On the Way To Sucre
As we left Potosi, we climbed up higher and I took my last two photos of the city.
As we came upon this bull dozer, one Indigenous lady was waving the traffic around. The bull dozer had one side on the road and the other side on the dirt alongside the road. There were about 15 Indigenous people with tires – they were laying the tires in front of the bull dozer to protect the asphalt. As they laid down their tire, they ran to the back of the line and the relay began all over again – laying the tires in front of the bull dozer. Paola thought it was quite funny – it really was an amazing sight. She said that often communities hired machines from the state to help build their small villages. I guess they didn’t think about getting a truck to transport the bull dozer.
Our last excursion was to Sucre, the first capital of Bolivia, founded by the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century. It has many well-preserved 16th century religious buildings and charming colonial architecture. The city was renamed in honor of Antonio Jose de Sucre – leader of the fight for independence. While Sucre is a city, it feels more like a large town. Traffic congestion is minimal and the locals seem to take life in their stride. Sucre is a university city, with quite a large student population. It is a city popular with tourists and has many Spanish language schools catering to college age students. I actually liked this city more than any other one that I had visited in Bolivia. Just wish I had had a few more days there.
We went directly to my hotel. It was a huge colonial hotel – parts of it were open and beautiful on a sunny day but during a rainstorm – you had to use your umbrella to get from one area to another. I am not sure why they put me in a room so far from the reception. I should have spoken up and said I wanted a room closer to the first floor. As it was, my room was so well isolated that I got lost trying to get back to the lobby. The room was huge and had a lot of windows unfortunately, all the curtains had to be closed since the people in rooms across from mine could look in the window. The reception assured me there would be wi fi and at first all was fine, but then the wi fi went out twice and the second time – it never came back.
Paola is from Sucre so she went home to say hi to her family. She met me about an hour later to take me to lunch. We were close to several restaurants so we walked to them. First, we tried the vegetarian restaurant – the restaurant was very busy and we really didn’t see anything we both liked on the menu. We found a really neat restaurant with a lot of interesting items on the menu. We both enjoyed our meal and were ready to begin the city tour of Sucre.
The ASUR Indigenous Art and Textiles Museum is currently located at the top of a hill high above the city, half a block from the Recoleta Church plaza and the Mirador city overlook. The museum features hand-loomed weavings by women of the nearby town of Tarabuco and other textile artists who weave at the museum so tourists can actually watch as they make their beautiful creations. I enjoyed looking through the museum. I bought a small pot actually made by an Indigenous child. We also had the opportunity to wander through a craft market place.
From there, Paola took me to the market Place. It was filled with delicious looking fruit and vegetables.
After the market, the driver dropped us off in a shopping district which was close to my hotel. There was a cute shop and Paola knew the owner so she helped me get some good deals on some nice things for my family. We looked at some silver jewelry sold by venders and found a pair of earrings that I liked. It was getting late and Paola walked me to my hotel where we said good by. I was on my own for the rest of the evening and all the next day. It really felt good to have some “down” time and I probably should have requested more of it during the tour. Paola and the driver were picking me up the day after to take me to the airport and back to La Paz.