While wrapping up our time in La Paz, Laura got food poisoning and the last thing we wanted to do was take a bus to Sucre, a Spanish colonial city in central Bolivia. Instead, for only $50 per person, we were able to take a fifty minute flight - much more efficient than the fourteen hour bus ride. We left La Paz around 4 pm and were at our hostel in Sucre by 5:30.
Sucre is technically the capital of Bolivia, but it is pretty much in name only as the seat of the government is now located in La Paz. Nevertheless, Sucre’s previous wealth is obvious in the town’s charming architecture and parks. It is a very pretty town, especially compared to La Paz or Uyuni, the only other two cities we visited in Bolivia.
One of the highlights in Sucre was visiting a park that was supposed to be a “mini Paris.” When we got there, we found out that the real highlight was the children’s section which was all dinosaur themed. Vesper wished he was a little kid again.
The other highlight was the cemetery, which is one of the biggest we’ve ever been in. Most of it was mausoleums stacked five niches high. The walls of the cemetery were surrounded by flower vendors, and it was impressive to see the number of people buying flowers and bringing various gifts to leave with the their deceased family members. It was fascinating to see what everyone left as memorials (in addition to flowers) in the small niches, ranging from favorite cereals and sodas to mini bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label.
We didn’t know this at the time, but we found this blog that shed a new light on the cemetery:
Despite its size, space in the cemetery is at a premium; each niche is rented for 4 years with the option of a single extension by another 3 years (at a cost of around $10,000 for a 7 year lease), after which time the body must be removed by the deceased’s family. If the family does not claim the body, it is removed to a mass grave elsewhere. This has been a contentious issue, with families who accidentally miss the deadline finding that the body has been removed and can no longer be retrieved.
As always, the search for beer continues. The only notable place we found in Sucre was a small microbrewery called Goblin Cerveza Artesanal . They only had two beers on tap, but they were both good and tall pours.