So here we are in Sucre - 'The white city'. Nothing to do with sugar it just has lots of white buildings and is named after the General who promoted its independence. . All very Spanish like so many South American cities. Ok let's get the factoids out of the way. Sucre is technically the capital of Bolivia. It has a population of just over 200,000. The Supreme Court for the land sits here. However La Paz with a population of 1.5 million is the 'real' capital. In keeping with many South American cities the centre is pretty, quaint and photogenic. Of course over time the cities grow and the outskirts are not very nice to look at.
I mentioned the other day that Bolivia was the place where Butch and Sundance allegedly met their end. Fame enough you may think. However as all former members of the Trotskyist workers party (yes I was) will know Bolivia is where Ernesto "Che", Guevara commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was killed. I say killed. He was actually located by the CIA and with Bolivian assistance captured and executed. His body was put on public display and then buried under an airstrip. Guevara was a continental revolutionary. Following his success in Cuba he was determined to get the whole of South America to revolt and become Marxist. No way was the USA going to let that happen.
It is a strange irony that in killing him the US solved one problem and created a martyr who would symbolize struggle for every young idealistic man across the world. Hands up if you had a picture of el Che on your bedroom wall. As the saying goes 'If at 20 you are not a Marxist you have no heart. If at 40 you are still a Marxist you have no brain'.
Ok so we are in a super B&B. It's run by a Belgian chap called Rene. We can't help saying his name like Vicki Michelle in 'Allo 'allo. It's all European standards. Good fittings and food. Rene said he had a good career in Belgium but felt he was in a 'golden cage'. Money every where he turned but no escape.
Sucre is a pretty place. Although it has lots of cafes etc it doesn't feel overtly touristy. It has a great market where you can get fab juice drinks. No concentrate or puree here. A long line of women stand on high pedestals cutting big chunks off of fresh fruit then hand blending it. Five a day in a glass.
It isn't a pedestrian friendly place. The Bolivians are not great drivers and people on foot seem to be fair game. Today I saw a guy in a clapped out car driving with his young daughter stood on his legs. He was leaning over to see around her and chatting on his mobile.
To be honest we haven't done a lot while we've been here. Just relaxed, had some fab sleep and watched the world go by.
We did watch England beat Belgium so looking forward to seeing Ohhhhhh Rene to rib him.
On Monday we are leaving to go to La Paz. There are two ways out. A night bus or fly. We had a chat with Rene and he said night buses are not great. Uncomfortable and not good quality. He said we would spend the next day in bed recovering. The alternative is flying. Again not great but quicker. It is typically Bolivian that the two biggest cities don't have direct flights.
We've decided to fly. The only airline currently operating is TAM. Which roughly translated is Trans Americana Military. Basically they are old military aircraft. It's a half hour flight to Cochabamba, land, wait for two hours then get another half hour flight to La Paz.. Keep your fingers crossed for us!!!
Ok I'll end with some of the great questions for mankind.
1. Where do wasps go in winter?
2. How do snow plough drivers get to work?
3. Why when you walk in to a full restaurant is it the only voice you can hear is a gobby yank?
Answers on a postcard……………………
Next stop La Paz.