Sucre and Potosi

Woo.. we had safely made it back to La Paz!! But no woo hoo on the fact that that same evening we would be jumping on another bus for yet another 15-hour bus ride!! When we arrived to La Paz, the bus driver dropped us off at a different bus station than the one we needed to be at to book our tickets to Sucre. He was kind enough to let us back on the bus and take us to the other bus station though because it was the same way he would be driving. Upon arriving to the bus station we searched for the best deal on tickets to Sucre. We found that the buses weren’t leaving for another six hours, so we decided to go relax at the hostel we were staying at before leaving for the Pampas tour and then go back to the bus station later.

 

This ended up being a great plan. Since we didn’t buy our tickets until we showed up just before the bus left, we were able to get a much better deal on the tickets. We each got 40 Bolivianos off our tickets, which amounts to about 6 USD. And even better… we got the full cama seats, which means that we would be having seats that were oversized and basically lay all the way down so it’s a big bed! It was awesome! We definitely needed a nice comfy bed for our next 15-hour bus ride!

 

We brought dinner on the bus so right away we enjoyed that, and then got out our sleeping bags and were calling it a night. We had some interesting times with the man in front of us continually shutting our window, which woke Heather up every time he reached around and shut it. She finally had to tell him she would get sick if the window wasn’t open, since it was so stuffy in there she was feeling claustrophobic with it shut. Apart from that, the ride was fantastic and we both slept great!

 

We arrived in Sucre around 8:00 am. We caught a cab with a couple other girls to a hostel they heard had great breakfast. Hello.. great breakfast is a fantastic selling point! Although this hostel was a bit more than we were planning on paying in Sucre, it was worth the extra dollar or two! It had a great meeting area, an even better little patio by our room, hammocks, a nice little garden, hot showers, and an amazing breakfast spread. Not to mention it was not even two blocks away from where we would be taking Spanish classes.

 

{Traveler’s Tip.. Be careful with the taxis here. They try and charge you more than what the agreed price was in the beginning. They will typically say that oh no, that was a price for one person not for three or however many there are in the cab. Stay firm and only pay what you agreed to in the beginning.}

 

The morning that we arrived we went straight to the Spanish school to see if we could get in for classes for the week. We were able to start taking classes that same afternoon! So we walked around town for a bit exploring the nice quiet city and enjoying some fancy chocolate before heading to school for the afternoon.

 

For whatever reason, in Sucre Zebras helped people cross the streets!!

For whatever reason, in Sucre Zebras helped people cross the streets!!

Just a little church in Sucre.

Just a little church in Sucre.

This little guy was so tasty!! We loved the chocolate in Sucre!

This little guy was so tasty!! We loved the chocolate in Sucre!

Sucre city street.

Sucre city street.

Spanish lessons started that afternoon at 2:30 and would go until 6:30 that night. We were prepared for some serious Spanish time, and were actually both really excited to “go back to school” and have somewhat of a planned schedule for the week with a little responsibility. Our Spanish lessons were amazing, and our teacher Mihail was even better!

 

Spanish Classes!!!

Spanish Classes!!!

We first started in a group with one other guy, but quickly realized Jason and I were at a different level in our Spanish than he was, so we were able to get into a class with just the two of us instead. This was the best thing for us. We were able to go at a faster speed and get more for our money with our classes. And of course, those of you who know Jason and I know that we had a blast with our teacher. We were dishing with him and he was throwing it right back at us and just loved being with a married couple. Let’s just say we made him blush a few times with answers that we gave him to questions like, “What was the best day of your life?” or “What was your most fun night.” Jason even had to ask Heather what her best physical feature was, and knowing that Jason likes Heather’s booty the most (too much info??.. oopps) Heather attempted to say that her butt is his best physical feature, but instead of say butt she said butt hole… Making our teacher literally nearly fall over in his seat laughing. Oh man it was great!

Our awesome Spanish teacher, Mihail. We spent the second half of our class walking around town practicing Spanish and getting some food!

Our awesome Spanish teacher, Mihail. We spent the second half of our class walking around town practicing Spanish and getting some food!

We thoroughly enjoyed our Spanish classes. We learned so much about the structure of sentences, past tense, reflexive verbs, and lots of new words. We learned more in the eight lessons that we had than either of us did in Spanish back in high school. Now we just have to really focus on building of vocabulary and confidence! But whew.. learning a new language is so hard and extremely tiring, but so worth it in the end. We are really hopeful that we will know Spanish when we get back to the states!!

