SUCRE

We were rather keen to leave Uyuni and were on a bus to Sucre first thing the next day.  I’m not sure we could have anticipated just how much of an adventure that would be!Sucre_004Sucre_002Sucre_001As we approached the town of Potosi (a stopover on the way) we quickly realised there was a problem with our bus turning around and heading a different direction.  As we continued up another road, our driver stopped the bus and looking ahead we could see there were trucks blocking the road.  Before we really had any idea what was going on we were all off the bus and on the streets of Potosi, our bus driver giving us no real information but suggesting that we walk to the bus station ourselves!  We began walking uphill in to Potosi, realising quickly that walking uphill in the highest town in the world takes slightly more effort than a stroll in the park.  After multiple attempts to get a taxi, we all piled into the back of a friendly local’s ute and were finally driven to the bus station.  Too bad it was the wrong bus station and we sighed as we were told the one we needed was 40 blocks away.Sucre_016965240_10200099700477379_2013236258_oWhile we pondered what to do next we were approached by several taxi drivers who claimed they could get us to Sucre.  In small groups we filled taxis and our driver proceeded to make his way out of Potosi (encountering a road block nearly every second street).  Finally, we made it to the highway and were on our way to Sucre!  But wait, what’s this? More cars and trucks? You can only take us this far?  Arriving to the outskirts of Sucre it was apparent we were dealing with the same problem and we (now as seasoned road block experts), proceeded to walk in to the city.  You would think one truck would suffice but no, let’s put 30 odd trucks across the road just in case someone manages to slip through!  I wish I had more photos to show just how ridiculous it was!  We finally made our way through all of the trucks and with one last taxi ride for the day, we made it to our hostel!965233_10200099698117320_57475333_oSucre_019Sucre is a beautiful city and the constitutional capital of Bolivia (there is actually two capital cities of Bolivia just to confuse you with La Paz considered the legislative and administrative capital).   Sucre is also known as Ciudad Blanca, meaning the White City, as bascially every building is painted white, generally with red-tiled roofs and different balconies.  It is well-documented as a city where tourists stay a little longer than expected and this ended up being the case for us, staying in Sucre for 10 days (we also didn’t really have a choice with the various road blockages that were taking place)!Sucre_021Sucre_020Sucre_163Our hostel Kultur Berlin was the perfect place to spend some time relaxing.  It is ran by a German named Klaus and was in a really pretty Spanish colonial building with an internal courtyard, pub and café.  We spent our days hanging out, walking down to the main plaza for a freshly squeezed juice and we even challenged our brains a little with a handful of Spanish lessons.  We had a few drinking sessions and enjoyed the flavoursome Bolivian food which was wonderful after the rather bland food in Chile and Argentina (although Niels and I did feel a little sorry for ourselves after one restaurant outing that had us sick in bed for two days)!  Sucre_081Sucre_082Sucre_027Sucre_022Sucre_025Sucre_144Sucre_026We also frequented the Mercado Central, which was fantastic for people watching and walking the many aisles filled with fresh produce.  There is an incredible amount of fruits and vegetables for sale, so much so that I think it would feed the whole of Sucre 100 times over!  Everything is really cheap and it is hard not to stop for a quick taste test of an avocado or mango, which for the sake of roughly 50 cents you then just have to buy!Sucre_049Sucre_050Sucre_087Sucre_085Sucre_037In addition to the fruit and vegetable section there are other aisles, each dedicated to a different product – some ladies sell cheese, others potatoes, clothing, handcrafted cakes, household goods, spices – the list goes on.  Then there is the rows of white-tiled cubicles where butchers chop away at different chunks of meat – cows, chickens, pigs, fish (and not just your normal strip loin cut)!  It is a fascinating place and a photographer’s dream however Bolivian’s are incredibly shy when it comes to photographs and we only snuck a handful of shots.Sucre_041Sucre_083Sucre_090Sucre_042Sucre_047Sucre_045Another must-do at the market is the juice/fruit salad section.  As you approach, the different ladies compete for your attention as they peel, slice and juice every type of fruit imaginable!  The fruit salad comes in a range of sizes and no matter what size bowl you select, you can guarantee it will be piled as high as possible, leaving you wondering where exactly to begin.Sucre_092Sucre_095Sucre_094At the top of Recoleta Hill you can get the best view of Sucre and its surrounds while enjoying deliciously cheap meals at Cafe Mirador.  The walk up the hill is testing but the view is certainly worth it and it is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the “White City”.  Sucre_059Sucre_063Sucre_061Sucre_068Sucre_069Sucre_155Sucre_160As the days passed by we realised there was still more to explore and walked beyond the main plaza to the french-styled Parque Simon Bolivar.  On the walk we passed beautifully well-kept colonial buildings which were surrounded by equally well-maintained gardens.  We passed through the replica Triumphal Arch of Paris and walked through the park, where there is also a replica Eiffel Tower with an incredibly sketchy staircase you can climb.  It was peaceful in the park which was nice as the one downside to Sucre is the uncanny amount of car alarm sirens you hear all day long (I know the whole sequence off by heart now)!  Sucre_124Sucre_125Teatro Gran Mariscal SucreSucre_129Sucre_134Our time in Sucre was the longest spent in one place so far and was very much a little home away from home.  Its beauty had surprised us, its people had fascinated us and its history inspired us but it was time to continue our journey.  With the road blocks still continuing we decided to book a flight to La Paz.  On our last day in town, the locals were participating in a festival which was the perfect way to say goodbye to Sucre.

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