After spending three chilly weeks at high altitude, it was something of relief to land in the sweltering heat of the rainforest town of Rurrenabaque. The little 19 seater plane touched down at the smallest airport I have ever been to. Only the runway was tarmac, the plane had to taxi over grass and mud to reach the terminal building where pigs roamed freely. No such thing as airport security here.
In the Bolivian city of Potosi lies the infamous silver mine, Cerro Rico. It looms over the town like a towering tomb, and locals say ‘we eat the mountain and the mountain eats us.’
We had our doubts before going, having heard stories of the dangerous, claustrophobic conditions, and read repeated warnings of safety (and the general lack thereof). And we were right to be worried, but, while at times shocking and frightening, the experience was one of the most eye-opening and rewarding of our trip.