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    South by South America Tour – Bolivia Part 10

    Thursday, September 26, 2019
    Potosi to Sucre, Bolivia

    The bus I rode from Potosi to Sucre, Bolivia.
    The bus I rode from Potosi to Sucre, Bolivia.

    The bright white arches of the Basilica de San Francisco in Sucre, Bolivia.
    The bright white arches of the Basilica de San Francisco in Sucre, Bolivia.

    At the Hostel Casa Blanca this morning, a guy who works there hassled me for starting to prepare my eggs and toast a few minutes before the official starting time of breakfast at 8:00 am. Then he punished me by making me wash the skillet, even though other people would use it soon after. That guy was more petty than Richard Petty! Upon checking out at 11:00 am, I walked up to the Plaza de 10 Noviembre to hail a taxi to the bus terminal. I noticed that a bunch of the omnipresent mini-buses that prowl the streets of Potosi had signs for the terminal in their front windows, so I decided to jump on one. After winding through a maze of narrow, traffic-clogged streets for close to an hour on the mini-bus, I finally spotted the big bus terminal and asked the driver to let me off. I was stoked because I’m sure the nominal fare I forked over was way cheaper than a taxi.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    Amidst the haunting cries of the ticket sellers reverberating throughout the huge, circular terminal, I used the bathroom, bought a bag of popcorn and searched for the right gate. I kept looking for a Trans Emperador bus, which was the name on my ticket, but had no luck. Finally, I showed my ticket to a lady who was working at the door to the gates, and she pointed around the corner, where a random bus to Sucre was idling. But, strangely enough, first I had to pay her a small fee for using the terminal. I’ve never encountered that in any other country.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    As soon as I walked up to the bus, the driver asked me if I was going to Sucre, I said yes, showed him my ticket, and he told me to climb aboard, even though it was not a Trans Emperador bus. I was lucky to make it on, because we departed just a couple of minutes later. I shudder to think I almost missed the bus due to a name mix-up. On the outskirts of Sucre, the bus, which was a single decker, stopped on a bridge for a half hour, where more people climbed on. There on the bridge, I saw one dog trying to hump a much smaller one while a lady repeatdely kicked the bigger dog to make it stop.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    We finally hit the road for the three-hour journey to Sucre. Although the scenery was not as dramatic as the road from Uyuni to Potosi, there were still some fine vistas to behold. Finally, we pulled into Sucre around 4:00 pm. where various people disembarked early at random spots through town. I was not surprised when I was again forced to pay a small fee for using the bus terminal again. After consulting various maps, I plotted my path from the terminal to the center of town, which was a good 1.5 miles away down a huge hill and a steep flight of stairs. As I approached the center of Sucre, the gleaming white paint of the stately buildings blindsided me. What a gorgeous town!

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    Upon checking into the Beehive Hostel, I was invited by the receptionist to a performance of traditional Bolivian dances at venue called Origenes. Since admission was free on this night, how could I say no? As 8:00 pm rolled up, I walked with a few other hostel guests a few blocks south to the venue, where we were seated at one long table with the seats turned sideways toward the stage. Ah, so Origenes is a dinner theater! After everyone ordered drinks and / or food, the show got underway at 8:30. The proceedings started off with a short promotional video that promoted tourism throughout Bolivia, including the less-visited eastern half of the country, which includes part of the Amazonian jungle.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.
    A traditional Bolivian dance at Origenes in Sucre, Bolivia.

    Then close to a dozen different choreographed dances from around Bolivia were presented, featuring dancers in very colorful costumes with complex patterns all lit up with a beautiful and impressive light show. Clocking in at a full two hours (including an intermission) the show is definitely worth checking out. My only complaint is that they use recorded music instead of live musicians. Other than that, Origenes is a good way to sample modern versions of some traditional Bolivian dances if you don’t cross paths with a festival somewhere in the country.

    Words and photos ©2019 Arcane Candy.

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