We arrived bright and early Monday morning and set out for breakfast. We found the tourist-oriented Joy Ride Cafe, which offered some eggs-and-toast American options, but I opted for the Bolivian sampler plate. There was a great cheese empanada, a ground beef empanada (oops!), a mil hojas cake (similar to those in Argentina but with a lot more cake and less dulce de leche), and a rock hard roll that was salty with cheese. And coffee and juice.
It was a ton of food, I would have been good with just the first empanada, but it was fun. Fortified, we hiked up to the mirador and Iglesia and Museo de Recoleta.
The view was great, but even more interesting was the central plaza filled with foosball tables. It seemed they were setting up a fair/carnival and these tables were first out.
The museum visit came with a guided tour, which was nice, and featured the property’s 1,500-year-old massive cedar tree.
Next up, gluttons for catholic relics, we visited the Cathedral and Museo Cartedralico. The museum was interesting, featuring an incredible quantity of silver and jewels, but filled me with some typical catholic-style guilt in having paid a church $20 bolivianos ($3.30) to see their riches, as people slaved outside for just one single boliviano to buy a bit of food.
In the afternoon, we visited the Museo de Arte Indigena (Textile Museum), part of a fabulous anthropological project aimed at revitalizing the art of weaving in indigenous groups in Bolivia. Lead by scientists, the weavers were educated in the more sophisticated weaving techniques employed by their ancestors while encouraged to create new works using their own personal experiences and interpretations of beauty.
Then, we returned to Joy Ride for cerveza. At 7 they were showing the film, “The Devil’s Miner,” a film about the silver mines in Potosí—which is where we were headed next! We figured the film would give us a great for our Wednesday visit.
However, during the film, we downed 2 more pitchers of beer and were in no shape to go anywhere else for dinner. I enjoyed a delicious Joy Ride Salad (yes, even after two pitchers, I was trying to watch my pizza and burrito-bloated figure), which was an enormous mound of lettuce, carrots, radish, bell peppers, croutons, and cheese topped with a honey mustard dressing. Did I mention we’ve been eating well?