynamite, fuse, blasting caps, and enough amonium nitrate to make alot of large booms. We all loaded back on the bus and headed toward the mines. by the time we arrived at the mines (15 minutes later) I was already a little buzzed from sipping on my plastic bottle of 196 proof. And had quickly made friends with the tour guide ex miner who also liked my plastic bottle of gasoline. we entered the mines. This isn't safe. Before I knew it we were ducking under broken support beams in 8 inches of water.
Then we climbed a wall into a loose gravel hill and squeezed through a small hole no bigger than I am wide. seriously if I was a little fatter, I would have been stuck like Winnie the Pooh. All the while I have a shitload of dynamite, blasting caps filled with nitro glyceryn, and amonium nitrate rattling around in my backpack. We arrived at the top of this gravel hill and climbed through a small hole into an open room where a couple miners were working on cleaning out a cave in that happened last week.
They happily took a break to drink booze and accept our presents. We chatted with them for a bit before heading back down the rabbit hole and off to our next adventure.
We arrived back at the main tunnel and split off up a new hole in the ceiling. Here our guide quickly put together the dynamite and lit a few sticks off. This was sketchy. As I sat and waited for the fuse to burn down to the enevitable BOOM I looked around to see the panic on everyones face. I was well into being drunk at this point so my worries were elsewhere. I have a video of this whole process but it's like 20 minutes and I will have to have better internet to load the damn thing. But I will post it I promise. So meanwhile our tour guide is now drunk too and holding lit dynamite while this girl next to me is getting mad because she is scared and pissed that "I got the guide too drunk" He's a big boy. He runs down into the dark and 30 seconds later BOOM. The feeling is awesome. you can feel the shock wave go through your body, to the end of the cave, and come back through your body again. Everyone now is over it. Except drunk me and drunk tour guide. everyone heads toward the exit as we climb deeper into the mine looking for more of his friends. After another sketchy climb through tight holes we meet up with some other miners and party for a bit. I'm the only white person left. We drink alot more of this poison and bullshit for a bit before heading out of the mine. Well apearently we were in there too long because when we finally emerged into the daylight our bus was gone, leaving Chacco, the guide, and myself in the middle of nowhere. Chacco spots the bus down the side of the hill and we both head straight down this steep hillside stumbling drunk, trying to cut off the bus at the next turn. the buss spots us, we hop on, and head back toward town. I passed out immediately but as for poor Chacco, he had another tour to give. I felt bad for him.