Ok... I rode from Los Angeles California to the southern tip of South America, and back. I started out with a friend from Alberta Canada - Larry is a rancher whom I met when I rode to Alaska a few years earlier and had stayed in touch with. He had recently bought a new bike and wanted to go for a ride. So we set our sights on Tierra Del Fuego. But, he had to turn back in Colombia. Then I rode with Brian from England, Patrick from Ireland, and Damon from New Zealand, from Columbia to Santiago Chile. After that, I was on my own.

This was an exciting trip for a number of reasons. It was over 30,000 miles thru Latin America and the Andes mountains, and I didn't speak much Spanish. There was also the small detail of the Darien Gap. And, then there was "Death Road" in Bolivia - supposedly the most dangerous road in the world.

Anyway, I blogged about the entire journey right here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Silver Mines of Potosi

We left Lake Titicaca heading “South” - YeeeeHaaaaa!  It’s the simple things - like heading in the right direction, that put a smile on the face of an Adventure Rider/Overlander/Smelly Biker.  Anyway, Damon had to split off again to seek out a BMW dealer (no small task in South America) and get his bike problems under control.  So, he headed for Chile… again. Bill and Adrian decided to stay in Copacabana for a while as they were going north.  The rest of us headed south.  When we arrived in Potosi (where the acclaimed documentary “The Devils Miner” was filmed) we booked a tour of the silver mines for the following day.  The tour gave us a first hand look at what life as a miner is like.  We even bought dynamite, alcohol, and coca leaves at the miners market (as gifts for the miners).  And, I can assure you, it makes any job I have EVER done look easy by comparison.  At the end of our 4-hour tour, I was ready to get the heck outta there.  Our tour guide was an ex-miner and he said that to be a miner, you just need to be strong, and have a good sense of humor.  Idunno!  I think the coca leaves help - they sure do chew a lot of them!  Incidentally, this was NOT the same mine that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid had robbed a hundred years ago.  But, the next day we headed south for Tupiza where, according to legend, the two famous outlaws did steal the payroll for a nearby mine.

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