In Potosi we set off to do what Jenny described as the hardest thing she’s ever done, and it wasn’t far down my list either. Potosi was (supposedly) the richest city in the world at one stage. They have mines and I believe it made them rich, but then the Spanish overworked them. I’m not too sharp on the details but I can tell you that for €1.70 you can buy a stick of dynamite there and blow up whatever you want. It’s not like you’re allowed blow up whatever you want, but it’s about as hard to come by as bread is in Ireland. Some English guys blew up a hostel in southern Bolivia with the dynamite they bought in Potosi. They found out fairly lively that that’s against the law and ended up behind bars until daddy bailed them out.
So with all this talk of dynamite we had to check this out. We met a Bolivian who greeting us with a few words of Irish, the quickest way to charm an Irish person, so we immediately decided he was our man. Both myself and Jenny hope to study International Development so we felt we had to experience what these guys do every day, and we were only looking at the work, they were they guys pushing and pulling tons of stones in the heat, with a severe lack of oxygen. Even outside the mine it was hard to breathe. Potosi is the highest city in the world, if the guide book is to be belived, at 4300 metres (around 13,000 feet).