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Friday, 03 July 2009

Finding Joy in Sucre, Bolivia - Page 3

Written by Mark Kennedy
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The story of how a backpacking couple turned a local watering hole into a nationally known restaurant and tour company

Travelers in Bolivia looking to get away from the usual backpacking circuit are increasingly finding themselves in Sucre. Unlike the more popular destinations like Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, the salt flats near Uyuni and the mines of Potosi, Sucre offers the modern amenities of a large city, without losing the small town feel (about 200,000 residents).

Once the hangover has worn off, many choose to escape the partying with some adventure: a trip to the mountains, the crater or the waterfalls, either by bus, horseback, motorcycle or quad bike. The Joy Ride now offered such activities all under one roof.

"Before we opened the office, I felt the tourism information in Sucre wasn´t as good as it could be," said Tina. "We started promoting the restaurant and tourism office under a common brand. We now have the free Joy Ride maps -- it´s like a key to the city."

And the tour operation is taking off. "We have well-trained, full-time guides who speak Spanish, English, French, German and Italian,” Tina continued. “We also have nearly one hundred people coming into the office each day."

Finding Joy in Sucre, Bolivia, Joy Ride, a pub in Sucre, travel sucre, Bolivia, living in Bolivia, Mark Kennedy

While Lorenzo takes care of the finances, Tina has kept busy promoting Sucre in general and Joy Ride in particular across the whole of Bolivia. She´s taken out advertising spots on television and radio, and runs ads in newspapers and magazines in La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

Despite Joy Ride´s success, does Tina still harbor and lingering thoughts of moving back to Italy?

"No. Sucre is my home now," she said. "We have a nice life here. And it´s good for my son -- he speaks Spanish fluently."

Like any good Italian wife and mother, she´s more than willing to open her home to whoever drops by. As the old saying goes, ´Mi casa es su casa.´

Finding Joy in Sucre, Bolivia, Joy Ride, a pub in Sucre, travel sucre, Bolivia, living in Bolivia, Mark Kennedy

©Mark Kennedy

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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