Rachid, Christian, Muitia and I took a taxi from Potosi to Sucre. While the cost of taking a cab is twice as expensive as taking the bus it was faster, more comfortable and still only $4! Driving into the city got me so excited. This place is gorgeous. There are big grassy squares, beautiful old churches and a big busy covered market where they sell everything. And to top it all off it is actually warm here, OK, maybe a little chilly at night but nothing like the temperatures I've been enduring through the past week and a half. Muitia was feeling ill so the rest of us headed off for lunch and a walk around the main square. We stopped into a traveler hangout called Joyride where I ran into a cool girl named Tara that I'd met a few times in Brazil. We got caught up and agreed to meet up a few hours later to catch a showing of Sin City in the small comfy theater in the back of the restaurant.
Rachid and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on the roof of our hotel the next day before heading out to check out the big market right across the street from us. Lots of fruits and vegetables, a huge area just for selling potatoes and stalls in the upstairs part where lots of local sit and have enjoy meals for around 50 cents. I had fried chicken and chips and then headed to the juice bar section and tried a glass of tumbo (unripened papaya) juice which was surprisingly good as I don't really like papaya.
I walked the two blocks to the main square where I ran into Christian relaxing in the warm sun. I found out from him that he and Muitia were leaving that night. I don't think she likes Bolivia very much. I said my good byes and headed across the street to catch the Dino Tour bus. A pretty wacky tour where you go and see dinosaur tracks found by a cement company some years ago. The tracks were preserved by a volcano eruption and are visible vertically in a wall rock. Even better than the tour though was that while I met two new people on he bus, I also ran into six other people that I'd met on various tours over the past week. I'd agreed to meet Tara at Joyride for a drink that night so I invited everyone to come along. It's been a while since I've hung out with so many people. A really great night out.
The next day was football day. I headed out to meet some guys to watch the Liverpool vs. Chelsea match, again at Joyride, before heading over to the HI Hostel to meet up with more people to watch a live game, U. Sucre vs.San Jose. We bought some tickets on the street near the stadium and made our way inside, no small feat. We were in the crazy fans section with Sucre and San Jose fans sitting surprisingly close to one another. The sun was blazing and we roasted. A good reason to eat lots of ice cream though. Sucre lost and we made our way out of the stadium carefully so as to avoid any potential fights breaking out. I spent a few quiet thrilling hours back at the hostel fully submerged in my latest vice, 2006 World Cup trading stickers. I've bought a sticker book and 50 packets of cards (5 cards per packet, no gum though) all for about $9. I need to collect just over 400 stickers and am fully addicted. I now find myself prowling the main park and the market area looking for kids to trade with as I refuse to shell out $2 to buy the hard to get cards like Ronaldinho. An older guy was trading near the market and he tried to totally rip me off offering me only 2 regular cards for my precious gold cards which, by the way, I am now an expert at locating amongst all the packs of ordinary cards.
That night a big group of us met up again to check out a nearby salsa club. I didn't stay out too late because we had an early bus to Tarabuco to check out the local market there. The market wasn't huge but they did have some very original hand-made items for great prices. I bought about three bags and a nice scarf before checking out the food market. There were lots of indigenous people there and I've finally got some great people pictures for Bolivia. Pretty much everyone got a nap in during the trip back. Rachid stopped to talk to a French couple he knew when we got back who had lots of cards to trade. We went out for a quick bite and commenced negotiations. Only about 150 more cards now to go. Rachid and I left them and headed up to the mirador for a view of the city at sunset. There is a wonderful garden cafe there and a family of musicians showed up to serenade us. We also took in a short tour of the nearby Recoleta Church before heading back to town. I quickly got cleaned up to meet Sharla, a chatty Canadian girl for dinner. We finished just in time to make it to Joyride for the 8:30 showing of the Motorcycle Diaries, a brilliant film to see while one is on the road in South America. I feel even better about traveling now!