Our visit to the Cerro Rico Mines was an eye-opening experience Before entering the mines we stopped at a quiet street in Potosi where we picked up our protective gear and got to explore the mining supplies shops and market stalls. Here we bought some gifts to take to the miners we would be visiting. We bought a mixture of things, food, drink fizzy pop and liquor (almost 100% proof alcohol), coca leaves and explosives. We were told that these were the things the miners would most appreciate.
This was Mountain Biking tour number 2 offered by Joy Ride. Joy Ride is a travel agency which also has a bar/cafe right in the center of Sucre. The tour starts up in the hills around the city and after 1 to 2 hours of downhill mountain biking and a 1 to 2 hour hike along the river you end up at "Secret Canyon".
The first part of the ride is on tarmac to allow us to get used to the bikes before starting the official death road. This part of the journey was the fastest and our tour guide said that we would reach speeds up to 65km/h Thankfully the death road has been closed to traffic for at least the last 3 years when the new alternative road was completed (took around 17 years to build and has over 110 bridges and takes longer to drive)