Published: August 6th 2012August 6th 2012
Sucre knows how to party.... They seem to be at it all the bloody time! We arrived yesterday morning to what seemed to be an all-day parade, brass bands aplenty (with some rather inappropriately dressed young lady band members - the costume designer may have watched Austin Powers a few too many times), and have just spent the last few hours at some crazy fun fair with what appears to be the entire population of Sucre. We had to leave for 2 reason - 1. we got our arses kicked at Table football by some little kids, and 2, we seem to be unable to resist the array of fried and/orsweet food stuffs available at every corner and if we didn´t leave we would have both been sick. Eating win of the night, my smokin´ hot tamale.
Anyway, I´ve skipped La Paz - shall we do that? Both La paz and Sucre are the ´capital´of Bolivia depending who you ask so its a bit bloody confusing anyway....
The bus ride to La Paz was uneventful... well, apart from when we had to get off the bus so it could be ferried across a channel in Lake Titicaca on what
appeared to be a large door. There´s nothing like watching the bus with all your worldly goods on it, floating off down channel, swaying violently from side to side with nothing but a plank of wood to support it, and generally looking a lot like its going to fall in. Ah Bolivia... Given the rest of my possessions are currently on a boat somewhere in the world, slowly drifting towards the UK, it was a little nerve wrenching.
Anywho, we learnt a few new things in La Paz. Firstly we learny that if you pay 40p to visit 4 museums, those museuems will likely be shit. We probably should´ve guessed that. We also learnt that splashing out on a coffee in a tourist cafe is totally worth it for the pleasure of using their amenities. There really is nothing quite like a clean toilet when you´re backpacking - hell, they even provided loo roll! Classy!
Though Sucre seems to be where its really kicking off (its independence day tomorrow, so everywhere´s been building up), la paz had its share of fiestas. We got caught up in a street festival celebrating Pacha Mumma (Mother earth) who is the the
Indigenous Bolivian God (thats probably a bit too simple but I´m guessing you don´t care for the details and I can´t be bothered to look it up and pretend i knew. You can use google as well as i can). Similar to Copacababa, they were burning bits and bobs as offerings, and they all of a sudden there was a brass band, a kind of semi-conga line formed, and a lovely old lady had grabbed me to get involved. Then everyone brought out food and orange fanta and insisted we get involved. Good times. I have to say our experience of Bolvians so far is that they are LOVELY. Everyone is so nice, and helpful, and welcoming, its really pretty special.
The witches market was also pretty interesting - I didn´t know there was a market for a sucha a wide range of dried llama foetuses. We also went to the Coca museusm, a backpacker favourite unsurprsingly, where I learnt that Coca leaves give you energy to work harder and longer with less nutrition or rest etc, which is why the spanish (after initailly banning it) then started to force Bolivian slaves to have it to get more out
of them. I also learnt that Fiddy Castro likes Coca Cola, which seems wrong. We finally got someone to show us how to chew our cocoa leaves that we bought in a altitude-related panic in Cusco... you basically grab a load of them and stuff them in the side of your mouth, trying to moisten them up, and then wait until your gums go a bit numb. I think I prefer the deriative product personally. Though coca leaves make better tea than I suspect the alternative would. And its more legal.
We also finally made it to a Pena! Which we´ve been trying to do since we got here... but tirednes or just not bloody being being able to find one kept standfing in the way. A pena is a traditional Bolivian cultural show type thing... it started (at 10pm! way past out bed-time) with dancing in funny costumes. Hmmm. Then we kicked on with some panpipe action - which was surprisignly good! Especailly when he rocked out the Super mario Bros theme tune. Classice pan-piping. They finished with a mariachi type band, which was BRILLIANT, and if i understood what the hell the singer, who looked like a
Bolivian Burt Bacharach, was talking about inbetween songs I am sure I would have been rolling in the ailse.
So yeh, loving Bolvia so far... and really liked La Paz even though big cities are busy and scary and not really my favourite thing (looking forward to living in London again. Ahem).
Oh and I forgot, i think ate tripe. Or it might have been stomach. Whatever it was it was gross.