Sweet Money

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Residencial Felimar - 80 Bs double no bth, incl breakfast. Good

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photographs will be uploaded from La Paz in the next couple of days. No USB connection in this place in Potosi.

Its only 7pm and dark already but the day has been very complete.

We woke up at Sucre and will go to sleep in Potosi. This is the town which we passed on our way from Tupiza in order to get to Sucre. We decided to backtrack from Sucre to Potosi (3 hours travel) in order to avoid a night bus to La Paz for security reasons (driving and thieves). It means a bit more of an effort and changing buses, but at least we will see Lake Poopoo (a must for any toilet humour lover).

We struggled to have breakfast today as we had dinner in a nice little terrace at the main square of 25th of May (La Plaza) and forgot that sizes in Bolivia tend to be "larger" rather than "smaller". We order a "Pique de Macho" and a "Tablita" which resulted in two huge plates of meat of different sizes and types with loads of potatoes and a full salad bar... Independently of the size, the meat was the best we have had on our trip (including the disappointing Argentinian restaurants).

Anyway, we visited the Casa de la Libertad in Sucre this morning as it was closed both Sunday and Monday. We were told it was a magnificent place to visit for historic reasons, however although the building is pretty historic the lack of information on the displays makes it quite boring. There is a temporary  display on the Pacific War of 1879 but that sort of ends it. The paintings of Presidents just dont get the adrenalin going (except the last one on Evo as they still have to fill in his leaving goverment date...)

The city of Sucre was quite noisy, mainly as a few hundred students were protesting and throwing rockets in the main square.

At 11am we took the bus to Potosi, and there came the bad note of the day. Yes you guessed it: a bunch of 10 Israelis came on board. First they tried not to pay the bus terminal tax which everyone pays (2,50 Bs = 20 cents Euro) so the police had to come to force them to pay, then they nearly broke the bus doors by slamming them (twice) and had to be told off by a Dutch tourist, and finally they disturbed everyone else on the bus by shouting (they said "we are talking") and by playing loud Israeli music on loud speakers while clapping their hands. We had to tell them to keep quite and turn the music down at least 5 times, until one of the passengers told the driver to put the bus music as loud as possible...which they did. Of course they put their Israeli music even louder until Marcos had to get up and tell them to turn it down. He put a Chuck Norris look which seemed to make the trick!

So annoying. Everyone they get in contact with seems to get pissed off...what a terrible reputation they are gaining. We have commented the above with lots of tourists of different nationalities and they all coincide, so its not a personal issue that we have...

Once we arrived at Potosi we rushed to the Hostal as we really wanted to get into the "Casa de la Moneda" (Mint) as it was greatly recommended. Luckily the hostel is just next to it so we dropped our stuff and walked off arriving just in time for the last visit. Nice place but slightly disappointing as most of it was religious paintings which we are not too fond of.

Final comments for today:
- Sweet Money (the title): we mention this as the Bank of Bolivia has stopped issuing coins of 10 and 20 cents of Boliviano. The most common coins are 1 Boliviano and 50 cents. However most prices need the 10 or 20 to get change back so all shops do not pay back the correct amount and just give you a sweet for each 10 cents! This surely is good proof that the economy is not going too well.

- Toilet shower: today we booked a room without bathroom as we are getting up at 6am to catch an early bus to Oruro and wont be using it after tonight. The funny part was that Veronika went to the toilet and when she came back asked "where is the shower"...she didnt realize the shower is actually in the same cubicle just on top of the toilet seat! You actually have to stand next to the seat or sit down on the throne to have a shower...we probably will pass!
It might be an improvement on the shower at Sucre, where the water didnt not come out sufficiently hot unless you flush the toilet in order to make the cold water go there! It was amusing to keep popping out of the shower in order to flush the toilet....had to laugh!

Anyway. Potosi is nice (especially the old part) but unless you want to visit the mines with all the tourist groups it has nothing compared to Sucre.

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