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May 21, 2005
Jody writes:

We're still in Sucre, learning Spanish and teaching English, and we may be stuck here for a while if the blockades don't let up. The people of Bolivia block the roads whenever the president steps out of line, which they think he did in a big way last week, over the export of Bolivian gas (as this story reports).

Thankfully, Sucre's a lovely place and we have plenty of friends here now. On Sunday we went to Tarabuco market - once a place where people from the surrounding villages met to trade goods, but now a location where tourists get charged crazy prices for tat.

Our bus was held up on the way to the market to allow a bike race to pass. A team of police officers had been employed to stone any stray dogs that wandered onto the road. One dalmation-cross-spaniel came close to causing a cyclist pile-up, but luckily a cop cracked the beast around the head with a pebble just in time. From where I was standing I could see that while the police used stones to drive the dogs over a hill, a bunch of kids stood on the other side, laughing and shooing them back.

When we eventually arrived at the market, we were mobbed by people weighed down with blankets and tapestries. One old lady tied a woven bracelet to my wrist and then demanded money for it. Another approached us, pointed to her bizarre, sparkly, native headgear and said in Spanish: "Look at my hat! You can take my picture for three Boliviano's." I couldn't turn her down.

Photographing people is tough in Bolivia. Everyone wants a picture of a tradionally-dressed lady in a crazy hat and this woman clearly knew her market well. And if you don't ask politely and pay up, you'll only end up with a picture of someone's back.

Laden with handicrafts that will inevitably reveal themselves as a big mistake when we get back to the UK, we returned to Sucre. That evening I became horribly sick. Perhaps it was something I ate. It's the first time I've been ill since leaving the UK last November, so I can finally stop being smug about being immune to native bugs.

posted at 5:14 PM | link

5 Comments:

  • wotcha.,...just caught up with your blog for the later ghalf of April up to the present day.... what an adventure you are having... not long to return home now, right.
    I've been in Bequia for almost a fortnight - and I'm here until july 1st... the weather is gorgeous, the people are as lovely as ever, the food is wonderfully fresh and it feels like paradise... god knows why I always return to Barnet whenever I come here... it doesn't make sense...!

    When are you back in London? Lotsaluv,. Jonathan

    By Anonymous Jonathan, at 10:46 PM  

  • Hi Jonathan,

    We return to London in early September (Saturday 2nd, we think).

    Get the party poppers ready.

    Jody

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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