Week 2 of their Spanish course – not much talk of Spanish learning, but they assure us there has been plenty…
Our second blog entry kicks off with our marginally strenuous walk up to one of the hills surrounding Sucre. Accompanied by even the most drained invalids and many of the locals on the short pilgrimage, the team made it up to the top in good time, and after a much needed rest at the summit, came back down in time to catch the sunset through the trees.
We spent our first proper weekend in Bolivia chilling in the sun at the hacienda, because naturally after one week we needed rest and recouperation. The barbecued food was most welcome, despite the appearance of suspect hairs. A visit to the cascadas proved welcome, although the low water levels meant that no extreme jumping was allowed. The Saturday evening saw the consumption of a great deal of our alcohol, with a bed casualty at 10pm and a messy game of ring of fire. The “in my pants” rule never failed to amuse.
Once we had returned to Sucre, classes began as usual, along with seriously long winded string introduction games. A Monday night visit to Florin and then Joyride made sure that morning classes were thoroughly enjoyed.
The discovery of vitaminico fruit smoothies in the market and a hunt for prunes were the early highlights of the week for some, as latent illness was still rife in the Quest camp. Our first dinner at the Mirador went down well with large portions of pasta and a local fruit drink that smelled temptingly of chlorine. We visited a childrens day centre just outside of central Sucre, which was enjoyed by all. After chowing down on some incredibly sweet cinnamon tea with the kids we proceeded to do the hokey cokey with them and throw them up in the air, much to their delight. One young chap impressed us massively with his unique shuffle dance. Next on the list of activities was a evening spent at the school making chocolate, or rather melting it into moulds, and waiting until it was set. Some of us got a little carried away and made huge chocolates with varying levels of artistic design. The night ended in a visit for some to Sherlock Holmes at the cinema.
Perhaps the highlight of the week came about when we faced the teachers at football. Resplendent in our team shirts, still wet from production and with hastily prepared ncknames on the back, we took tthe bus to the pitch. Hopes were high for a clean sweep and we were certainly not disappointed. A sterling performance by Kate´s face in goal meant that the girls stole a very respectable victory of 9-2. The boys did slightly less well, but still managed to win a decisive victory of 6-2, putting the teachers to shame and ensuring much hard work the next day in class. There were a few aches and pains the next day, namely the reappearance of a trapped nerve in the buttock region, which left Pete hobbling for a short while after.
We made a visit to the textiles museum, where we were able to appreciate the intricacies of weaving traditional Bolivian tapestries. An afternoon trip to Joyride involved watching the Devil´s Miner, a rather moving account of a young boy´s life in the mines. It was interesting to see what we could expect ahead of our trip to Potosi later on. Table football night saw champions “Moshi” win t-shirts and condemn the runners up to drinking a jug of Boc. Sangria was flowing and a visit to Amsterdam for live Bolivian music was very enjoyable.
In order to be properly clothed for the jungle, the group headed off to the second hand clothes market. An interesting array of clothes were bought, though sadly t-shirts supporting midget cheerleading and warnings not to get crabby did not make the list.
Friday evening arrived, bringing salsa dancing and our leaving party. Dressed as either homosexuals or hybrid animals we set about learning to dance, although none of us could quite reach the prowess of the teachers. The mysterious sweaty hands were enjoyed by all.
Following salsa, we headed off with some of the teachers to Florin for food and drinks, where many a pique was consumed and happy hour thoroughly taken advantage of. Despite a coxyx bruising fall, we all made it to Joyride to continue the festivities. As much of the evening from then on is remembered, we are all fairly certain that Bolivia could potentially be Pete´s second dream location.
The next day we visited a football game, where the standard left a little to be desired, especially from number 22, who appeared unable to run at all. Dirty street food was eaten along with a murky peach drink that made a number of us feel ill even looking at. That evening we made our second visit to the Chinese restaurant for take away. Not much is known about what happened that evening, except that very few of us did not hallucinate and have weird dreams, or talk in our sleep. We vowed never to return to that place again.
This much for now.
RHG and Doc