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Iain and Jo

A bicentenary (approximately) party

BOLIVIA | Wednesday, 20 May 2009 | Views [816] | Comments [1]

We arrived in Sucre, the debateable capital of Bolivia, as the locals were preparing for a massive party to celebrate 200 years of independence. The white paint buckets were out in force, and it seemed that every public building (and most private ones) was getting a coating to make sure that the city once known as “El Cuidad de Blanco” (The white city) lived up to it’s name on the night of the big party. There also seemed to be street parties and parades happening all day and all night, to make sure that the locals had their party moves primed and ready – a month of practise-parties might be considered excessive though!

Sucre is the official capital, but La Paz often gets the title and is the home of most of Bolivia’s ‘international’ things, such as the airport, the football stadium etc. As a result, there’s a very strong rivalry between the two, to the point where the two cities celebrate the anniversary of independence on completely different dates (like having one Australia Day for Sydney and another for Canberra!).

As Bolivians have a reputation for speaking slower, clearer Spanish than in Chile or Argentina, we signed up for some Spanish lessons in Sucre. There isn’t much English spoken here at all, but we’ve picked up quite a bit of language now and are able to understand and be understood for most basic stuff. It’s become a bit of an obsession actually – twice now I’ve woken up and realised I’d been practising Spanish in my dreams – really useful except the first time I think I was just making words and grammar up!

We’re still travelling with a few English friends we met on the salt flats tour, and also managed to bump into Miguel, Vassco and Sebastian who we last saw in Santiago, and briefly, Nina and Hans from Germany.

The pic is from a street parade that we stumbled across – there were people dressed in traditional costumes from all over the region, dancing and singing their way through the city. A lot of the older women wear these bowler hats, but most are accompanied by woollen blankets and babies slung over their backs, rather than skirts and dancing shoes.

Tags: sucre bolivia



They say when you dream in another language your close to being bi-lingual? mmmmm given that you were making up words, I'm not sure if I believe that anymore!!! ;-)

Love allie x

  Allie May 30, 2009 10:53 AM



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