Anthony on the Gringo Trail 2005 travel blog

Cloisters of La Recoleta in Sucre

Sucre Cemetery

Gate and La Glorieta, Sucre

Front entrance of La Glorieta

La Glorieta detail

Towers of La Glorieta

Sucre means sugar, though actually its named after some bloke called the Marquis of Sugar. Mmmm. Actually I went via La Paz, but it looks better this way on the map. The overnight bus journey wasn't too bad as they go, though the bus station was bedlam, mostly because it was too small for the number of buses, compounded by cars and taxis everywhere doing the typical South American thing of ignoring signs saying buses only.

Anyway, Sucre is a really rather pretty city. It is the administrative capital of Bolivia, like Ankhara or Brasilia I guess, and is the grandest place I have seen since Cuenca or Central Lima, very colonial. It also has things like roadsigns, traffic lights, even crash barriers on the mountain roads! Terracotta roofs and whitewashed walls everywhere, in fact it feels more like Spain than South America. The ubiquitous Andean type peasants look very out of place, as most people in the centre are in very western dress. The other thing Sucre is famous for is the biggest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world, though I gave them a miss due to time pressures and lack of interest.

For the first time, tourist information had a useful map. This was a real boon, as my guide book said very little, and with the aid of the map, I found a lot of stuff I think travellers don't normally see. So after some coffee and breakfast to recover from the bus trip I went round a few nice churches and the cathedral, always chills me out. Then up to this very nice monastery that overlooks the city. And then off to the local cemetery. I have seen a lot of South American cemeteries, noted for the highrise approach, where people buy space for their coffin in a wall of such spaces. Often families, or unions - the taxi drivers always have one - build their own special building for their members' coffins. Sucre cemetery was noteable for its grand family crypts, but also for some gigantic ones belonging to various unions, the size of small office buildings.

And then a set lunch, usually three or four courses and a drink that start from about 30p and go up. As I was eating near the main square mine was about 60p. On the way into town I had seen these fantastic looking ruins, so I went to check them out. It was a palace called La Glorieta, built by some heavyweight nobility some time ago, fallen down, and now being extensively renovated. Very gothic in style, but with South American colours. I thought it was beautiful and absolutely loved it, my only regret being that I wasn't allowed inside to the building works. I found it really thrilling, just how I remember it felt when exploring Tyntesfield. And then off to get a shitty local bus to Potosi. It smells badly of piss, though whether that is the bus or my fellow passengers it is hard to tell. Great views on the way though.

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