In the morning Niki heads off to a second day of Spanish classes. I opt out on the basis of (a) my head almost exploded from the amount I was taught yesterday and I think I need time to ‘consolidate’, and (b) I have a bit of a cold and don’t feel especially bright so I laze round the hotel doing some admin jobs.
Nik collects our washing (that has been completed for the bargain price of £3.50) but sadly one of Nik’s Chilean Matalan purchases is lost in the process. Adios little back cardigan…though perhaps a combination of its quality, and the pigeon poo that recently fell upon it meant it just disintegrated in the machine.
Another wonderful and bargain-a-tious lunch in a cafe off the square and we make the 20 minute walk up to Recoletta, a terraced mirador to view the city. Quite beautiful and somewhere where you get a scale of the size of the historical centre.
Also up here is the Indigenous Art Museum (that has moved from a town centre location previously) which provides a fascinating view into the culture and lives of the indigenous people. We spend a couple of hours lost in the displays (bumping in to Philipp again!), which include indigenous textiles dating back 2000 years and some very “discordant” music.
So captivated are we, that we make a couple of souvenir purchases, including a textile wall hanging. Our selection was helped by taking the views of one of the ladies making the textiles who Niki rather expertly engaged in conversation (the lessons clearly help – maybe I shouldn’t have been so lazy!). The time that goes in the textiles is surprising, with a 1m by 0.5m piece taking around 5 months to make!
On the way back we find an extremely popular place that does frozen drinks – a bit like a Starbucks Frappuccino – and head home. The total lack of western shops in Bolivia so far is refreshing – we have not seen a McDonalds yet!
Our last night in Sucre is a night out in a popular bar with our friend Philipp who we have met numerous times now (mostly unintentionally) since our first meeting on the Valparaiso walking tour.
We go to a popular bar with locals and gringos alike. A great drinks selection, including some micro brewery beer and Bolivian cocktails, and wholesome food are consumed whilst chatting about the world. In particular we find out about the mine tours we chose to avoid in Potosi, which sound quite frightening – many of the workers and guides are drunk and conditions are as bad as we had read, with stories that human sacrifices to the “god” of the mountain still occur. Philipp is a man that appears to take life comfortably in his stride and even he said it is not something he would ever do again.
We bid our farewells and exchange details as the serendipitous meetings are unlikely to continue as we head to Ecuador tomorrow – though it’s possible our paths may cross once again in Peru. It would be good if they did.