For my last lazy day in Sucre I took in a few museums including the Ethnographic Museum displaying the some fantastic hand woven rugs. I bought some last minute World Cup sticker packs and headed off to the bus station with Rachid to catch our bus to Misque, a tiny town barely mentioned in the Lonely Planet. We arrived at 1am and I was petrified as we walked the streets trying to find our hotel. A Bolivian from the bus walked with us and a car with about 5 guys inside slowed down to check us out. Rachid walked right up to them and asked them if they knew where our hotel was while I stood stock still thinking how well I've done traveling not to have been robbed up until this point. Unfortunately their directions were wrong and as we rounded the square to check in the other direction I saw the same car lurking about a block up. My heart was racing but it actually turned out to be a different car, a taxi in fact who gave us perfect directions and didn't ask for a dime. We finally made it to the hostel to find them waiting up for us. No problems but no more midnight arrivals for me.
Getting to sleep was a nightmare due to a late night dog party to which evidently weren't invited. I told Rachid that I gave him permission to go outside and kill the dog but he just laughed. I was not a gentle goodnight. We groggily headed out the next morning to the local covered market where we hopped from stall to stall to put together a great breakfast. Coffee here, soup there, freshly squeezed orange juice at the end of the aisle. Afterward we went for a walk to check out the town, Rachid got his wish, not a tourist to be found. The town was pretty much just 2 long parallel roads that lead to the cemetery on the edge of town. People were quite nice and very curious and we were saddened to find out that we had missed the Annual Peanut Festival by only a couple of days;) We had thought to stay in town for a day or two but by noon we had already opened all my World Cup stickers and were dead bored. We ate lunch at what seemed to be the only restaurant in town and then booked a bus to Cochabamba for that afternoon.
We arrived in Cochabamba at 7pm and decided to walk to our hostel which should have been about a 10 minute walk away. Unfortunately the Lonely Planet, or the Lonely Liar as I will henceforth be calling it, got the address wrong. Luckily it wasn't too much further on but it was pretty frustrating for a while. We settled into a restaurant for that great Bolivian staple of roast chicken and chips before turning in early. In the morning we were awake, dressed and breakfasted in under an hour. A new personal best for us. We only had about 4 hours to check out the city before our our 1pm bus to La Paz. I wanted to get a better look at some of the beautiful churches we had passed by the night before and check out some of the huge markets the city is famous for. The markets here are unending with each street or area specializing in something different and the food markets are always a crazy, if unsanitary, affair. If you like potatoes, Bolivia is the place for you!
This is the town that rose up against Bechtel and their own government over water privatization back in early 2000. It was also spotlighted in the Canadian documentary The Corporation. It's amazing to try and picture this entire city shut down and everyone out on the streets protesting. And the crazy thing is that they won! The government conceded. Power to the people!