Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 356-362 – Bolivia – Sucre – Part 4

Aside from the decidedly Mediterranean climate, Sucre’s position combined with the high mineral content of its landscape renders it prone to stunning bouts of thunder and lightning. On a couple of occasions during our stay we were treated to these evening shows and Casa Al Tronco’s position perched upon the hill on the outskirts overlooking the city basin made it the best seat in the house. Alas, I fear a steadier tripod and greater skills could have given me much better results but it was still fun to try and catch the scene as the sparks flew.

We dined out one night at the Joyride cafe – our second visit, the first being our trip with the travelling amigos with whom we’d arrived in town. While the food and beer was once again great they let themselves down massively when they blatantly attempted to fleece us out of 100 BOB. After we’d popped 300 down for the 200+ meal [deliberately looking for change to ensure a good tip] the waiter returned with only 200 asking where the rest was. We both knew immediately that what was happening and stated in no uncertain terms for the fella to cut the crap and get the manager. I then watched a brief conversation with the head waiter and then literally saw him pull a 100 BOB note out, wander over in our direction and then pretend to find it on the floor at a nearby table before making a show of apologising profusely for the mistake. It was a sour end to a lovely meal at a spot that I’m certain we would have returned to had it not been for that debacle. He did not get a tip.

Amongst our attempts at taking in the local culture we visited the Museum of Indigenous People and Ethnography [or something like that] and got reprimanded for taking IPod photos of their masks exhibit (still got the buggers though). On another occasion I realised 2 months late that my HSBC credit card had been stolen during our Auckland theft and that the buggers had used it to score a $150 mobile phone but thankfully no more. Managed to Skype to get the card cancelled but call quality scuppered my conversations with the fraud team.

During our extended stay we crossed paths with a number of other guests including Emily & David from the UK who’d been staying in another room but were leaving when we finally met. We talked until they left about our separate travels and exchanged advice on the paths ahead as we were seemingly bound in opposite directions. That same day we met Lesley and Kelvin whom we joined on the balcony one night having collected a few beers from the smiley lady at the hole-in-the-wall shop around the corner. There too were Vanessa & Elise who were leaving the next day and Christiane who was staying for a long time. We knocked back drinks and the ladies rustled up Nachos while the lads threw together Sangria. We had nothing to contribute which I’m not very good at but told tale and enjoyed the company of our fellow travellers.