It has to be said up front that Sucre is an exceptionally beautiful city. As one of Bolivia’s two capital cities, it is styled as a poor man’s European cities. Of course, once you get a bit further out it is back into the ‘Bolivian charm’ that tourists become accustomed to, but nearer the main square it is a clean and appealing place.
|A view from the square.|
I arrived looking to chill out for a few days after my adventures but got my timing all wrong as I showed up for Bolivia day, a three day celebration involving parades and much heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages, The whole city was buzzing and it soon got me pumped to go hard again for the duration of the celebrations.
My hostel, called Gringo’s Rincon, turned out to be a little gem. It was very new and run by a lovely chap called Mike who seemed to have a bottomless amount of energy. The guy slept for like 3 or 4 hours a day, I swear. There was a solid crew of Gringos in residence and lurking around the town so all in all it was a recipe for the good times. These times were definitely had.
|From the hostel balcony.|
The events of Sucre are a bit of a blur to me. I know we went large for at least three nights in a row. I know my days were spent chilling on the hostels sunny patio, beer in hand. When I wasn’t there I was likely at the food market, a sprawling place which sold the best produce I was ever able to find in Bolivia. I know my nights were filled with cheap liquor, dance floor shredding and drunken, half-yelled conversations.
Thursday night was kind of large but then Friday night went properly big and I must have met a lot of people because I kept running into ‘friends’ the next day as I strolled around with some of the good sorts from the hostel. At the time I was campaigning an orange beanie which made me easily recognisable to all and sundry. I had repeated meetings with people I had hung with the night before but had no recollection of. Some people, I am ashamed to say, I met a couple times before I remembered them. All in all it made for awkward times but good came of it, as I met up with one of the boys later in the trip and we are now solid friends. I also ran into some mates of my long-time travel buddy Townie. These good Kiwi lads had been travelling around South America on motorbikes and it seems they had been having a truly epic time.
Saturday night turned into a good Kiwi-style party on the hostel balcony, with a huge circle of plastic chairs, a whole lot of banter and some guitar driven sing-alongs. A couple of English chicas who were exceptionally good sorts found my beard hysterical and were in fits for a good chunk of the night. They wanted to dye it blue, which would have been epic (and resulted in awesome regrowth) but was not really feasible in Bolivia where supplies can be hard come by. After this we went to town to get in on the big night for Bolivia day, and it was huge. The locals were in good form and it resulted in everyone having a great night.
The one downer was that my two English friends got into some trouble on the way home. Walking from the bar to the taxi they were mugged by two guys. In their arrogance, the muggers hung about. The girls got to a taxi and told the driver what had happened. The driver then got the girls to point out the culprits and went after them with a knife, getting some of their stuff back. I think this is a story which shows both the dangers of travelling in a country like Bolivia but also the spirit of the place, in that the average person is willing to go out of their way to help someone in trouble.
|That thing was so suspect.|
Sunday was pretty grim after three days of hard binging. The only way to fix the problem was a trip to the park and its many dodgy rides. It is here I had my scariest moment in Bolivia, on a truly dubious Ferris wheel which would not have passed safety standards in any sane country. I don’t cope well with heights and was truly petrified up there. My buddy found it pretty funny and was busy rocking the damn thing, which did nothing to put me at ease. It all ended well however, and I was pleased to be off the deathtrap.
We went out for a movie and a few cocktails on Sunday night, ending up at a bar where a French lady was in sublime form and an older guy just over the edge. He ended up passing out at the bar. I took it easy, going homewards after a couple of horrendously strong cocktails.
On Monday I caught a bus back to La Paz, thinking about moving towards Peru at last. I had a brilliant time in Sucre and would highly recommend it to anyone in the region. A big thanks to all my compadres I met there for making it simple for me to get back in the swing of travelling alone after spending so much time with the boys.