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.
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.