The Americas travel blog

Today we leave the Hotel at 9am for a walking tour of Sucre. All the buildings in the old city are white with some impressive churches and administration buildings around the main square. We pass by the Cathedral and the Casa de Libertad where the Bolivian declaration of independence was signed on 6th August 1825. We also go through the market and this is a food lovers paradise. We stop at stall and try Cherimoya (type of custard apple) which is really sweet and the girl serving us is lovely. I gave her some Australian stickers and she held them up for a photo. This market specialises in chorizo and upstairs there are many fast food stalls selling all sorts of local dishes. Marco explains about all the delicacies. A few locals see us walking through and give the thumbs up for the dish they are eating. We walk along to a park where all the playground equipment has a dinosaur theme and there is a small procession. Bolivian's don't need any excuse to dress up and have a parade, as we have seem all through our travels. Adjacent to the park is a fair, displaying all the skills from the technical colleges in the area, knitting, sewing, cooking, etc with stalls selling their goods. They all look proud of their achievements and I buy a little apron for Madi, for when she is a little older, and we can bake together.

Now we take a station wagon taxi, all 5 in the same one, with Marco in the boot. We climb up to Sucre's Fabrica Nacional de Cemento so Phil will feel right at home. When the grounds were being cleared in 1994 to mine limestone to make cement they discovered over 5,000 dinosaur tracks from at least 8 different species. These are the largest collection of dinosaur prints in the world. The prints were on a horizontal plane when made by the dinosaurs but are now on a vertical wall due to the movement of the tectonic plates from millions of years ago. There is a museum and within it's grounds are life size replicas of some of the dinosaurs and then we can actually get close to the prints. Typical Bolivia, the cement plant factory is on one side of the Parque Cretacico and on the other side just near the footprints the staff of the plant continue to dump off aggregate and the tourists dodge trucks and falling rocks! If that had been in Australia, the plant would have been closed but here in Bolivia, life goes on around this important find from 65 million years ago. The limestone has deteriorated from weather and about 6 years ago a large sheet of limestone fell from this wall and the prints were lost. Fortunately this did uncover more unseen dinosaur prints and this spectacular sight remains, but for how much longer - who knows! It's a bit of a climb to get back to the museum. We don't want to hang around waiting for Janice as she still hasn't started back, so Eilis, Phil and I take a taxi to La Recoleta which has a lovely view of Sucre and a beautiful Convent built in 1601, that has also had uses as a barracks and a prison. From here we walk down one of the cobbled streets back to the Main square. We are hungry now so decide to eat near the market and we have a chiorizo sausage sandwich. We wanted to visit the Church and its catacombs and one of the Museums but nothing is open on a Saturday afternoon. Annoying. We wander around and enjoy this beautiful city and in the main square there is another parade with children dressed up in all sorts of costumes. Some look a little hot too, and mothers are fussing nearby, offering the children drinks. Then we pick up some snacks at the supermarket for the bus trip tonight. Back at the Hotel we catch up with Eilis and we have time for a quick drink at Bibliocafe before we have to go to the bus station.

We catch a taxi at 6.00 pm to the bus station and at 7 pm we leave on the Cama bus back to La Paz. We check in the bags and go downstairs to board the bus. Our bags are lowered over the balcony above by rope to the staff that load them onto the bus. Antiquated! Eilis, Phil and I have the front 3 seats. They are very comfortable and recline a long way back and there is a padded section to go behind our calves. We have brought snacks to eat on the bus for dinner and settle down for the 12 hour ride back to La Paz. About 10 pm we get off to sleep and don't wake until 6.30, so we get a good nights sleep. Fortunately on this bus there is a toilet and its available to use -thank goodness!! The time passes quickly and we arrive in La Paz at 7.30 am.

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