The plan for today is an early rise and a visit to a local (!) craft market which is apparently a must see. You can go on an organised bus tour but knowing it´ll be more of an adventure going on public transport and way cheaper we quizzed Roxanna yesterday about where to get buses etc…
Richard and Stephanie come down to our hostel around 8am and together with Clarisse and Sarah, we make our way down to the bus stop outside the market. There is also a bit of another procession going on and we wonder if the buses will indeed be able to get out of town. But we´re ok and even get splashed by holy water from the priest as we pass the church.
Outside the church there are lots of old/poor people gathering in traditional dress, waiting for what we guess is an Easter blessing and possibly Alms. It doesn´t feel right to photograph them so you´ll have to use your imagination on this one.
The bus trip to the market involves a short shuttle to the outskirts of town to what is known obviously as “Parada de Tarabuca” and where we change to another just as luxurious (not at all) bus for the further 2.5hours!! Like we´d go on a 3 hour local bus trip back home to see some craft stalls!! That said the scenery was stunning on the journey and apart from lack of leg room, it wasn´t so bad.
The market itself was not quite what we expected; there were an assortment of actual shops with crafts in, and then there were a whole load of street venders with their wares on the pavement – all sorts such as hats, gloves, jumpers, ponchos, bags of all shapes and sizes, table clothes, cushion covers, blankets etc… Streets and streets of it, the market took over the town, as you went further way from the main square other goods appeared like sewing implements, household cleaning agents, and other ransom tat.
Whilst waiting on Sarah at a stall where she was bargaining hard on something, a passer-by handed us a leaflet and told us about an art gallery in the town that did food and coffee. We thought this would be a nice interlude so went off in search for this next. It turned out to be way out on the edge of town but there was indeed some good local art there. They even gave our blankets to those looking cold, which was most of the backpackers, having arrived in shorts and now it was raining, yes raining… albeit a shower, it made it considerably colder.
We´d hoped to meet up with the others about 1230 to grab some street food we´d saw and smelt on the way in, but getting change in the art gallery was a bit of a mission – they had to send a runner out to get change of a 100Bs (about £10) and he took a good 15 minutes or so. Madness really as most cash machines don’t give out any smaller notes than this. Anyway this meant it was nearer 1300 by the time we got back to the square and the others had eaten and the street vender we had our eye on was out of food – a double blow 🙁
Richard and Stephanie had had enough (she was cold, in her short skirt in the rain) and so went for the bus, but we decided lunch and another half hour were required, so went looking for an alternative food option.
When we did head back the next bus to leave for Sucre was a much smaller bus and although much more squashed in, we got back to town in double quick time and where he let us off was near the clothes market so we didn´t need to get a second bus, just wander down the hill.
Getting back to the hostel about 1500 we relax in the garden for a bit wondering what next when Tom and Natalie appear and the topic of chocolate comes up, it is Easter Sunday after all… putting our thinking caps on we decide hot chocolate with brandy or similar would work wonders for the coldness of today and be an adequate substitute – liquid Easter egg with a twist!!
Amsterdam is chosen as someone is sure they have hot chocolate there, it’s so good in fact most of us have two. With Wi-Fi as well, we are able to alert the others as to our whereabouts – good and bad, it means we all get chocolate for Easter but it also turns into a bit of a session 🙂 hic!