Today is market day. Anyone travelling in southern Bolivia has heard of the Tarabuco Sunday Market. Most towns shut down on Sunday. Tarabuco opens it doors. It is our first intersection with the tourist trail. We have not seen this many tourist since Miraflores over a week ago.
The market is very big. It has out grown two market buildings and fills about 4 square blocks of the surrounding streets. Terabuco is at the intersection of roads heading in all directions and all that live along those roads congregate to ply their wares and purchase what is needed. It is a bit of an unusual market as a good portion of the commerce taking place is barter. A farmer with his wheat for sale will trade another seller for what ever they have, say potatoes, and completely skip the cash stage.
Our whole group splits up and we all go about purchasing something we see that has tweeked our interest or something quite ordinary we might need. T heads off to buy a razor as his seems to have waundered off at the last hotel we stayed at. He finds a pack of 2 for about a $1.50. N went off in search of some things on her list, ogled a ‘jumper’ and in the end decided not to buy it. Debbie wanted to find a table cloth to add to the collection at home. She thought a woven piece of fabric might be nice but we have a hard time finding one large enough. After traversing every street a second time we find a suitable piece, bargin a bit and make a solid purchase for about $12.
Onward to Sucre. Upon arriving in town we head straight for Parque Cretacico. The highlight of this park is a huge vertical wall imprinted with dinasaur footprints. I was personally quite disappointed. The wall is 300M away across a gorge made by the excavations of a cement plant. The prints are visable, but barely, and definately not identifiable as the markings of a bygone era. There is several castings of the prints in the park’s buildings and one real chunk of rock with four prints on it that are more what I was expecting and worth a look but the rest of the place I would give a pass.
All in all not a hard day with the market being the highlight. Debbie and I have visited many markets, in many different places but I think Tarabuca, although quite ordinary in some ways, is one of the most impressive. The sheer size of it, and the variety of goods available is worth the visit.