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Sucre

Written on: Thursday August 2nd, 2007

A journal entry from: Bolivia, Peru, and the Galapagos!

(NOTE: I posted this entry and about 15 others just now since its been about 10 days since I could access the internet. To see all the postings, just click the link at the top right of this column to move forward in time).

We had to see all of Sucre today. After breakfast at the hotel, 8 of the 9 of us who had started in La Paz headed out for a day of sightseeing (the group who started in Brazil was sleeping in after their late night).

We started by walking through Sucre to the cemetery. This is a traditional Latin American style cemetery with a few burial plots and then many "window boxes" in the cemetery walls. Typically, a person is buried and then within 10 years they are disinterred, cremated, and their ashes stored in the window box. You don't actually see any urns of ashes, I imagine they are behind the wall at the back of the window box. The visible part of the window box is for flowers, plaques, and mementos. The richer colonial families have their own mausoleums in the center of the cemetery separate from the other window boxes.

Next we wandered around Sucre. We encountered a park with a mini Eiffel tower replica. Everyone in our group climbed the stairs to the top, but it looked a bit rusty and wobbly to me, so I stayed down and watched the backpacks. At the end of the park was the national court house. One interesting note is that Sucre is the judicial capital of Bolivia and La Paz is the governmental capital, and on August 6 (Bolivian Independence day) Bolivia will supposedly ratify a new constitution and also make a decision about which city will be the sole capital. Unfortunately, we'll be on the Salt Flats in Southwest Bolivia, so we won't be near a town to witness the excitement on that day. Anyway, back to our day.... Behind the courthouse "abogados" (lawyer offices) lined the streets.

Next we ate lunch at La Fontana, which was a cute restaurant with courtyard seating and supposedly rated by Lonely Planet. It turned out that the service was terrible and the food was mediocre. I had a fried chicken breast with fried bananas, and a coffee to drink. Total cost $3US.

After lunch we ran to catch a truck to see the Dinosaur Track park outside of town. The park was very modern (some of the buildings were put up within the past year) but the dinosaur tracks themselves weren't very exciting. It didn't help that the viewpoint and the tracks were separated by probably 500 yards because their was a quarry operation in between. Apparently, the tracks were made some 400 million years ago when the area was very muddy. The tracks in the mud somehow hardened and then due to tectonic motion, the plane that the tracks were made on had moved from horizontal to nearly vertical over the years. The tracks were uncovered by the quarry as the dug into the hillside. To make the park more exciting, they had several life-size models of various dinosaurs that had probably lived in the area.

We headed back to town and caught a tour of the town cathedral before it closed. It was nice, but since I'm not much of a cathedral person, I didn't find it to be too exciting.

That night, all 14 of us had the best meal for dinner that I've had so far in Bolivia at El Huerto. I had a beef steak, a beer, and a coke for about $7US.

(p.s. there are more photos of Sucre in the next couple journal entries)