 

{Traveler’s Tip.. If you’re wanting to take Spanish lessons, take private lessons with Mihail. Send him a message on Facebook HERE, you won’t regret it!!}

 

Aside from Spanish lessons in Sucre, we did have lots of fun too!! Staying at Kultur Berlin Hostel was a great choice. Lots of people that were there were studying Spanish as well. So we would all go to class in the mornings, and then study/nap in the afternoons then eat dinner together, play games, and study more in the evenings. It was almost like we were back home again. It gave us the sense of being in a steady place, having friends like we have back home that you just call up and hang out together, and actually having some responsibility each day. Although we were ready to move on and go to a new place when we left Sucre, it was sad to leave the friends we made and the great times we were having there.

 

One night at our hostel there was traditional Bolivian dancing. It was so fun to watch and see all the different outfits!!

One night at our hostel there was traditional Bolivian dancing. It was so fun to watch and see all the different outfits!!

These short dresses took us a bit by surprise though!!

These short dresses took us a bit by surprise though!!

Dinosaur Park!!

Dinosaur Park!!

Seriously the coolest park around!! We wanted to have the kids here so bad, but since they couldn't be, we enjoyed it to the max!

Seriously the coolest park around!! We wanted to have the kids here so bad, but since they couldn’t be, we enjoyed it to the max!

Dinos!!!

Dinos!!!

Dino footprints in the dinosaur park!!

Dino footprints in the dinosaur park!!

Ocean. Jason. Heather getting ready for the Dinoslide!!

Ocean. Jason. Heather getting ready for the Dinoslide!!

Breakdancing competition in the park!

Breakdancing competition in the park!

The entrance to the big park!!

The entrance to the big park!!

Jason getting his juice that had beer in it. Batido de Cerveza..One of his favorites!!

Jason getting his juice that had beer in it. Batido de Cerveza..One of his favorites!!

And one of Heather's favorites!! Dulce de Leche ice cream with cotton candy on top!!

And one of Heather’s favorites!! Dulce de Leche ice cream with cotton candy on top!!

When we were in South Carolina, we saw a man that made art out of pictures of windows, so we decided we had to take a picture of this sweet window!

When we were in South Carolina, we saw a man that made art out of pictures of windows, so we decided we had to take a picture of this sweet window!

Strolling through the streets of Sucre.

Strolling through the streets of Sucre.

Up at the Mirador.

Up at the Mirador.

Study.Study.Study

Study.Study.Study

This nifty lookout is at the top of the town and is absolutely gorgeous!

This nifty lookout is at the top of the town and is absolutely gorgeous!

View from the Mirador.

View from the Mirador.

We loved all the white buildings in the town.

We loved all the white buildings in the town.

FaceTiming this little princess!! So good to chat with her!!

FaceTiming this little princess!! So good to chat with her!!

Checking out all the commotion in the center plaza. So pretty with all the Christmas lights!

Checking out all the commotion in the center plaza. So pretty with all the Christmas lights!

One night there was a movie about the silver mines in Potosi that we really wanted to watch to get an idea of the huge tourist attraction of mine tours. Again, we don’t really like tours and so we were really debating on whether or not we wanted to tour the mine, but watching this movie sealed the deal of us choosing not to. Potosi is a city about three hours outside of Sucre, and it used to be the richest city in the world. It has a huge mountain named Cerro Rico, or Rich Mountain, that was full of silver in 1545. The mining industry kicked off and made the town the richest in the world from the silver that was being pulled out of the mountain.

 

The mining there is a bit different than in the states, and is extremely dangerous. Most miners die by the time they 45-50 due to an infection in their lungs from all the dust inhaled at the mines. Others die from runaway carts carrying things in and out of the mines. One of the things that we found the hardest though was learning about how young people are when they start working there. The movie we watched was about a boy who started working in the mines at age 10. At the time of filming, he was 15 years old, but his 10-year-old brother was also working in the mines with him. Their father had died and they were forced to work to get money to be able to go to school. The movie made Heather cry, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to actually do the mine tour without absolutely bawling the entire time.

 

From what we have heard though, now the typical age that people start working in the mine is 15, and the boy that was featured in the movie is now 19 and doesn’t work as a miner anymore, but is instead a tour guide for the mines. And thankfully, most people that work in the mines now only work for a few years and then are able to find other work to support their families.

