|Potosi - a poor Bolivian mining town, and we went on a trip down one of the mines! Having been warned about the appalling working conditions, they were not half as bad as I was expecting. There was no fresh air pumped in and the materials were carried out on very basic tracks following explosions using dynamite sticks but it was very interesting. The miners, however, are extremely poorly paid with a basic miner earning just 20 bolivians a day (15 bolivians = $1US). The more experienced miners who search for mineral seams and locate the dynamite have to pay the owner of the mine and only make profit if they find significant zinc or silver.
Dressed in green cover-alls and a miners torch on hard hat we visited the mine, watched a couple of explosions and gave the miners gifts of biscuits, coca leaves, drinks, dynamite sticks etc...
Aaron`s birthday, but after a lot of driving we ended up having a Chinese and a quite night!