The constitutional capital

Days: 313-314 (4 May 2015 – 5 May 2015)

Total distance travelled: 59,679.6 kilometres (37,068.07 miles)

Another overnight bus saw us travel from the pseudo capital, to Sucre, the actual, constitutional capital.

Research online had suggested that most of the lodging options were quite expensive, so we opted for one that seemed both well located, and from past guest testimony, seemed pretty well regarded.

From the bus station, it was another walk of several kilometres, but we didn’t mind and ultimately, not only was the hostel close to the Plaza de Armas (perhaps a ten minute walk), it was also in a lovely location, fronting a nice and leafy public park.

As usual, our bags were dropped, and we were immediately out and about (in truth we probably owed ourselves, or at least our dorm mates a shower first…), getting a feel for the town.

The initially impression was straight away better than La Paz, more grandeur, cleaner streets and less hustle and bustle.

After all, this is the capital!

Pomp & ceremony…

Pomp & ceremony…

Right near our hostel, the Teatro Gran Mariscal Sucre

Right near our hostel, the Teatro Gran Mariscal Sucre

I was pretty fickle this morning when it came to breakfast, so after wandering for some time, we settled on sweet breakfast of Empanadas de Lacayote (a baked and iced, sweet empanada) which we washed down with a couple of freshly made jugos (juices).

Unbeknownst to us at the time, one of the ingredient options was actually a low strength beer called El Inca (we sampled the beer later, hence the discovery).

It sounds a little crazy, and in truth probably is, but the beer is in fact quite sweet (we didn’t much care for it), so it could quite well work with fruity combinations.

The delightful Prefectura de Chuquisaca. Apparently if you ask nicely you can climb its roof… we forgot to ask (left) & delicious fresh jugos from the main Mercado (right)

The delightful Prefectura de Chuquisaca. Apparently if you ask nicely you can climb its roof… we forgot to ask (left) & Delicious fresh jugos from the main Mercado (right)

We’d actually only figured we’d have a single night here, then continue on the following day, however at the last minute we decided to stay an extra day, thus allowing us the time to visit the Parque Cretacio, a theme park just outside of the town where you can actually go and see authentic dinosaur footprints!

Not something you get the opportunity to do just anywhere, or anytime.

Being a bright sunny morning, we opted for thongs (flip-flops) despite the cooler airs at altitude, I going even further and donning some shorts to show off my now much paler legs (after several weeks at altitude, they’d not seen sun in some time).

We found ourselves a bus headed in the correct direction and as our ultimate destination was the end of the line, it made it pretty easy to know where we needed to get off.

What we didn’t expect however, was that to reach the park with the dinosaur footprints, we’d need to wander through the entrance to a cement factory (leading to my assumption that it was in their quarry that the prints were discovered).

Then just like that, our plans were in ruin.

Only two tours run to the prints each day, the final one at 1pm (it was by now about twenty minutes to midday) and as we approached the ticket counter, the woman advised us that we couldn’t participate in the tour… because we had no shoes!

Nothing had advised us of this requirement, so we enquired as to whether they had any we could hire, which received a disappointing, negative response.

As it had taken us forty minutes to reach the park on the colectivo, we simply didn’t have time enough to return to town, change our footwear, and get back out…

Defeated, slightly bitter, the best we got was a peek at some of the prints through a wire fence…

With these plans scuppered, we went in search of alternative sights, opting to walk instead up to a nearby mirador in hope of some decent views over the city.

The closest we got dinosaur trails… (left) & the small plaza near the mirador (right)

The closest we got dinosaur trails… (left) & The small plaza near the mirador (right)

Taking in the views over Sucre

Taking in the views over Sucre

It coincided with a search for an ice-cream, which if I recall correctly was a task that took quite a walk to satisfy, and our ultimate decision left one of our party of three rather dissatisfied.

Party of three?

Okay, well that’s not entirely correct, but as we stood making our selection, a beggar appeared right beside us, expectant that we’d also donate one to her… as well as the bag of rolls we’d just acquired from the market, as well as whatever cash we had.

It wasn’t a mugging, just an example one of the most aggressive begging styles we’ve thus far encountered.

The other, a combination of holding out the hands, then if unsuccessful, grabbing hold of the passer by and shouting loudly, was another that seems unique to Sucre

We rounded out our afternoon with a visit to the historic Casa de la Libertad, where the Bolivian ‘Declaration of Independence’ had been signed back in 1825.

It was a beautiful building to just wander, but if you prefer, there are also free guided walking tours in both Spanish and English (the Spanish are obviously ore frequent).

Bolivia’s ‘Declaration of Independence’

Bolivia’s ‘Declaration of Independence’

The capital also seems to have taken the concept of the ‘Zebra Crossing’ at key intersections, and made it an even more personal affair, as on both of our afternoons in the city, we were privy to ‘zebras’ aiding pedestrians crossing the street.

Feeling a change in cuisine was necessary, after all these months of local fare and pizza, when we got wind of an Asian style eatery we got ourselves over there ready to give it a try.

Sarah was happy enough to be indulging in noodles again after all these months of rice, but it was the fact that it was chock full of veggies that really won us over.

There was a small homage to local fare however, as like most Bolivian, or even Peruvian fare, it was also loaded with salt!

Zebra’s on the march (left) & Our first Asian style fare (other than food we’d cooked ourselves) since Panama

Zebra’s on the march (left) & Our first Asian style fare (other than food we’d cooked ourselves) since Panama

We were up and out of our hostel the following morning by half past six, as we had a novel means of transportation in mind from Sucre to Potosi. Something rather different for us indeed…

 

Notes:

* Our overnight bus from La Paz to Sucre cost us $110.00 Bolivianos, where we ‘splurged’ for the first time & had full Cama (fully reclining seats)

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