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Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 343-347 – Bolivia – Sucre – Part 2

While in most places up to that point there’d always been a hit list – a plan of activities we simply had to squeeze in before departure to the next – we simply didn’t bother pulling one together for Sucre. I finally settled into picking up my guitar regularly. I think it’s important to maintain life goals and learning to play the guitar is one of mine. On reflection I feel that this may well be the case for the rest of my life as for whatever reason I don’t think I’ll ever crack it. I always find something else to do. Not in Sucre though.

On our way to town one day we bumped into Tania, one half of our hosts at the hostel, and enquired about the friend of theirs that teaches Spanish. Moments later Fi was on the phone and we were booked in for a 2 hour session the following day at the hostel from 10am until 12. Thus commenced our noble crusade to learn something useful on our voyage! That same day the three of us – Fi, Charlotte and I – spied a market from atop a hill and traversed the chaotic rubble-strewn hillside to make our way down to it. It was a ramshackle affair and very much for locals – we picked up odds & sods that we needed and watched a random gust of wind dislodge a makeshift stall and send a wooden pole through a custom-painted superbike – someone wasn’t going to be happy when they returned.

That evening we wandered down to the Cafe Mirador for sunset with Charlotte to have our evening meal somewhat earlier than normal and by 7:30pm we’d all retired to our rooms.

While in Sucre we mixed our days with regular Spanish lessons, eating well, working with photos and blogs and tinkering on the six-string. Most people would trade places and be on the road I know and they’d probably be right to do so too as it seems to suit most people we’ve met but if you do anything for long enough you crave an alternative even if just for a short time. Of the people we’ve met on long journeys few haven’t remarked upon their desire for routine. I imagine a lot depends on who you are and where you’re at in life as to how travelling affects you but regardless there’s a lot to love about it.

On Charlotte’s last night we took a wander into town again and tried Cafe Florin, a Dutch-themed restaurant with a menu of global cuisine. Fi and I shared a Mexican banquet while Charlotte chose the Tandoori chicken – all the food was lovely and they had a few interesting craft beers on ‘chop’ to wash it down. As we were leaving the sounds of an insane party next door began to make their way into the restaurant. We took turns in taking a look before heading over en masse to watch the finale. A loco traditionally-dressed band banged out Bolivian music while what looked like a group of exchange students followed the local, also traditionally-dressed, kids in lively dancing. It was an infectious show and when they offered CDs for less than 3 quid I took a punt. We walked home despite our intentions to get a taxi and said goodnight after booking in for a final breakfast before Charlotte’s departure to Uyuni.

The next day we were due to move to the suite and try it out for a few days. We saw Charlotte off as she went on her way to Uyuni – something we’d doubtless be picking her brain over later. She dropped us some notes on Cusco which would no doubt be a massive help when we finally got around to moving on which was looking like mid October. The thought of being stationary for that long was glorious. We moved to the suite which was more spacious and had brilliant views and a private bathroom but only time would tell if it would be worth the extra cash.