La Paz sits at 3, 650 meters elevation as the highest capital city in the world. Potosi is 4, 090 meters in the sky. Lake Titicaca is apparently the world’s highest lake at 3, 811, and if you climb the hill overlooking the lakeside town of Copacabana you’ll be gasping for breath a lot higher up than that. Most of Bolivia is basically in the clouds. It makes it all sound appealing and somewhat romantic and magical, but what they fail to mention is how hard it is to breathe up there.
This wasn’t fireworks or a cap gun. This was real dynamite, real rock-busting, mine-forming, rubble-clearing, lose-your-hands-and-blind-yourself dynamite. A solid white stick, wrapped in paper with a wire coming out the end, and chocked full of dynamite inside. It cost us 20 Bolivianos, about $3. Between two of us that’s $1.50 each.