Where are we?

Potosi and Sucre

We travelled a short while over the altiplano and then we're back into the mountains. The scenery here is much more interesting.  Uyuni is not a nice looking town at all! It's actually pretty ugly!  Our next stop is Potosi, the highest city in the world at 13,353'. I read in Lonely planet that Potosi shocks!  We'll have to see what that means! I also want to visit a medi clinic there that I read about on IOverlander. Hoping to get something to relieve the pain in my right hip and quad. The other day I stepped out backwards from the van - which I do depending which way my shoes are facing when I have to put them on LOL!!! But the step down was a lot higher then I expected and I ended up putting all my weight on my right leg which then really jarred my hip and it was sore!! After that I've had a lot of pain trying to put weight on my right leg when going up stairs. Walking and go dowCER#fffnstairs is ok. Tylenol doesn't seem to be helping. The drive to Potosi is 200km

View of the altiplano as we start up towards the mountains 

The old road going up before the new paved road

One of the mining towns

Ruins from the old mine

We had seen lots of fields full of these plants on our drive to Uyuni and couldn't figure out what they were, when we were on our tour Alexandro told us those are quinoa plants
Back into seeing glaciers 

Those are sand dunes 

If one sheep crosses the highway they ALL have to cross over,  not sure who made the decision since we didn't see man or dog around 😂

Lots of red in these mountains 

Alpaca at the side of the highway

Even have a similar tree like the Lombardy Poplar here

Mountains look great here

And there's Weeping Willows along the river

Thousands of llamas, alpacas in this green area. Those little dark spots in the back are llamas/alpacas!! No shortage here!

We arrive in the city around 3:30 and go to the medi clinic. I had thought there were English speaking doctors here, but I was wrong. So had to use google translator to talk with the doctor.  He didn't seem to worried about my condition, did say physio would help but then we would have to stay here for probably at least 2 weeks. Hoping not to have to do that! So he gives my a prescription and I take it to the pharmacy after the nurse gives me a shot of B12 in the butt. Consult and shot 105Bol ($21) When I get to the pharmacy and see what the Dr prescribed its another B12 shot for tomorrow, and pills to take twice a day which are most made up of B1, B6,B12 and something for anti-inflammatory and a tube of cream to rub on the area. 200Bol ($40)  And I take a B12 pill everyday so weird I need more B12?? After a couple of hours the pain is reduced.  See how long this lasts.

We drive to the centre plaza where of course parking is just about impossible, plus the streets leading to the plaza are all closed off. But we did eventually find a spot only a couple of blocks away. Once we get to the plaza there is nothing going on so not sure why the roads are closed off. Not a lot of people milling about, and only a few vendors out selling popcorn and potato chips - which of course we had to try :)

Unfortunately the main Cathedral of Potosi seems closed,  still under renovations but the clock and bells still work so they ring on the hour and then every 15 mins with just one ring. Love hearing church bells ring - reminds me of Europe where we would hear them all the time :)  There is a cool looking tower but I can't seem to find the entrance so we walk around the block and finally find it - but it doesn't look like a church or if it is it is very narrow.

Cathedral Potosi -1808

This is the pink tower I could see but not find :) Called Torre de la Campañia

Love church bells :)

10 Noviembre Plaza with the Cathedral in the back 

These little closed in 'balconies' remind me of the ones we saw in Morocco which were used for muslim women to be able to see outside but not be seen

Walking around is getting a little cool,  so we decide to go back to Vanna and not push our luck at free parking - don't want to find a boot on her!!!  And when we got back we were ok - no boot 😅

Then it's time to find a place for the night. Dwayne finds a spot near a school aways from the central area. So we start heading up there.  And when I say up I mean UP!! We have to zigzag thru narrow streets with idiots parking where it says No Parking so passing gets really tight! Then it comes to driving straight up and it is STEEP! (I always forget to take a picture because I'm just hoping we get up!!) But we don't this time so Dwayne has to back down and take a side street and I keep trying to find other ways to get up there, as we follow this side road we get to a hill going down that we can hardly see the bottom until we're at the edge of the hill!! YIKES not going to try that!! So back up again and turn around and just head downhill and I then direct us to parking near the centre. It's suppose to be a closed in parking area.  Of course maps.me is not good at figuring out one way roads so is always having us go the WRONG way. I then have to take over and plot our way thru on the right streets. We finally get close but still can't really see any door way showing parking. I ask a guy across the road in Spanish if he knows about a parking area near here, he then asks if I speak English LOL!!! Was my Spanish THAT bad 😂 no I think he just wanted to show he could speak English 😉 Anyways, he said it was just behind us, great thanks!

So backed up and I got out and rang the doorbell and waited.  Nobody came, rang it again and finally a lady opens the door and I ask if we can park for the night. Yes, and the price is?  40Bol ($8) not as great as 10Bol we paid in La Paz but it has to do because it's getting to late to look for something else.  So I direct Dwayne in because it's a little tight getting thru the gate.  Nothing extra here, just a spot, I'm sure there is a bathroom but would never go to use it!!😱  The night was filled with BARKING DOGS!!! I think they finally quit around 11. It seems one dog starts to bark and then 10 more have to join in!!

