Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Tale of Two Cities - Sucre to La Paz


Well Lonely Planet was right about one more thing...Uyuni is very hard to get out of! It is also dirty, hot, dusty and without all that much to do and so hanging around waiting for the soon to be cancelled, changed and reschudeled buses had many backpackers getting even hotter under the collar than the desert justified!
BUT eventually after a 12 hour ride along gravel roads in a bus better known as a ´dust catcher´ we arrived in Sucre. The heart sinks as you enter the surrounds of the city, where the vista provides the m,ost graphic picture of abject poverty we have seen yet. It is mind boggling to see rubbish knee to waist deep coating the slopes, dotted with shacks and with sheepand pigs, as well as the human inhabitants picking through the piles for a meal.
Sucre city however is beautiful and provides a real colonial contrast to the Bolivia we had seen. With stunning hwite colonial buildings dating from the 16th century and monuments to the heroes of independance, not to mention great food, markets and CHOCOLATE it provides a welcome respite to put the heels up.
La Paz surprised me. Having usurped all the capital responsibilities barring those constitutional and judicial, I expected a bustling modern metropolis. It is this to a certain extent but there are buildings, plazas and monuments to rival Sucre and with all the cities there is colonial history that stretches back to the 1400´s.

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