Stop 13: Potosi and Sucre

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South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre
October 10th 2010
Published: October 12th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

Rant alert!
As you can hopefully tell by the tone of our blog we are having a fantastic time. However, I (Steve) feel that I must rant about our bus trip from Uyini to Potosi. We were on the bus in the mountains between the two cities when we stopped in a village and picked up a yokel. As she walked towards us her stale and sour stench filled my nostrils. However I reminded myself that I am a visitor to her country, that there are different social norms and acceptable levels of hygiene, this is Bolivia, this is what I came to see, hear and smell. I reminded myself of all this again as she sat in the seat behind me. However there is a line and what the Queen of the Great Unwashed did next crossed it. She decided that she wanted to see out of the window, a point of view I whole heartily understood, the view was stunning. However in order to maintain this position of elevation she needed some support. She reached out with both dirty hands and clasped either side of my head rest. These hands were so dirty that when she later relinquished her
Potosi ChurchPotosi ChurchPotosi Church

One of many
grasp each soiled digit had left its mark. Call me xenophobic, but that's just not nice!

Apart from the irksome journey it has been interesting to see Potosi and Sucre. The area itself was once the most important region in Bolivia (or Alto Peru as it was then known), due to the discovery of Silver. Potosi is still now home to  many working silver mines which you can visit. (Our mothers will be pleased to hear we refrained from this... at some points the tunnels are said to be so small you have to crawl on your belly). 

On our final day Steve was extremely pleased to find an establishment (and one of repute) that served llama. The steak was fantastic. It tasted like a gamey cross between beef steak and top quality pork sausages. A recommendation for anyone who chances across it!

The two cities are very different from each other and if we are honest we preferred Sucre. It is a bigger city and as result more European-friendly! (the food and toilet hygiene are better). It is also still officially the capital of Bolivia (a little known fact) as the constitution was never changed! The architecture is also very beautiful and it is where the Bolivian declaration of independence was signed. Overall quite an interesting place. 

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


Surce's Tour EiffelSurce's Tour Eiffel
Surce's Tour Eiffel

It's about 10m high!
Surce's Big BenSurce's Big Ben
Surce's Big Ben

Are you noticing a theme?
Llama SteakLlama Steak
Llama Steak

Seriously you have to try it!

13th October 2010

Food again!
Steve, so many references and pictures of you enjoying food, expecially meat. What will people think of how you were raised. I guess I must put it down to the standard of cooking you got when you were still at home! You're right, I am glad you didn't go down the silver tunnels. You both have my deepest symphathies for the cold you experienced at altitude. I trust you are somewhere warmer now.
13th October 2010

Are you nice to be near?
Oh goodness, what an experience, your comment on earlier blog about smelly geezers ( and gals?) must have been prophetic. Obviously Sure, Palmolive etc ( there are other personal hygiene products available) do not enjoy huge profits in Bolivia. So pleased you resisted urge to explore the mine in spite of your interest in things expensive and sparkly. I'm currently rather nervous of mines in South America. Not sure I'd fancy the llama steak. I find it hard to think of animals you see in London zoo as fodder; I'll stick to chicken. Guess you are just about half way through now. In some ways its gone quickly in others its ages since we saw you. Enjoy the rest of the time and hope all fellow travellers smell sweet. Mum xxxxx
14th October 2010

hhaahahaa i love the rant! Bolivian and Peruvian buses are the worst, we had goats and lambs and big ladies in loads of our journeys- coupled with being incredibly bumpy its not always a fun place to be! We wanted to go in the mine but didnt have enough time- apparently is was amazing! tasty llama meat! miss you guys, have fun, take care xxxxx

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