Published: December 6th 2008
December 4th 2008
Day 615 (3.12.08)
Having had less than a refreshing nights sleep on our night bus, we found a place to stay and Chrissie took a cat nap leaving Mark to go for a walk around town to get our bearings before joining Chrissie for a rest.
After a bite to eat at the market across the road from our guesthouse, we decided to explore the city in more detail and walked to some of the main plazas, churches and other interesting architecture around the city. Sucre was one of the main governmental centres in the region when the Spanish arrived on the continent and this is reflected in the grand colonial buildings around the city. Whilst walking around you could be mistaken that you were actually in Spain.
Day 616 (4.12.08)
Sucre is also unique as it boasts one of (if not the) best archeological site for Dinosaur footprints, it's very own Jurassic Park. About 20mins out of town on land ajoining a cement factory (very picturesque) there stands a whole cliff face from which scientists have found over 4000 footprints and identified 4 different types of dino prints from over 400 separate animals. Not quite sure
what to expect (as we heard you couldnt get very close to the wall) we picked up the 'dino bus' from the main plaza to go and see what it was all about.
Arriving and after a bit of organising from the staff, we had a 'private' english speaking guide (we were the only english speakers there) who took us around the exhibitions they have on site explaining the hows, whys and whats of what we were going to see on the wall. It was superb to get the background as when we got to the viewing platform to see them it made much more sense. Taking some time to sort the carnivores from the herbivores and the scavengers you could start to imagine life in dino-time.
Finishing up with a walk around the lifesize sculptures of the animals who made the prints we hopped back on the dino bus back to town. Going out there with a little sceptisism, we'd had a great time and it really was something quite unique.
With the afternoon still ahead of us, we decided to see some of the areas of town we had not yet made it to, starting
with a stroll through the Simon Bolivar park, where we bumped into a strange dancing group being filmed for some bizarre Bolivian music video and then walking back up to the Ricoleta at the top of town for an icecream and chat with a great view over the town. Very relaxing!
Day 617 (5.12.08)
Having seen most of what Sucre has to offer we decided to get out of town to one of the smaller towns for a day out. Finding roughly where a microbus left from we asked 4 people exactly where we needed to pick it up and got 4 completely different answers. Ah! Feeling a little like we were on a wild goose chase, we eventually found one with a couple of spare seats and we were soon trundling out to Yotala. As we arrived we saw that it was a nice little place, but were dubious as to how long we would need to spend there. Setting off we explored the little cobbled roads and alleyways untill we stumbled into a guy and started chatting with our best Spanish. Soon we were being invited in to have some Chicha with him and his mates
and before we knew it we were sharing their bucket of Chicha and being taught how to play a local game (i think its called 'frog' in spanish) where you throw small gold coins at a metal tray and score points if it goes into certain holes.
It turned out that the frivolities were all in aid of one of our new found 'amigos' 30th birthdays and we were invited to continue the celebrations as they went to their favourite local swimming spot at a river down the road. Marcello (who had originally invited us to join him and his friends) and the rest of the group were great and even with our pigeon spanish we laughed a lot (helped along by all the Chicha i'm sure)!
After a crazy journey with 7 of us packed into a car we reached the spot. Arriving at the river we realised we had no swimmies so Mark took the plunge (as did all the other chaps) in his boxers whilst Chrissie reluctantly enjoyed from the bank.
Back in Yotala, we stopped in the plaza again to work out where to next when some of the lads got chatting to
4 local ladies all dressed in the same evening wear. Before we knew it we had another local chap go to his car and bring out a hifi slamming on some rather traditional South American tunes and pulling out a video camera. Still in the middle of the plaza Mark and three of the other lads were pulled up for a bit of a dance all being caught on video. As the song went on, more people stopped to watch and after only half of the song we had quite a gathering audience. With Mark busting some terrible moves with a rather frisky local lady the song eventually finished and we all thanked each other thinking that was the end of the fun. But oh no that was not it. Not really understanding the chatter going on it soon became apparent that Mark's lady didnt want to leave it there and wanted a solo performance! Another song, another dance with people opening their doors to see the strange 'gringo' dancing in the plaza again all caught on camera. It was all quite surreal.
After this public impromptu performance we speculated why the camera was there with one possibiltuy being
the millions of low budget music videos you see in local chicha bars - so if you're in South America, drinking chicha and you look up to see a slightly uncomfortable terrible gringo dancer, it may well be Mark!
With all of us getting pretty hungry by now we opted to stop in Sucre with all 7 of us piling into the car again and hitting the road back to town. With a questionable passing at the police check point with two of the fellas in the boot we made it back to town and settled in for an afternoon of beer, food, laughter and more 'frog' games in which Mark seemed to be holding his own against the locals.
Planning to meet up later for a couple more cold ones and more dancing, we both went back to our guesthouse for a rest and to scrub up for the evening's fiesta.
Unfortunately we missed the chaps at our place and weren't able to meet up that night even after a bit of a search. All dressed up for an evening out we eventually found ourselves at another pub for a James Bond 007 night where we
had a brilliant time on the Vodka Martinis. From just a day trip to a little village it had turned into a great and hilarious day with our new amigos and showed us just how hospitable people can be.
There are more photos below