Different driver and car for trip to Sucre. (Vladimir was to
have left us at Potosi and we were to have a new guide, but after
his taking the bus to Sucre the previous day there was a change
of plan and he had to get another bus back that afternoon.) Interesting
drive across mountains and high plateau, more rainfall here so
very fertile alhough thin air restricts photosynthesis leading
to low yields. Stopped at small town of Betanozos for quick look
at main street and market. Called at La Glorietta, interesting
faded grandeur rather let down by rather tatty military camp
next door. Arrived Sucre lunchtime and went for explore of centre
on our own including market and churches. Very hot, gave into
small boys in square who wanted to clean our boots (and did a
very professional job). Dinner with Vladimir at Los Balcones
restaurant on balcony overlooking square, very large and very
good meal (antibiotics obviously working). Parador Santa
Maria la Real, Sucre Quite excellent and very characterful
hotel in traditional style well situated in central Sucre. Very
pleasant and comfortable room. Breakfasts good in stylish room
(but getting eggs was a bit challenging sometimes). No other
formal meals available but comprehensive room service menu offered
well cooked food at very reasonable prices which we ate in the
courtyard. Staff very friendly and helpful but good English didn't
go beyond Reception.
Early start to get to cathedral before mass (only time it is
open). Then out of city to market at Parada Ravelo to buy gifts
for people we would visit for the day (hair ornaments for girls,
combs for boys, coca leaves and soap for adults). Long climb
through famland and forest to Chataquila Pass and small church
on Inca sacred site. Steep descent to Potolo valley with excellent
views. Visited small farm owned by old couple then through gorge
to Potolo village where went to see weavers in two cottages.
Quick look round village but we were beginning to attract attention
as the two gringos who had been buying things (not much to be
truthful but welcome income for these people) and had free coca
leaves on offer so Vladimir suggested we leave. Back same way.
Had picnic lunch sitting in car in gorge. Very good day. In evening
went for quick look at Iglesia Santa Domingo before mass as only
time it is open.
City tour of Sucre. First to Recoleta for views then Museum of
Indigenous Art to see weaving. Traffic jams in Sucre centre.
After lunch to cemetery then San Felipe Neri (once nunnery now
exclusive girls' school). Went to PO to buy stamps and post cards,
quite a performance. Said goodbye to Vladimir for second time.
Free day in Sucre. Had originally intended to go to Ecclesiastical
Museum in morning but decided to leave it until afternoon when
it would be hot in streets. Went for general wander to Santa
Monica and Plaza Bolivar and its park, then back through markets
to hotel for lunch. Afternoon went to Eccelsiastical Museum which
was very quiet, also gave limited time in cathedral, all worthwhile.
Walked up through old town to San Lazaro on way to Recoleta then
back to hotel.