We took a night bus from Cochabamba to Sucre, which dropped us at the bus station at 5am, it was raining and still dark outside. We decided to hang around the bus station for a bit before taking a taxi to the hostal. We arrived at the hostal at 6am and it was still closed. At 7am the cleaner showed up and kindly showed us in and finally at 8am we could have some breakfast. Sunday morning 5am is not a good time to arrive in Sucre (or anywhere for that matter)!
Sucre is a lovely colonial town, where we enjoyed strolling around, visiting the Artisan museum and generally looking around the shops. We spent an awful lot of time feeding pigeons, which seems a national pastime and the kids took to it immediately.
We also visited the Dinosaur museum, based on a site where they found dinosaur foot prints in a quarry. There are over 5,000 tracks, the largest amount ever found.
After Sucre, we moved on to Potosi. Potosi is famous for its silver mining industry. You can visit the working mines and see the men at work but apart from it not being suitable for children, we felt it wasn’t for us to see people work in appalling conditions. Potosi itself was a cute town, although somewhat rundown.
Onwards to the salt flats of Uyuni (Salar de Uyuni), for many people the highlight of their visit to Bolivia. And also for us, as it turns out. Many people do this on a 3-day tour on their way to Chile. We felt it would be better suited for us to do a one day tour, which turned out to be sufficient. It took us to the train cemetery, with loads of old (including the oldest) trains of Bolivia, quite a sight. We then drove onto the salt flat. It is basically a dried-up lake where only the salt is left. It is a huge stretched out piece of land where the only thing you can see is blue sky and white salt. It really is quite unreal and it looks like snow. We had great fun trying all the camera tricks with funny perspectives that this landscape provides. We also stopped at the Salt Hotel (where everything is made of salt, including the building and furniture) and the Isla de Pescado (Cactus Island). It was a fantastic trip and another highlight.
The same evening, we took the night bus (10 hours) to Argentina. We arrived at the border at 6am and without too many problems, crossed over. We then learnt about the potentially costly and funny monetary system in Argentina…. It took John back to Bolivia, whilst I waited with the children in Argentina. More about that in the next post!