The musings and misadventures of a girl unprepared

Monday, 21 May 2012

Journey to Sucre

Here's the belated update for Uyuni-Potosi-Sucre. I apologise for the slight overload of posts to follow!

The journey from Uyuni to Sucre wasn't the most pleasant one we've had. Nevi (our driver from the Salt Flats tour) warned us that there were bad, very bumpy roads for the first 5 hours of the journey and he was quite right. However the views were INCREDIBLE. Bolivia has to be in the running for one of South America's most beautiful.

We had to change buses at Potosi, the world's highest city, but as always buses in SA are never very reliable and we ended up waiting an extra 2 hours on what we were originally told.

In this time we decided to grab some lunch/dinner as we were all rather peckish. As we'd never been at such a high altitude we did overestimate our ability to wander around with our backpacks on and after a walk that should have taken 5 minutes and 0 effort in England, we were completely exhausted.

And the meal we received turned up on a school dinner and was... Well I'll let Evie explain:

'Imagine dog food. Not Pedigree dog food. Asda dog food. 30 per cent meat dog food. Imagine it minced to a state of neither solidity nor liquidity. Imagine it sandwiched between two pieces of bread, one stale and solid as a rock, one soggy and limp. Imagine it garnished with a tomato that is festering before your very eyes. Imagine the six lonely chips served in the adjoining compartment. Imagine a burger that almost drove a grown man to tears.'

It was really horrible.

We also discovered that in Potosi they worship the devil, call him uncle and scarifice animals to him. Their logic behind this being as they work in the mining town, they work closer to the devil than God. So as you can imagine, we couldNOT wait to leave.

On arrival in Sucre we had to ask around as to where our hostel was, as the bus didn't drop us at the terminal. We were surprised when a girl told us that we were on the other side of town to where we thought we were. She tried to encourage us to get into an unmarked, unlicensed taxi, but luckily we're not stupid and therefore had a look around for something more official looking. When we showed the driver the address we discovered the street we needed was actually the one we were on! The lying so and so obviously has tried to bundle us away in her boyfriends taxi so he could rob us for all we owned and leave us stranded in the middle of the surrounding hills. I hope they've never actually succeeded in praying on any other poor unsuspecting gringos.

Look how pretty Sucre is!

The next three days were pretty chilled out, we explored the city, watched the football, ate a lot and had a look around a really pretty graveyard. So yes, the news about Joey Barton being a complete tool has reached an international level.

Visiting the graveyard was a pretty emotional experience. Its difficult to describe really how it made me feel. There were some graves like this:

Huge elaborate things obviously for those families who are absolutely minted.

Some like this:

I have to say the ones all piled on top of each other did freak me out a bit. In my opinion it's not really right that the bodies should rot in a compartment and not give back to the earth to help give life to other plants and animals. But they were mostly beautiful, really elaborately decorated with gold and silver and things that one would associate with that person. From these graves it was easy to see the divide in wealth in Bolivia, as some hadn't yet been able to afford more than some spray paint and a pringles tube to home some flowers.

There was one section on the graveyard I couldn't bring myself to photograph because it had been completely smashed up. It was obviously the section for those with the least amount of money, just like a mass grave really, with little crosses and homemade grave stones. But see it be treated with so much disrespect made me feel sick in the stomach. Everybody deserves dignity after death and every family deserves somewhere to mourn.

As you may have guessed from my last entry, we're now in La Paz but are leaving tomorrow! Update on our antics here to follow shortly...

N.B. Sorry about the length of this post, so much has happened it was hard to summarise anymore!

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