Today was museum day in Sucre. We saw some interesting things. But before we get to that, let me tell you about something else we saw: an unsuspecting young woman (presumably a tourist) was pelted in the head with a water balloon as she walked with some friends in the plaza downtown. One thing we’ve learned is that around here you need to walk around with your eyes open, or if you’re on a bus, keep the windows closed. Kids walk the streets with water balloons they throw as a prelude to Carnaval. But the guy today was no kid… he was probably college age or even older. Last night, a boy threatened to throw a balloon at us if we didn’t pay him 50 centavos. We pretended we didn’t understand Spanish (It was probably harder for Yoli to get away with that). This morning, on our way to our first museum, we saw a pack of kids roaming around outside a church/convent complex looking for targets.
Water balloons aside, we’ve enjoyed our time in Sucre so far. The most interesting stuff is pretty near where we’re staying. And we found out our hotel has breakfast included, which is a nice bonus, since they didn’t tell us that when we initially got our room.
We saw three museums. The first was the Convento de Recoleta. It was a nice place, which reminded me a bit of the convent we saw in Potosi, without all the weird details of the nun’s lives. This particular convent had lots and lots of religious paintings. Among the highlights were seeing the “millennium tree” which is over 1500 years old. It was the place Simon Bolivar and his army rested during the war for Bolivia’s independence. It takes eight people holding hands to circle the tree. We also saw some hillside terraces where priests still grow the food they themselves eat. There was also a beautiful choir room with carved wood seats and wall panels. Originally it was much larger (around 101 seats) but a fire forced them to consolidate the seats and make it smaller (around 51 seats now). Our guide through the convent was a young boy, which was a bit surreal. He seemed like he was in a hurry to get the tour over with. And he couldn’t answer most of Yoli’s questions.
According to our travel book, Sucre makes Bolivia’s best salteñas. So we decided to get some to eat for an early lunch. They were quite good, but I think I still like Yoli’s better. But she likes these ones, which she considers “perfect.” Salteñas are pastries stuffed with meat, potatoes, peas, etc. They are baked not fried, and they are quite juicy. I like to eat them for dinner, but in Bolivia they are considered a breakfast or midmorning snack.