Traveling for an extended period of time is hella draining. I’ve found that it’s impossible to be in non-stop “tourist mode” for any longer than a a week or so. It becomes necessary to have proper down time, to rewind, recharge, and get pumped for the next stage of the trip. So that is what we did in Sucre, Bolivia. We booked an AirBnB with a lounge room and a kitchen for a week, and it was exactly what I needed mentally.
We had planned to do some more Spanish lessons, and maybe even some volunteering while we were in town, but it was Pedro’s turn to get sick, so we ended up studying up in the apartment on Duolingo and with our text book. It was a treat to be able to cook our own meals, and explore the city at our leisure. It was safe, and pretty, and a great place to base ourselves while we recovered from the past couple of months.
The highlight by far for me, was Cretaceous Park. Back in the 1990’s, a local cement company mined a nearby cliff face for materials for their cement, but stopped when they came to a layer that was unsuitable. Thankfully they did, because later natural processes worked away the layer and exposed 68 million year old dinosaur footprints! The wall had once been a flat river bed, but over time movement in tectonic plates pushed it upwards to form the vertical cliff face that we see today, with footprints from 15 different species of dinosaur, and over 5,000 individual footprints. The most famous tracks were made by a baby T-Rex, and span almost 350m.
There was a guided tour around the park where we learnt about how the footprints were found, and shown some of the other fossils found around the site. We also learnt how to distinguish between the footprints made by different species.
Today a whole theme park has been built featuring life-sized dinosaurs to attract tourists, and you are given an opportunity to walk down to the wall and see the footprints close up during the concrete factory workers’ lunch break. Unfortunately you were required to be wearing closed shoes, so Pedro and our friends from La Paz were unable to participate. So I walked down with the rest of the group, and it was honestly one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. I was standing next to footprints left by dinosaurs tens of millions of years ago! It was unreal.