Friday night we were invited by our Spanish school to participate in a Bolivian cooking class held in the kitchen at the school. Once we got there, we realized it was less of a cooking “class” and more of a – we’ll-just-cook-you-dinner-and-get-you-drunk-for-real-cheap-thing. My kind of party!
The traditional Bolivian dish was tasty – potatoes covered in peanut and pepper sauce on a bed of lettuce. It also included tomatoes, cheese, hard boiled egg and olives. It was difficult to try and get all of the flavors in one bite, but when we did, it was delicious! It was accompanied with “chuflay” – a traditional Bolivian drink made of some Bolivian booze (no idea what it is - all we know is it is made from grapes), Sprite and fresh squeezed lime juice.
Practicing for the Real Party!
Almost every night since we arrived in Sucre, Pete and I have sat in our room at night and been startled by the sounds of firecrackers and marching bands. Usually it happens after we have gotten ready for bed (we’re old losers so this is super early). Sometimes we have wondered aloud whether or not we should go to the main square to see what is going on - but every time, laziness has won out and we’ve stayed put in our jammies.
Well, twice this weekend we were actually out after dark and got to see what is going on. We discovered that next weekend is the biggest festival that Sucre sees all year – The Virgin Festival (and no, I don’t believe that Richard Branson has anything to do with this one). Starting at 8am next Saturday morning, groups of dancers and musical performers will start at one end of Sucre and march to the middle until about 3pm. And, for the past two weeks, several groups have taken to the streets to practice their routines at all hours. Each night the center of Sucre was practically shut down for traffic because not only are they practicing their routines, they are practicing their partying! Last night, I finally had to put in some ear plugs in order to get some sleep - they went until 1 am!
Can you imagine…hey friends, it’s my birthday next week, so perhaps we should get together every night and practice blowing out candles and drinking, so that when my REAL birthday gets here, we know how to do it right!!
Imagine all the cake! Mmm…
Two Canadians, two South Africans, two Germans and one Swede walk into a bar… (insert punchline!)
These are some of the awesome people that we’ve met through our Spanish school! Given enough time in that bar, I’m sure we could have solved all of the world’s toughest problems (those that Bruce Willis can’t solve at least).
Our two new South African friends (Dave and Mark - from right) just left from their short stay in Sucre and are returning to their bike tour down the west coast of South America. They are a hundred times more adventurous then Pete and I will ever be, which is why you should check out Dave’s blog! http://cyclingamigos.blogspot.com. Dave promises to upload a video of Mark drinking a frog smoothie soon! (Acckk!)
Yesterday we got up early to catch a bus to Tarabuco – a small town about 65kms from Sucre that holds a large market every Sunday, attracting people from all around. The main tourist draw is the textiles that Bolivia is famous for – each type of weave is symbolic of the area or family of which it is made in. The 1 ½ drive made it worth it on it’s own – up and down a windy mountain road with the Andes laid out before us!
The market itself was quite large, containing textiles, food, jewelry and a lot of common household items. The prices are of course jacked for the tourists that come, but we did manage to come away with a couple of items. (insert pics) With some time to kill, Pete and I did a little exploring of the town. This is the first bit of real poverty that we’ve seen besides beggars in the streets of Sucre – and we were in awe of it. I would never have considered Sucre to be a super modern city, but it sure is in comparison to Tarabuco. And I am sure Tarabuco is still a step above so many places we have yet to see – really makes us appreciative of what we have in life - and apprehensive of where we may be going to next!