We started our almost two weeks in Sucre at Hostal CasArte, but at NZ$45 per night, we decided to move to a cheaper option for the remaining week – La Dolce Vita had private double rooms with ensuite for only NZ$33 per night, and was closer to the plaza, and only 2 blocks from the central market.
We decided it was time for a bit of fun, so booked in for a quad bike tour with Off Road Bolivia. These guys were totally proffesional from start to finish, and the gear + bikes in great condition. We were the only two booked onto the tour, so for 500BOB each (around NZ$100pp) we set off on our private guided half day tour. Having never riden a quad before (only two-wheelers) Marcelo, our guide, made sure I was comfortable before we set off. We both completed some “skills training” – riding around a small paddock, over uneven ground, on an angle, and practicing gears and braking. It was a lot different to a two wheeler! Having such heavy steering, and no clutch to squeeze in, as well as 4 big wheels to worry about rather than two skinny ones, I started to wonder what I’d got myself into. We moved off to another training area, where we could get a bit more speed up.
Our tour took us through the hillside in Sucre, past small villages and along dirt roads. There were some tricky sections up rutted hills, but for the most part it was quite enjoyable – apart from my thumb being so sore it stopped working! WHY don’t they make twist-accelerators on quads?!? We did take a Go-Pro video of the whole experience, but with only a tablet it’s too hard to edit at this stage!
The following week we headed back to school, feeling like we’d not actually learnt much more Spanish, it was time for a bit of help from the experts. We chose Sucre Spanish school on calle Calvo as someone we’d met at a hostel was also attending lessons there. Being at different levels, we had to go our seperate ways, and had private lessons for 40BOB per hour. Not the cheapest, but we both feel like we learnt a lot and improved our Spanish with 4 hours of lessons each day over the week. The first day was hard – my tutor spoke to me in only Spanish for 4 hours straight – something I now think is an excellent idea as I was forced to converse back in Spanish – I got my money’s worth. Darryl’s tutor skipped the really basic stuff like numbers, as he already had a bit of a grasp on these, and taught him how to conjugate verbs in the present amongst other things. Being tired from all of our lessons, and having plenty of “tarea” to do, we didn’t do much else apart from become regulars at the Condor Cafe – an excellent vegetarian cafe offering a daily menu for between 20-30BOB.