Dani arrived in Potosi in the middle of the night and there werent many taxis at the bus station so they all ended up in one taxi, (thats 5 boys, 1 girl, 6 big bags, 6 small bags and 2 surf boards!) It was quite an experience. After a much needed day of rest Dani went on a Silver Mine tour the following morning and Sam went with a different group in the afternoon. We had been told by other travellers that a mine tour was very difficult because of the lack of oxygen and heat and that we would see a very interesting and upsetting way of life. The Potosi Silver Mines helped to maintain the splendour of Europe from the 16th to the 18th centuries with around two billion ounces of silver extracted from the city's Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) during the Spanish colonial era. Visiting the mines was quite an experience, they have no access to modern technology and no social security protection so the working conditions are very poor. They work for themselves so work ridiculous hours to find the smallest amount of silver. We all took gifts into the mines including pop, coca leaves etc and it was very much appreciated.Dani left that evening on teh bus to Uyuni but because Sam´s tour didnt get back in time she stayed. It was supposed to be just for one night but a few days later she was still there! In that time she went to a La Paz v Potosi football game, had a reunion with the dutchies tayma and Joep and celebrated Will´s birthday in a very unique way. The football game was lacking in skill but when teh referee made a bad decision police ran on the pitch with shields to protect him, it was crazy but very fun! Seeing Tayma nd Joep was also a massive bonus, we´ve been trying to catch up since Lima and failed despite alot of attempts so although it wasnt the same withouot Dani, it was awesome seeing them!! Will´s birthday was really good, we all chille doput on the hostel watching films drinking rum (as you do) until 12am when we headed to a local bar and let teh Bolivians know how the British party =) The next day Sam said bye to everyone as they left for Sucre and she set of to Uyuni to catch up with Dani.
When Dani arrived in Uyuni she had been forwarned there wasnt much to do and the only reason people go there is to do the Salt Flat tours which we found to be true when we arrived, plus its absolutely freezing so you cant stay long!! However, we did have one good night out there as it was Dani´s birthday on the Saterday night. Sam arrived that morning and that evening when the boys got back from their trip we all went for a nice pizza with a bottle of wine (of course) then back to the hostel for drinks. Now we may be in Bolivia but a birthday is a birthday no matter where you are so party hats, cups and party blowers were bought so it felt like a proper party =) The night was going well, having a catch up from the few days we´d been apart (the first in over 10 months) and just celebrating the 23 years of dani´s life, until at around 4am when a Bolivian man tried to steal Dani´s i-pod and passport from her room while she was in bed! He was with his wife and young daughter so it wasn´t very pleasant and the police had to get involved. It all worked out well in the end and Dani got both things back but the man got away with it as he payed the police to get him go! Thats Bolivia for you!! Unfortunately, because of all teh comosion we didnt get to bed until 6am which meant that we alept through our topur that was supposed to begin at 10am, oops!! The Salt Flats was the only thing we wanted to do but after what had happended teh night before we decided we werent destined to stay in Bolivia any longer and that night got on the train headed for Argentina... hello steak and wine!!!
P.s. We have no photo's due to some lil ***** stealing threee of our cameras!!