Sucre the Silent Capital

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Sucre, the little known judicial and therefore official capital of Bolivia is a lovely town, with its many churches, whitewashed walls and terracotta roofs, it certainly has a European feel and was a lovely place to pass a few days. In addition to being the official capital of Bolivia, it is also where the Bolivian independence act was signed. The location, Casa de la Liberdad is now a museum that and open daily; the museums offers guided tours in both Spanish and English. The tour itself is pretty overloaded with Bolivian history and I struggled to take it all in never mind keep up. Sneaking away halfway through I enjoyed the building more than the artefacts. Although lower than Potosí, Sucre is still surrounded and formed of towering hills and high above the town sits a statue of Christo, with a Halo that lights up at night he can be seen from far and wide and the sight offers great views of the city. Make sure to take your time on the way up, the winding road passes the stations of the cross took my breath away.

In addition to the history in Sucre, there is also a dinosaur park, expecting the park to be a highlight of my stay in the town we were disappointed to arrive in the midst of one of the February rainy season downpours and were informed shortly after arrival that we would be unable to take a tour of the dinosaur footprints due to the rain. Pretty frustrating as we had already paid entry, we were offered a tour of the plastic dinosaur figurines the park had as an alternative but decided against it. Another thing to note about the dinosaur park is that you cannot do the tour in flip flops or sandals as half of our group found out on arrival. Although unable to see the dinosaur footprints up close, you can actually see the cliff face that they appear on without paying entrance to the park. Sneaky but for budget travellers or those only partly interested it's a pretty good option! Heading back into town on the easily spottable dinosaur bus we headed to the central market for lunch. Whilst I loved the architecture in Sucre, I think my favourite place was the market. Selling everything and anything you can imagine, I really enjoyed the numerous fruit stands, playing fruit roulette or asking for samples I tried many fruits I'd never seen never mind heard of before. The bread and cake sections were pretty good too. The markets in Bolivia are a great way of getting a big meal for an affordable price, be it something you plan to cook or from one of the many ladies selling a 'Menu del Dia.' Usually two courses consisting of a carb heavy soup followed by a double carb loaded meat dish, I learnt quickly, the Bolivians like meat, and carbs.

Whilst saying in Sucre I had my first taste of the High Altiplanic winter that sweeps across the Andes at this time of year, whilst the rest of the continent is bathed in warm temperatures, high altitude parts of Bolivia and Peru suffer colder temperatures and heavy rain. I hadn't realised this when I planned the trip and it is something it will have to accept if bad weather affects experiences over the next few weeks. In Sucre it meant we had heavy rain most afternoons and cold temperatures most of the time. While a shame as it put me off doing some of the surrounding hikes; it was a perfect place to simply be for a few days. I spent 4 days wandering in and out of courtyards I liked the look of, eating ice creams, drinking tea and napping in the hostel hammock. All in all it was a great town to simply be in, I felt no pressure to see or do anything which was rare for this trip, it was nice to have some down time to explore and absorb the feel of the capital at my own pace.

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