Southern Peru-Bolivia

Day 14 - Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Fly to Sucre, Bolivia; Visit ASUR Anthropology Museum; San Felipe de Neri Monastery


Bolivia: Sucre, Potosi & the Uyuni Salt Flats

This morning we began our Post Trip to the Salt Flats of Bolivia. The wake up call came at 6:00 AM. There was mucho loud music and dancing in the park below our hotel last night so everyone was a bit sleepy this morning.

Because it was 7:00 on Saturday, there was not much traffic as Juan Carlos drove us to the airport. A route that could have taken more than an hour on a weekday was only 30 minutes today.

Pepé gave us our travel vouchers and a porter took our bags to the Amaszonas ticket counter. We had to show our passports, weigh our bags, and then we were able to pick our seats. The agent was very helpful and gave us exit row seats with more legroom.

After showing our passports one more time we made our way to Gate 7. The area was crowded with people waiting for the Santa Cruz flight so we went upstairs to the lounge where there was a coffee bar and free Wi-Fi.

Boarding was at 9:00, so we had plenty of time for Gennie to begin the journal and Vic to have a cup of coffee. Surprisingly, they called our flight at 8:45 and we boarded our CRJ-200 Bombardier along with 48 other people.

Everyone was on time for the plane enabling us to leave at 9:10 instead of the scheduled 9:30. A small aircraft does have its advantages.

The 45-minute flight gave us great views of the Cordillera Real Range. The snow-capped spine of Bolivia and South America was spectacular!

Thank goodness we were flying over these treacherous mountain roads. The drive would have taken over 14 hours.

This was an older aircraft so the windows were a bit scratched, but we were able to take a few photos of the mountains below. Flying at 30,000 feet over mountains of 20,000 feet was a bit eerie; it seemed like one could reach out and touch them!

We landed in Sucre at 10:05, one of two capitals of Bolivia. La Paz is the center of Administration and Sucre, the center for the Supreme Court. We collected our bags and met our local guide, Natalia.

We were able to go directly to the hotel and check in and find our spacious room in the Parador Santa Maria La Real. The hotel is an old colonial home with the furniture of the period and lace curtains on the tall patio doors. The rooms surround courtyards with fountains, flowers, and trees.

Our lunch was just a few blocks away at the El Solar Restaurant. The big meal is traditionally eaten at lunchtime. We had salad, soup, and then our entre of paella, beef, chicken, or a vegetarian crepe. We shared the paella and crepe, more than enough for a family of four!

Back at the hotel we had a few minutes to get ready for our afternoon tour. At 2:30 Natalia joined us again and we got on a small bus that took us to the La Recoleta neighborhood.

The traditional white washed adobe buildings with their red tiles roofs are required in this Colonial city. We came upon the Festival-Chorizo, one of Sucre’s culinary specialties, the local Chorizo Chuquisaqueño (Chuquisaca sausage).

Music, food, especially the chorizo, and family gatherings were organized in the center of the plaza. Vic was able to video the band and then bought a CD of their music.

We walked a few blocks to the ASUR Museo de Arte Indígena, an institute to preserve the traditional fabric arts of Bolivia. Examples of textiles from all areas of the country were on display, unfortunately no photos.

Natalia talked to us about each style and gave full descriptions of the weaving. There was also a display of musical instruments of the indigenous people. The ten-string charango (guitar family) is a vital part of Bolivian music.

At 4:30 we left the village plaza and Natalia told us that in 1539, Sucre was founded in this area. The viewpoint portico provided a panoramic view of the city below.

The last stop for the day was the San Felipe de Neri Monastery, which was built in 1658. As one enters the cloister, a giant mural of the Last Supper features Jesus and the Apostles feasting on a diner of chili, potatoes, fish, apples, and guinea pig.

Now a school for girls, this complex has an active chapel, beautiful gardens, and gymnasium for after-school and Saturday activities for the community. We climbed the three stories to the rooftop to see the bell tower and look down on the city below.

Before walking back to the hotel, we stopped at the grocery store. At 9,220 feet above sea level the hike was easy compared to our walks in La Paz.

The nine of us enjoyed dinner together at the hotel. We came back to our room about 7:45 to finish the journal and to get ready for bed.

It had rained while we were eating and the courtyards were wet. The smell of the fresh air was a treat from the dusty days and nights we have experienced on earlier days of our adventure in Peru and Bolivia.

Sucre - 2,810 meters - 9,220 feet

Accommodations: Parador Santa Maria La Real --- Meals: B, L, & D

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Southern Peru & Bolivia: Inca Landscapes & Lake Titicaca


The grounds and area are so clean and beautiful. Enjoyed the video

Norma   November 10, 2014 - 12:01am
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Title: Grupo Candela - 20 Aňos Canto Sur

Title: Grupo Candela - 20 Aňos Canto Sur (2:38)

  Open Video Player

CRJ-200 Bombardier

CRJ-200 Bombardier

Parador Santa Maria La Real

Parador Santa Maria La Real

Tapestry Museo de Arte Indígena

Tapestry Museo de Arte Indígena

Sucre Central Plaza

Sucre Central Plaza

San Felipe de Neri Monastery

San Felipe de Neri Monastery

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