 

On Sunday, the only day we were in Sucre that we didn’t have a Spanish class scheduled, we took the local bus up to Siete Cascadas, or Seven Waterfalls. It was nice to get out of the city and back into nature for a bit. We hiked up the falls and enjoyed studying by the water and Jason enjoyed jumping from the rocks at the top of one of the falls. After spending a couple hours there, the five of us hiked back out of the falls and again caught the local bus back into town. It was a day well spent!

 

{Traveler’s Tip.. don’t do the Siete Cascadas tour. It’s really easy to do by yourself, way cheaper, and in our opinion way more fun. You take the pink 12 bus from a couple blocks right of the market to get there. You can ask the locals where you can get the pink 12 bus and it only costs 1.5 BOBS a person one way. Once the bus drops you off, again ask the locals how to get to the falls. This part was a bit tricky, but you basically just head to the canyon, then walk up it until you see the falls, which is about a 20 minute hike.}

Siete Cascadas group.

Siete Cascadas group.

Keeping the beers cold!

Keeping the beers cold!

JUMP!!!

JUMP!!!

Our relaxing Sunday!

Our relaxing Sunday!

Scaling the rocks to reach the top of the waterfall.

Scaling the rocks to reach the top of the waterfall.

 

On Wednesday, we left Sucre to head to Potosi for what we were hoping would be a few hours before catching the bus to Uyuni. We ended up leaving Sucre a bit later than expected and only had 45 minutes in Potosi before we had to jump on the bus again to head to Uyuni for our Salt Flats tour.

 

Our time in Potosi was well spent. We literally ran through the town trying to find the best view of Cerro Rico, the mining mountain, while at the same time trying to not get lost. The city of Potosi is the one of the highest cities in the world at a whopping 13,420 feet or 4,090 meters. Surprisingly, our lungs held up well running at this elevation and we were able to get an idea of Potosi in the little time that we had there. We made it back to the bus station and got on our bus to head to at 7:30 that evening.

 

Statue in Potosi that we stood under so we wouldn't get hit by cars in the intersection as we were running around like crazy people!!

Statue in Potosi that we stood under so we wouldn’t get hit by cars in the intersection as we were running around like crazy people!!

Running through the streets of Potosi.

Running through the streets of Potosi.

Cerro Rico!!

Cerro Rico!!

Potosi park.. enjoyed it for a minute than ran to the next thing!! ha.

Potosi park.. enjoyed it for a minute than ran to the next thing!! ha.

Potosi view.

Potosi view.

uhh... we're lost..

uhh… we’re lost..

 


 

…Our Plans From Here..

 

After Sucre and Potosi we did our three day salt flats tour through Uyuni down to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. We arrived in San Pedro on the 20th, and were hoping to leave the 21st to head to Santiago, Chile, but there were no buses for Santiago until after Christmas. San Pedro isn’t really a place to spend five or six days, so we decided to just go north to Iquique, a beach town in Chile. Which means we will be spending Christmas on the beach this year, possibly even surfing because Iquique is apparently a great surfing place. We got to Iquique this morning at 5:30, and booked a hostel for the first day so we can use their internet to search for campgrounds or couch surfing places, as well as have a nice shower!!  We are hoping to be able to just camp on the beach here to save some money, but it’s tricky finding campgrounds down here. After Christmas, we will make our way down the coast to Valparaiso for New Years.

From Valparaiso, we plan on spending a few days in Santiago, then heading into Argentina to do some wine tasting in Mendoza and enjoy that area for about a week before heading back into Chile and down to Pucon. In Pucon, we will be meeting up with some friends from back in Grants Pass, and relaxing with them for a bit. From there, who knows where we will be!!

 


 

…Prayer Requests…

*Pray for our Spanish teacher’s little girl. She has a kidney infection and was still in the hospital when we left Sucre.

*Pray for our stomachs. We think it was just the food in Bolivia that has been making our bathroom time irregular, but pray that it’s nothing too major.

*Pray for our journey down to Valparaiso. We are hoping to get there by New Years, but tickets are limited around the holidays. So pray that we can find a way that won’t take a huge dent out of our budget.

*Pray that we still find time to spend with the Lord even when we get busy. Yes, we know, how can we get busy while traveling.. but trust us, it happens!!

GET OUR MONTHLY(ish) NEWSLETTER
Become a part of the ArboursAbroad Family! Receive our newsletter along with freebies (like our budget guide) straight to your inbox!
Here's where we tell you your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else... but seriously, who does that anyways? Don't worry about a thing 🙂

3 thoughts on “Sucre and Potosi

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: