The observer always influences the observed. The harder you endeavor to pinpoint the speed of, say, a subatomic particle, the less likely you are to know where the heck it is. I’m cutting corners here, but that’s about the gist of it.
Sooo, metaphorically one might argue: the nicer and more authentic a place, the more tourists it attracts, and hence the less authentic it becomes. With every busload prices go up, locals move out, and all you’re left with is cargo pants, backpacks, and hostel libraries with seven copies of the “Da Vinci Code”, endlessly repeating the exact same nineties playlist regardless of whether you’re in Dahab or friggin’ Spitsbergen. That means Four non Blondes, the Spindoctors, Chumbawamba, you name it. Oh, and “The Unforgiven” by Metallica. You know, with the dramatic acoustic intro.
As the blasé added-value-seeker (don’t call me a tourist) ventures out, North, South, West, and, what’s the other one? and pats himself on the back for not doing what everyone else is doing, all he does is ruin more and more perfectly nice towns, laguna’s, lookouts, and other hidden gems.
Potosi isn’t exactly off the beaten track, but when the French lady scouring Uyuni for a place to stay threw a blank when I mentioned where I was going, I couldn’t help but gloat. Just a little bit. In addition to ruining the world, one travels to learn about oneself. Turns out I’m an asshole. Just a little bit. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go get myself a close shave at the local barber shop. I bet you no one’s ever thought of that.
(As for Potosi, the place is absolutely drop-dead, eye-watering, wet-your-pants gorgeous.)