Despite consuming a copious amount of alcohol the night before, we got to bed at a reasonable hour and intended to have a full day on Tuesday. However, those plans came to a quick halt as we dealt with the hotel’s finicky shower. (You must turn the knob as slow as possible for it to trigger the hot water, then listen for the humming in the wall, to know that it worked.)
We ended up accomplishing everything, making a convoluted trip to the bus station (our guidebook instructed us to hop on a bus, and for a good reason—their maps were totally useless!), then catching the Dino Wagon, just as it was pulling away from the curb.
The first attraction of the day—dinosaur footprints at the Cal Orck’o Parque Cretacico. Apparently, they were big, we weren’t allowed within 2,000 meters of them, but we did get some photos. Rather unimpressive from this angle, they measure over 1,000 meters in either direction. Yes, people are just a speck within them.
We lunched on pasta at the Bibliocafe then went to visit the Iglesia La Merced. Charging a hefty 10 bolivianos to enter, the church had a beautiful rooftop terrace, and an interesting altar featuring syncretism. We were first made aware of this phenomenon at the Pajcha in Salta. The indigenous people who were conscripted with the construction of churches often incorporated their own traditional beliefs in the buildings, much to the dismay of the Catholic church. Pregnant angels (symbols of fertility), hearty crops, and sacred animals are particularly prevalent in the north of Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru.
After soaking up some rooftop sun, we headed to an internet cafe for a bit of research, then did a bit of shopping. I found a fabulous handmade alpaca sweater for my dad.
We had some wine in the plaza and then headed to dinner. The restaurant we were looking for wasn’t there, so we opted for the equally touristy-looking joint in its place. The only vegetarian option was a “Mexican lasagna” which was only Mexican in its use of tortillas in place of pasta. However, it was tasty with eggplant and goat cheese. Once again, we called an early night for the sake of our early morning.