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Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 364-366 – Bolivia – Sucre – Part 5

The day that followed was the day when we could finally pick up our visa extension so we made our way to the immigration office. After teaching the clerk how to count he requested a photocopy of our passport and immigration docket before eventually stamping with a rubber stamp the number 30 next to our original stamp – it looked like something you could knock up with a potato and some ink and in no justifiable way needed to be left until 5 days before the expiry of your previous visa. It was done though, so to celebrate it was back to Abis Cafe for the finest sandwich in South America – the Pollo Abis (Chicken, Mushroom, Cheese, Tomato, Lettuce…drool) after which I hogged the WiFi and Fi went shopping for bits and bats including a new raincoat after the mysterious disappearance of her last one.

While I was there Nathalie & Stefan – two new guests at Casa Al Tronco that I hadn’t technically met came in and I said hello but left them to themselves. Later on Fi’s return I broached a conversation and soon we were all sat around the same table comparing notes and telling tales of our adventures. We pointed them in the direction of the Supermarket and then left to see San Felipe De Neri – a place we knew was supposed to offer some of the best views of Sucre. We were not disappointed and proceeded to take many photos from the rooftops over the city. Later we returned to our gaff and put away two bottles of wine with Christiane, Nathalie and Stefan, the second of which we were to later discover was not an interesting taste but rather the taste of something that’s gone off.

The day finally arrived for us to depart Sucre and resume travelling. Packed and ready to move on, we finished off the last few routine bits of work we’d been doing on photos and blogs. It was sad to say goodbye to the place on the anniversary of our departure from England but all good things must come to an end and we’d a long way to go and lots to see before a flight home. There were lots of hugs with Sica Sica before finally saying goodbye and getting a taxi to the bus station. Check in and embarkation was interesting but no more difficult than anywhere else we’d been. We set off and a fella who looked at first like a passenger without a seat started barking loudly at all on board. After realising this was no safety announcement when he started talking about papaya we eventually worked out that he was a salesman selling some kind of herbal mix drink in sachets.

He finally quietened down and left the bus after half an hour only for the driver to start blasting – and I mean blasting – Bolivian pop music through the cabin. We were ‘lucky’ enough to have a speaker right next to our heads so we could enjoy it in all its distorted glory. A local fella even asked him to turn it down which worked for about 2 songs. I drifted into that zone – you know the one – where you begin to contemplate ripping speakers out or smothering snorers with pillows or delivering sweet vengeance upon a thoughtless evil doer who’s slowly driving you insane. By stuffing my earphones deep into my ears and by being exhausted I managed to drift off but before long we’d stopped for food. Shakey Spanish got us a couple Picante Pollo’s and a large beer to throw back in record time and return to the bus where the driver put a terrible film on at a lower volume and the bus eventually drifted off to sleep.