We spent two days in Bolivia's capital, which will be remembered with the laundered clothes at the hostel where we stayed, a few "enticing traps" and a "crowded to the ears" market. We headed to our next stop - La Higueira, a small village in the middle of the mountains, which is known for capturing and killing Ernesto Che Guevara there. We wanted to follow in the footsteps he went through before catching him.
Departing from Sucre, we decided it might be good to "break the ice" by throwing a stop for a day and taking a bus to the small town near Che's Road, since the road was long and with many branches.
Anton said: "We will get on the bus and that's it! Nothing more interesting than that will happen! A boring journey awaits us. "Alas! We both didn't know that this would be the most exciting and exciting journey ahead. We headed to the station prepared, knowing that we had 11 hours of travel overnight, by bus, which, just against 40 Bolivianos, would take us where we were headed. The cues in our heads were now ready to negotiate the price. Upon arrival, our confidence gradually began to fade. All travel companies offered the same 11-hour "boring" services, but against the 80-120 Bolivian per person. It turns out that on weekends, tickets are twice as expensive as most people want to travel. Gradually the opportunities before us were exhausted. We are not one of the people who will give so much money for a bus, not with our modest budget, we did not want to stay another night in the huge, dusty and crowded capital city. The time was about 16: 00 and the night would come in about 2 hours. We felt terrible and the day seemed "wasted." "What are we doing now?" Our eyes radiated. We sat down to rest for 5 min. The process of asking each of the twenty bus companies and negotiating with them had exhausted us enough. We pulled out a cheap and modest Bolivian map that we have and that often lacks small towns (not to mention villages) and started looking at where we could possibly get and spend the night. "Wherever, but not in Sucre!" - became our motto for the rest of the day.
We decided to take the road we needed to go, and as far as we can go and whatever happens. We prayed to the driver of one of the crowded, departing buses to take us to the first village we saw on our scarce map after Sucre, and he refused. A second attempt followed - again unsuccessful. There was only one more bus left, and it was our last chance! We asked after long negotiations, and a lot of "Por favor!", Smiling to our ears, we took the bus to the few of us marked village. Turn after turn and village after village, the village we had marked never appeared. The sun had set and it was almost dark. We had decided to try something new for us and our trip, namely to ask the locals if we could spend the night in their yards with our tent. For this purpose, however, it had to be bright, so we asked to be taken down to a village that we did not even know what it was called. Getting off the bus, some women spoke to us and we told them that we had nowhere to sleep and it was too late to look for a place for a tent in the woods and we asked the question: "Can we sleep in your garden?" , but with cement and we said with a smile: "Es perfecto, es perfecto!". Everything was perfect for us, as long as there was room for the little blue tent. The woman realized how beautiful we were and accommodated us not in her yard, but in an old unused room, which had the most comfortable mattress we slept on, made of hay. We were invited to have dinner with them and the day, from a terrible and daring "thirst" to escape from the city, turned into a wonderful one, in less than 2 hours. They treated us as they would have treated their loved ones - soup, chicken and hot orange tea. They gave us a blanket so we wouldn't get cold, and we happily settled on the comfortable mattress, watching the twinkling stars through the window.
Happy that our luck was smiling, the next day we decided to continue to La Higueira, still without a bus and a plan. This idea put us on several tons of cement in the trunk of a dash. We traveled under the hot sun, pleased that we were so quickly able to find a dash in our direction. Alas! After a few turns the truck collapsed and had to head in the opposite direction. We waited again. The stop in Bolivia is not one of the most preferred for travelers like us. Every car that stops offers us its services for a fee. This explains our ability to learn how to bargain in Spanish so quickly. We drove from car to car over short distances. Anton even attended a local football village meeting until we finally found ourselves again on a few tonnes of cement in an old truck. We were tugging on the old mountain road, and the scenario from the previous night seemed to repeat itself before us - the setting sun and no place to sleep. We jumped into a small town called Saipina, which fascinated us with a wide selection of fruits and strange-looking street food. We were only 200 miles away and 7 hours away from our final destination. Due to poor road conditions, combined with sharp mountain bends, in Bolivia, even short distances require a lot of time.
We walked confidently under the pink sky through the streets of Saipina after our "companions" tricked us into sheltering us. There was no way out of the city, so we headed to the small streets with the clear goal of finding a quiet yard for our mobile home. When we saw an elderly woman on the empty dead end street we had found ourselves in, we walked towards her without thinking. We talked about where we were from and what we were doing, and before we asked the question, she immediately stepped forward and invited us to follow her. It turned out that her family did not mind sheltering two foreigners in their yard and entertaining them with hot tea. The family had three children, who, seeing us, immediately offered to play ball and "attacked" us with very common Bolivian questions. Unlike Chile, here the regular questions do not involve the family so much. "What animals do you have in Bulgaria?" What vegetables and fruits do you grow there? What language is spoken? What is the weather? ”Are the questions we encounter everywhere, and it is in these areas that we have developed our“ Spanish ”best.
For the second consecutive morning, we woke up with a family unknown to us and with a little sadness in our eyes that we should say "Hi" and that we might not meet again. We decided to extend our stay with them a little by helping them peel 20 pounds of cooked potatoes. Photo, hugs, best wishes and here we are again on the rural dirt road with backpacks and thumbs up. It took us several hours, changing cars and lunch at a live music restaurant to get to the next town - Vie Grande. Here we were already in one of the cities where Che Guevera had ventured out before being captured. We did not need to ask for a tour and set off for La Higueira again. Things didn't work out this time. It was too late to stop and we had to find a place to sleep. We headed to the cheapest hostel. We usually judge by the hostels' signboards for their price list. "The bigger the plate, the more expensive" and we usually turn out to be straight. It was now dark and there was no way we could ask the locals for "unwanted guests". But when we saw the light in the church we passed, we did not restrain ourselves and decided to "boast" to them. We were right - if they don't accept us from the church, then where? They put us in a room with a large mattress and clean sheets, and then they treated us as if someone had a birthday. And the next day they sent us, inviting us to visit them again. Not that we thought we would have dinner with them again a day later and share a roof. Unnoticed in our conversations, we learned with interest that the typical soup for one of the nearby areas of the city is cat soup, which explains the large number of street dogs, not cats, anywhere.
So four days later, after changing the luggage racks of the trucks, many turns and great, unforgettable sights of the Andes, we found ourselves in La Higueira - the village where Che Guevara was captured and killed. Arriving there, we were surprised by the tranquility and silence looming over the village. We installed our blue tent in the courtyard of the school, which has only 10 students. All the houses in the village were lined with drawings and inscriptions for Ernesto, and three of his monuments were erected in the center. Some of the older people shared with us the stories of a time gone by, as if they were still living. They showed pictures and talked enthusiastically about how the whole village had been silently, secretly and constantly involved in helping the fugitive character. They showed us the house he was hiding in and how the woman had been hiding him for so long, she became a heroine. The next day we headed to the canyon, near the village where he was captured. Then we headed back a few tons of potatoes, back in the trunk of a dash, to new adventures and new encounters with the vast Bolivia.
It follows: Women's Fight and Live Cat in Bolivia