We are now in Sucre! That is Sucre as in General Sucre, not sucre as in sugar. It is the official capitol of Bolivia although all the adminstative offices are in La Paz.
We had a lazy morning in La Paz and an early lunch before leaving for the airport. The drive to the airport was almost an hour, showing us once more the incredible lay out of the city. At one point we went up and up and up and eventually came to an area we had not seen before and there were lots of shiny skyscrapers! At this height they really were scraping the sky. I presume that this area is rock because much of La Paz is very prone to landslides. Skyscrapers would be impossible there.
In all the towns we visited we have seen these festoons of wires. It is a wonder that anything works!
Both in La Paz and Sucre there used to be a lot of accidents to pedestrians, because the pedestrians jaywalked and the car drivers wouldn’t stop. They introduced Zebra Crossings but everyone ignored them so they hired young people to be zebras on the crossings and to control the traffic. Apparently it is beginning to work.
It is strange that the personality of some towns is appealling whilst others not so much. I loved Arequipa, yet Sucre at a similar height and also surrounded by mountains is not as attractive to me. We had a tour of the city this morning. Perhaps I am getting blase because the tour seemed to be another convent, another museum, another market. I live in a market town but I swear I have been to more markets in the past month than I have ever visited either Altrincham or Bury markets!
The Bolivians love potatoes and grow 450 varieties. In these sacks pictured at the market are just a few of them?
We had lunch at a restaurant in the town centre and this afternoon was free, no organised tour. A few of us decided to take a look at the Gold Museum. It was a small but fascinating display showing how the silver and gold was mined and refined here. The native people developed highly sophisticated techniques which they needed because at this height there is insufficient oxygen to bring a normal kiln to the necessary temperature. The tea drinkers among us are all longing for a decent cup of tea! There was also a wonderful display of all kinds of gems that are mined here in Bolivia. I was tempted by some earrings in a stone called ammetite. It looks purple in some light and yellow in others. I resisted
The goldmine museum was particularly interesting because tomorrow we are going to Potosi which was once a silver mine but since the silver has been worked out it continues to mine copper and tin.