In the morning we left the parking area by 8:30 because this place is also used as an hourly parking area,  people are arriving for the day, so thought we should get out while we had space to turn around. Then just went and parked on one of the side streets to have our breakfast.

After breakfast we drive towards the pharmacy so I can get my 2nd shot. So far this city looks no different than any other we've seen in Bolivia. Unfortunately all the buildings are made of red bricks and no smooth coat of cement covers it to be painted. Therefore coming into these cities the buildings all blend in with the mountains. Lots of garbage laying around even though we see garbage trucks and a bzillion dogs!! All looking in rough shape since most are long haired type dogs.

People come to visit Potosi because it's the highest city in the world and for the silver mine tours. The Spaniards cleaned out all the silver back in the 1800's - so much silver that Potosi was keeping Spain afloat! Thousands of men lost their lives in the mines back then. African slaves were also brought over to work in the mines along with the indigenous people. Now there is still some mining going on but it's called a cooperative which means each man mines what he can find, zinc, copper etc and then gets paid for the amount they mine. The working conditions of course are crude and dangerous because of the dust in the mines with no air circulation. Most miners only live for 10 years once they start in the mines. There are also young kids working in there. There are of course mine tours which includes having to stop at the miners market and buying gifts for the miners such as 96% alcohol, coca leaves and cigarettes or pop - all great gifts!!!  Who needs to see how bad the working conditions are for these men who have no other means of earning money?? Sad.

Now we head out for the 200km drive to Sucre, which is nice, again lots of mountains to look at. We stopped at one viewpoint and a guy on his motorcycle from Germany stopped and we chatted for away. He is travelling for 1 year and started 4 months ago in Uruguay. He said his brother was supposed to have travelled with him but couldn't get a year off from work. They are to meet up in Cusco for a month. He just came from Argentina and said it was very nice. Like others have said very European.

Stopped to look at the view
Then the goats came through!

Then they were herded up the mountain

Once we get into Sucre it is so different from the other cities we've been to! It's really nice and modern here. Its a university city and you can tell. People are driving nice cars, dress very up todate. Not a lot of vendors in the streets, most selling of goods, other than juice and empanadas is done in the central mercado.  This leaves the streets open with room to walk on the sidewalks-nice change ;)

Many of the buildings here are painted white so that also makes it nice and bright. We go for groceries first in a nice supermarket because the dentist office is closed between 12 and 2.  After that we look for the dental office and find out it is now closed from 12 - 5pm!  So we decide to go back near the centre plaza and find parking and walk around for awhile.

First stop right by the main plaza was for coffee and cake. I actually had an iced latte because it is very warm here in Sucre! Surprised because first time the temps have really been like summer - as it's suppose to be here. Also Sucre is only at just over 9000' in elevation. Quite a bit lower then we've been use to :)

My leg is feeling pretty good. Can at least walk Upstairs without to much pain. After we've walked around and checked out most of the area churches we've walked 4km by the time we get back to Vanna. It's now 5pm so time to go check out the dentist again. When we get there, the office is not open. Oh well we'll try again tomorrow morning, if not open guess we'll wait until we read another good review of a dentist in one of the next countries we visit.  This dentist charges about 200Bol ($40) for a cleaning. More than we pay in Honduras but we can't wait until next Jan before we get another cleaning!

Driving thru Sucre

Lots of room to actually walk on the sidewalks

San Fransisco Church 

The beautiful alter

Lots of nice looking buildings in the central area

The Plaza 25 de Mayo - even has palm trees in this park

Ahhh time for coffee and cake :) Chocolate for Dwayne and mine is a lime cheese cake 😋

Gardens in the park

They were busy planting lots of annuals

Love the wrought iron balconies

Also love going thru the front doors along the street and finding the courtyard inside 

San Felipe de Neri church - 1795 -we went inside to get up to the roof for great views of the city

Walking on the rooftop, the uneven roof is due to the raised ceiling in the church

The courtyard

Dwayne taking a picture for some people 

looking into other courtyards

This bell doesn't ring anymore :(

Going up to check out the other bells

They also don't work anymore but Dwayne could still get a ring by knocking on it - stop before we get into trouble!

In the background is the dome over the alter letting in light thru stained glass windows

Across from the courtyard looking back at the roof over the church

Very cool rock exterior of the church

The interior 

The ceiling to create those bumps on the roof

The dome over the alter with the stained glass windows

These are very old chairs with nice carvings on the top and bottom

The Cathedral of Sucre-started in 1559 and finished in 1712- but closed for restorations

The bell tower is very interesting with the sculptured figures on the corners
We find a nice spot to park for tonight near a park. Hoping there are no dogs barking tonight!! No wonder dogs are sleeping all day - because they're up all night barking!!!

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