I had one more evening and day in Cochabamba after the trip back from Torotoro. I met with Paula one last time for a fried chicken dinner and went back to the hostel for an early night. The next day I awoke early, repacked again for the fourth time that week and lost some more things in the process and headed to the bus station to buy my ticket. I took a detour as explained in the Cochabamba post and thanks to Vary I had a new camera lens. I spent the rest of the day uploading pics and writing blogs, there is a lot of admin involved in this.
I headed to the station to catch my night bus, all the busses seem to be at night here, and the reason being is that you don’t lose any time. Meaning that you can get on the bus, fall asleep and wake up in your new city. This doesn’t work for me as I can’t sleep on the bumpy roads and then getting to a city at 5am is not really helpful as you can’t check into the hostel until after midday. Anyways I’m not complaining.
I arrived at the bus station no thanks to the taxi driver that kicked me out a few blocks before and desperately tried to understand Spanish. The busses here are much more complex than in Chile, Argentina or Uruguay. There you buy a ticket, get a time and a number for where the bus will arrive. The bus arrives you take your bag to the back and get on board. Here it seems sometimes your bag is weighed, sometimes the company wants to take it, they send you to various doors, the busses can be parked anywhere it seems ohhhhh and the thing I keep forgetting is you need to buy tax ticket for each time you use the bus terminal. Whilst this adds a challenging element of fun to getting a bus it makes it more scary for me. Firstly I had to go to the ticket company and was told the bus wasn’t running and I seemed to be sold on to another company. The door they wanted me to leave by was locked and after waiting until 10 minutes before the bus left I was told to use another door. The guards wouldn’t let me out and after a while I realised I needed to pay the tax. I couldn’t find the tax office and started to panic as my bag was already on the bus. Someone saw me looking troubled and pointed me to the right place. I paid the tax, for on the bus and then it left 40 minutes late. A lesson learnt in trying to relax.
We drove through the night and arrived in Sucre at 5am. It was still dark and I hadn’t contacted the hostel to say I’d be arriving early so rather than risking sitting outside on a random street in the dark I waited in the bus terminal until 7am. Time passed slowly but it soon became light and I went and jumped in a can. The hostel luckily let me in and I had really fast wifi so I could finish my photo admin. By 10am I realised I wasn’t getting into a room anytime soon so I headed to the Cóndor Trekkers office to sign up for the Maragua Crater tour that is been talking to them about. It also turned out that they ran city tours and one was about to leave so I joined to see more of Sucre.
The centre of Sucre is UNESCO heritage protected and you can see why. It’s truly beautiful and unlike other Bolivian cities the original buildings have been preserved so you can have an idea of what cities looked like during colonial times. This is the central plaza which is a feature of all South American cities.
Sucre is also famous for chocolate. I’m afraid I’m gonna come clean and say chocolate on the whole is not great in South America, except for certain cities like Bariloche. I missed the chocolate in Bariloche and I was happy to make up for it here and we got to taste some on the tour.
Next up was Templo San Francisco and as it was a Sunday morning we got to join in with the service for a short time.
Next stop was the market and despite these being in every town and city across Bolivia the ones here seem be more famous. They are full of fresh and delicious produce. Ideally I would have taken the time to stay here and learn Spanish but I opted to volunteer at the zoo instead. If I do ever get the chance to come back for a significant amount of time this would be my first stop to enjoy the sunshine, food and take Spanish lessons.
The tour took us past more churches and we were given a tip that there was a fiesta in a local private school. The guide had never been inside either so we took the time to have a look inside.
Sucre also has a bit of a theatre scene and this is the most famous one.
There is also a huge park in the middle of the city.
After we took a bus up to a viewpoint in the city. The streets seemed to be named after cats. We were taken to a “bar” to sample some chicha. Sadly they were out but I did get to play with a puppy who lived there.
Drinking and animals
The last stop on the tour was the little market which had a lot of foos ball tables.
I returned to the Cóndor Treckers office which is also a veggie bar and took advantage of being able to eat some vegetables after all the meat. The soup was delicious but the main not so.
I returned to the hostel finally able to check into my room. I was exhausted and the hot shower was amazing. I had to get ready for my 5:45 wake up call ahead of the trek the next day. So everything was repacked again and I headed out for some more food. Being a Sunday most places were closed so I ended up with another delicious burger.