Lovely Lovely Sucre

Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Friday, April 29, 2011

Sucre - the "White city";  young, vibrant, full of students - many highschools, universities:  streets brimming with fun and energy.  Capital of Bolivia, seat of the government and the courts and apparently very rich - now and in the previous centuries.  Beautiful white colonial buildings, churches, hospitals, universities....just lovely.  but not very bolivian looking or feeling.  for the most part people in bolivia have been very...well..neutral - not unfriedly, not friendly.  Sucre?  Super friendly.  Nearly everybody on the street greets you - they seem very happy to have you in their town.  And it even has fashion....maybe only 10% of the downtown crowd wear indigenous clothing - the market sellers, the rest are all about fashion.  And chocolate shops - every corner has a fancy chocolate shop.

I arrived in sucre at 6:30 am after taking the 13 hour night bus from La Paz.  Really comfortable - huge seats that reclined, stupid Ashton Kusher movie in Spanish, and no muss no fuss but for some reason - think the seat was too big, I kept sliding out - I didn't sleep at all - ok maybe one hour.  We arrived one hour early due to the maniac driving of the bus driver.  Seems all the night buses left at 7:30 pm or 7, and there must have been 10 buses hit the highway at the same time - our driver made sure he arrived in sucre first.

I met a young Aussie (Beth) getting on the bus.....Josie was still back at the hotel getting ready for her flying day from is horrible to travel sick.....Beth had a seat upstairs in the cheap seats - me? downstairs in the big pricey seats.....$10 for 13 hours...but no meal served!

We were two of only three foreigners - the other guy was a snotty Irishman...a first!, so when the bus pulled in at dawn Beth and I teamed up, grabbed a taxi to town and attempted to find a place to stay......

A guy had given me the name of a Hostal so we tried that one first - nah..didn't want to answer the door - too early.  We found that a few places so we wandered the streets together visiting in true homeless fashion. . It was a first as I ususally have a plan, a place booked for at least the first night but didn't this time because Jos and I had really just gotten out of the minivan from Coroico, got her settled and I decided it didn't make sense to stay in La Paz for one more day and night so I made the Sucre decision pretty darn quick.

 After about one hour of homelessness, it was getting tedious.  A young Japanese couple stopped us and asked us if we knew of a cheap place to stay just fro the day as they were waiting for a night bus - they told us of the place they had just checked out of so we headed there - nope - all room at the Inn but the nice guy suggested we knock on the next door neighbors door.  sure.  We did, he welcomed us in and gave us each a great room for $10 a night and we both crashed.  It turned out to be a great place - Oswald and Maria - two professionals who have a few rooms, great kitchen - just attached to their fancy house in a beautiful neighborhood just blocks from the city center.  It always works out.

Sucre looks bright and rich until you get just outside the core and then the reality of bolivian poverty is smack in your face.  Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the world.  Really poor.

I was cruising around aimlessly on the city bus...which wierdly are mostly retired (condemned) tour buses, driving school buses and hotel buses from Japan) when I came across a massive market.  I hopped off and immediately a group of young girls selling coal swarmed me.  They were just so interested in looking at me it was reminiscent of Cambodia or rural Laos.  Nice.  I wandered up and down the market streets and everybody was curious and friendly once I made the first contact.  shy but warm. and poor.

There is something very lovely and gentle and sad about Bolivia.  Kind of like Cambodia.  Same same but different.  I like it here.

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