Weekend in Sucre

Trip Start Dec 06, 2010
Trip End Mar 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Santa Cecelia Inn

Flag of Bolivia  , Chuquisaca,
Friday, February 25, 2011

Our blogs have focussed on our volunteer jobs with Biblioworks, but this blog is going to be a short one that about a few things that we did on the last weekend in February in Bolivia.

Firstly, we found the photos that were taken at Chris' birthday party. Remember the ones that we thought we had lost? Chris forgot that he had given Matt a set of the photos before deleting the ones that we had, so Matt kindly gave us Chris' cake 'face plant' photos back for the blog. Enjoy. There are few photos of a hike that Chris and Pat did in Yamparez.

As you may remember from an earlier blog, we are staying in a B and B in Sucre. There are 7 bedrooms, two with private washrooms and the others share three other washrooms, a nice big kitchen, a lovely living room and two patios. It is quite comfortable, and on occasion, other interesting guests come to stay here for short periods of time. All of them have wonderful stories to tell of their travels. The owners are a great couple, both university profs, who enjoy meeting people from all over the world and are attentive to our needs.

Last Friday, one of the guests offered to host a pot luck dinner party for the people in the Inn, the owners and a few of his friends. It was a great mix of people and a wonderful night. One of the other guests in our hotel, was from Cochabamba, Bolivia, and she was in Sucre to perform the following night in the local theatre.

On Saturday night, we went to see her modern dance troupe perform and had a lovely night out in the beautiful, colonial Teatro 3 de Febrero. The theatre was built in the first part of the 20th Century, right behind the city hall. The entrance to the theatre is very elegant and leads into a lovely foyer. The interior of the theatre is grand with the upper floor galleries in the shape of a horseshoe. Lion faces, amidst flowery garlands, decorate the fronts of the balcony. The seats were comfortable with lots of leg room. The theatre was a nice example of the elegance of Sucre's past.

On Sunday, we decided to go for a walk to Sucre's General Cemetery which is said to be the most beautiful cemetery in Bolivia. We passed houses owned by well-to-do people as well as poor people. On the street corners, street dogs were being caught and vaccinated for rabies. Vendors were selling flowers and sweets. We taste-tested some of the more enticing ones.
We saw old trucks and vehicles in vacant lots and while taking a photo of one, I unexpectantly got a big, muddy soaker.

 The cemetery is the resting place of some of Bolivia's most important historical figures, including several presidents. We walked in through the ornate 19th Century gates and noticed stacks of homemade ladders and young people carrying the ladders around for families visiting the cemetery. Soon enough we realized why there were ladders. The bodies are not buried underground, but are stacked in vaults, one on top of each other. They were like mini apartments. In front of each vault, there was a little glassed-in area that families could put fresh flowers, pictures or mementos into. In order to get to the upper 'floors', family members needed a ladder. The photos explain things a little better. 

 The older section of the cemetery was filled with marble tomb stones of prominent families and small family chapels. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, with manicured lawns and big trees. It was a peaceful, tranquil place filled with families strolling through it and and some people on ladders cleaning their family members' niches by dusting them or replacing flowers. In the distance, we could hear panpipes being played and in another direction, music played by a street 'carnaval' band - a little early, but gearing up for the big day in March.

Not far from our house, there is a store which sells chocolate. This shop, Para Ti (For you), claims to have the best chocolate in Bolivia, made from cacao beans cultivated in Bolivia's departments of Santa Cruz and Beni. Every day, we walk by the store on the way to the central park and one day we decided to try some chocolate out. Well, we are now convinced, as Para Ti's slogan claims, " When life gives you reasons to cry, we show you one thousand reasons to smile." Their chocolate is delicious.  We may have to find an alternative way to get to the park!

On Sunday, at 5 p.m., we caught a bus for a 4 day trip to visit the library in the tiny village of Sopachuey. More about this little paradise in our next blog.

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Daan and Hanneke on

Hi Connie and Chris,

Wonderful stories that make us very jealous and thinking back on our travelling days. We hope you are having a great time in Sucre. Enjoy and keep coming with these great stories!

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