Our next place to see in Bolivia was Sucre. This used to be the capital of Bolivia before Le Paz took the honour, but remains the judicial and constitutional capital. Driving in we were greeted by beautiful white buildings and a lovely square. It had majestic air about it, an old time worldliness and gentility. It set the scene for some very relaxing days here.
Our first tourist stop was to see dinosaurs' footprints. Discovered in 1994 in a cement quarry, a vertical wall is literally covered in footprints (over 6000) of 150 different species of dinosaurs. Apparently millions of years ago the region was flat and as the dinosaurs walked across the mud their prints were captured, both herbivores and meat eaters. Then as the plates pushed and changed this landscape, the rock was pushed vertically, forever recording the trace of these magnificent creatures. Due to the vulnerability of the rock it is not possible to directly walk beside the footprints so you have to view them from the other side of the valley. However, the amount of prints was staggering in itself. They littered the entire wall. You could see where the dinosaurs had circled each other, run past groups and so on. It is one of those attractions you have to see to understand the awe of the place.
We spent the rest of the day enjoying Sucre with its colourful markets and restful parks. The park was fun for kids. They could rent toy cars to pedal about in, there were kids flying kites and even a train to take them around the park (never mind that it was pulled by a car!). It was such a happy place.
The next day was Sunday and we took a bus to an 'apparently' nearby market, Tarabuco. 'Nearby' was clearly figurative as it took two hours to get there in a hot bus. The view was magnificent though and so enjoyable. Bolivia really does have amazing countryside. The market was not to everyone's cup of tea, although for me, Katy and Melissa it was a shopper's dream and certainly our wallets came back lighter! I bought many things including a jumper, bag, wall hangings and a hat. All necessities! (ahem!) There were also some men making stunning jewellery from metal. Having already emptied our wallets we were restricted in what we could buy. They reassured us though that they were going back to Sucre and we could meet them later to buy more!! Good salesmen.
With this in mind, once back in Sucre, we headed to the Mirador to meet them. This involved a steep climb and one that made us worry about the ever looming Inca trail. A taxi struggled getting up the hill and had to reverse back to have a run up it!! But at the top we were greeted with a lovely square and church. On the other side of the square ran a veranda with a beautiful view of the city and nearby mountains. Just underneath was a garden pub which we soon took advantage off-rewarding ourselves for our hard effort getting up there! As we sipped our cocktails a dark cloud loomed over from the mountains making the view more spectacular and the sun shining down on us more enjoyable. With fear of rain we departed. Oh and if you are wondering, the jewellery men were not there. Gutted.
A debate had broken out in the group. Our next destination was supposed to be Cochabamba but some people wanted to miss this and head on to La Paz sooner to have more time there. The flight in total was going to be about 100 dollars. I knew I could not afford this so decided to head onto Cochabamba. However, we found a night bus that would take us onto La Paz for relatively little more. A morning was therefore spent sorting this out. The group split into 3, those flying, those on the night bus and those still wanting to head to Cochabamba.
Our bus left that night, so in order to kill some time Katy and I headed back up to the Mirador to see if the jewellery men had turned up. Only one was there, and not the one we wanted. Instead we got a drink and lazed in the sun reading our books looking out over the beautiful view. Bliss.... AND I manage to find another jewellery man to buy something off!