The plan for today was a round trip to Sucre, the former capital and today the constitutional capital of Bolivia where the judiciary is still based. In the meantime, La Paz has largely overtaken Sucre as the centre for government and the public service. Sucre was founded when Potosi was at its peak as a weekend refuge for the families who became wealthy as a result of the silver mining boom. Don’t know how they managed the 150 km trip each way in the 1800s down to the balmy climate of Sucre but maybe they just had very long weekends.
Sucre is a UNESCO World Heritage site as is Potosi but its architecture from Colonial times is grander and has survived the ravages of re-development more successfully. Wide streets, elegant European style administrative buildings and more greenery make its central area very attractive.
We were blessed with good weather for the 3 hours we spent looking around Sucre despite an ominous weather forecast but as we got closer to Potosi the sky became very black and we could see we were in for a spectacular storm. And it was – thunder and lightning and then heavy rain which turned into serious hail as we climber higher. Navy Car was a much more comfortable place to be than RIP – Dave and Laurel had a choice between driving quickly and being blasted by the hail coming through the gap above the windscreen and the Bermuda top or driving slowly and just getting drenched. Our car was going fine until we stopped to refuel on our return to Potosi and refused to crank when the key was turned. Fortunately we were on a hill so a rolling start was easy but when we got back to the hotel it was still misbehaving. Something to try to sort out when we have some spare time in La Paz.