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Published: July 24th 2008
After a busy few days on the Salar it was lovely to get to the scenic city of Sucre for some chilling and relaxing. The climate here is sunny and warm and we spent most of our time here wandering around enjoying defrosting in the sunshine. The city, which is set in a valley surrounded by mountains, is perfect for strolling around. Its pretty streets are lined with beautiful whitewashed buidings and green parks perfect for lazing in and watching the world go by.
Our arrival in Sucre coincided with the start of the European Championships, so we have to admit that much of our time here was spent watching the football in a nice Dutch pub, cheering on whoever we fancied that day. Tony was disappointed that defending champions Greece lacked their previous form and were eliminated in the 1st round. We both agree it was just not the same watching the championships without Scotland there, though we did particularly enjoy watching the Dutch and Spanish.
However despite these lazy days we did manage to fit in some sightseeing. Our favourite day out was the Museo of Indigenous Arts. This museum held lots of information and displays on
the woven textiles made by women in the villages surrounding Sucre. These textiles are worn by men and women as skirts, cloaks and ponchos. The colourful and complex weavings each tell a story and depict various aspects of the specific communities cultures and beliefs. The weavings vary greatly in colour and design, for example the Jalq'a weaves represent their beliefs in the underworld, they are made with dark red and black threads and show demons and creatures of the underworld with many heads and limbs. Whereas other communities used bright pinks and blues to show scenes from their everyday lives or historical events. The museum also had lots of information about the different communities rituals and customs, one of the best displays showed how each community celebrated for festivals, showing the colourful costumes and dances and musical instruments used. We even got to watch weavers at their work, they told us each textile can take up to 3 months working all day everyday!
Sucre has many fine restaurants and pubs and as it is so cheap here we did not worry about eating out. One night we treated ourselves to an amazing meal at a French restaurant. It was
really tasty but without really thinking about it we decided to have lobster even though Bolivia is South America's only landlocked country, woops! Thankfully our tummies were fine afterwards.
Although we'd seen glimpses of Bolivia's poverty whilst travelling North we were still shocked to find so many poor people in such grand surroundings. As we walked the streets people asked for money constantly. What shocked us was not that there were beggers but the fact that these people were very young children or old women, and we found it distressing that these people had no family to care for them. It was a city of contrasts with the super rich and very poor living side by side as is so often the case in big cities.
There is not much else to tell, we had a very relaxing time in the sunshine with beautiful surroundings, it is certainly easy to see why so many travelers we met stayed here for so long.
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