Day 37 – Everyone get on the floor..

Back to school this morning.  We have signed up for 3 hours of 121 Spanish lessons this morning at a school associated with the university. Sucre is home to a few universities and apparently it is a relatively inexpensive option for young Bolivians, unless you want to do dentistry (not sure why though).

The lessons take place in school classrooms as the schools have broken up for the summer holidays. Rooms are small, perhaps holding 15 to 20 children, but we find out that they are very efficient with the use of the buildings and operate 3 school shifts a day (morning, afternoon and evening).

Nik has an advanced lesson of conversation and verb conjugation and even comes out with homework for a second class tomorrow. I have a basic level one that by the end of it I think has improved my Spanish from the “phrase book and point” approach of the trip so far (it’s easy to be lazy when Nik can converse so well).

After school we have an epic fail to get some laundry done and spend an hour walking round town with bags of dirty washing before finding all of them closed for siesta. Grr.

So we grab a fantastic set lunch at a local patisserie and then board a comedy bus to the El Parque Cretacico  (Dinosaur Park),  though it’s slightly less comedic when its rudimentary suspension and Bolivian roads are combined.

It’s a 30 minute drive out to the edge of Sucre to a quarry where about 30 years ago during the operation they discovered a wall of over 5000 fossilised dinosaur footprints.  I visited here a decade ago when all that was here was a small brick and corrugated iron building and a few toy dinosaurs used to help explain the site, it was unbelievably basic given the importance of the find.

10 years on and it’s changed beyond all recognition. The aspirations they talked about in 2003 came to fruition in 2006 and there is now a full visitor centre, museum, cafe, shop, AV presentations, play park and fairly life sized models of the dinosaurs who once walked this area.

I am pleased to see the progress that has been made, but a small part of me wonders that in maturing into a fully fledged tourist attraction it has lost a little of its charm….but from the view point you can still see the original structure and it makes me smile. A lot.

Back in town I get the cheapest hair cut ever before dropping of our washing.  I attempt to use my morning lesson to talk to the barber and manage a staccato conversation about where I’ve been in Bolivia, where are I am from and football.  Amazingly he had not heard of  Oldham Athletic!?!


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