Dinosaurs and more – Sucre, Bolivia

After taking a nap from a nightmare of a bus journey, we went out to explore Sucre. Sucre was by far the prettiest city in Bolivia with its Spanish colonial architecture. All the buildings in Sucre are whitewashed making the city seem extremely clean and polished. We tried to explore the interiors of the various churches around the city, but each one we went to was closed and oddly enough it was a Sunday! There was some sort of parade going on throughout the city and we guessed it was a graduation as each group of students was carrying a flag with the field of study on it.

Later that day around sunset a group of us from the hostel made our way to the Mirador overlooking the city. We ate dinner at Café Gourmet Mirador while watching the sun set over the city below us. After dinner, Max, Farima, and I enjoyed a delightful Nutella banana crepe and found out there was a chocolate festival in town and it was the last day. Even though I was overstuffed from the dinner and the crepe, I couldn’t turn down a chocolate festival. The festival ended up being three stories high with various companies selling any kind of chocolate you could imagine. I decided on the submarine, which was basically steamed milk and a chunk of chocolate on a stick that melted into it. It was delicious and I so badly wanted to eat more but I’m sure I would have been sick had I continued.

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The next day was a National holiday in Sucre so almost everything was closed including the churches as we tried to explore their interiors once more. We also tried to catch the Dino truck, a truck that took you to Cal Orko, home to the world’s largest collection of dinosaur footprints, but it ended up being closed as well. Seeing as there was not much to do in Sucre that day, we just hung out at the hostel with the other hostel goers and had a relaxing day. For dinner, a group of about 10 of us went to Kultur Café Berlin, which ended in a night of Headsup (basically a Charades app on the iPhone).

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We slept in the next morning and headed to Condors, a vegetarian restaurant, for lunch. After lunch we explored the markets around town and I tried a famous chorizo sandwich, which wasn’t the best thing I’ve eaten but was okay. We had decided we wanted to leave the next day for Uyuni to explore the salt flats, but when I emailed the company for reservations, they had written us that the 3 day tour was canceled due to weather and snow in the national park. We didn’t know what to do next since the road to Chile, our next destination, would also be closed. We tried researching other options in Chile or Argentina, but couldn’t find a convenient method of travel so decided to stay a few more days in Sucre hoping the weather would turn around and the tours would open back up.

The next morning we tried to catch the Dino Truck once more, but it never showed. Dan, Farima, and I decided just to take a taxi to Cal Orko. A tour was included in our ticket price which always enhances the experience. Once there, we learned that the dinosaur footprints were discovered in 1994 by workers at a local cement company. The footprints are now vertical because of erosion and there are about 5,000 footprints from 150 different types of dinosaur. Unfortunately, we were not able to get too close to them as they are on quite unstable rock and are at risk of crumbling. There was a tour that took you a little closer to the wall of footprints but we were there so early and didn’t want to wait until noon for it. We ended up heading back to town and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee at a café.

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That night, I just felt like relaxing and as they were showing a movie at a cafe nearby — Devil’s Miner, a documentary about the lives of children miners in Potosi – I met up with our friend JC, who we had met earlier in Peru, to watch it. It was sad to see children so young working in the mines in order to support their families. Other people watching the movie had been to Potosi and the miners there had told them the movie was not very accurate and over exaggerated the situation. Regardless, I can’t imagine the health effects of mining being good for anyone. I ended up googling the two main kids in the film to see where they are now as the film was made 10 years ago, and both are still working in the mines, but one is also now a tour guide of the mines.

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That night we got some good news! We found out from our friend Alaina, who arrived in Uyuni the same day that the 3 day tours were open again. As soon as we got this news, we booked a night bus from Sucre to Uyuni for the following night. On my last day in Sucre, I met up with JC to get what he described as the best ice cream in town that was near the park. It was good, but I have definitely had better. I headed back to the hostel to pack up my things and hang out until our night bus. Sucre was perfect for doing nothing and taking a break from the crazy backpacker life of constantly being on the move.

Edited by: Farima M.

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