December 15, 2012 GMT
Football, as an insult

While we were having dinner with our friend Jorges back in Tarija, we talked about football as well as bikes.

I was interested to know how good Bolivian football was and how their leagues compared to the the rest of South American and the world.

Jorge explained the size of the leagues and how the team names did not always reflect the city. For example "The Strongest" is a team from La Paz and "Universitario" is from Sucre.

He explained that just 2 teams won most of the titles and trophies, had most of the support and the money. All the rest were small and the lower league was a poor standard.

"Ah", I said , "just like Scotland".

At this his face dropped in shock, "No, no, not as bad as that. How can you compare our football to Scottish? It is an insult."

So, Brazil at the top, Scotland at the bottom.

While on a football theme we also went to a match in Sucre, Univeritario (Sucre) were playing San Jose (Oruro). San Jose needed to win to keep up their challenge on The Strongest.

Considering it was a full days journey over 3 mountain passes from Oruro to Sucre we were impressed by the away support.


Sitting in the stands we had a good view of any approaching clouds and noted the difference from back home. At home they appear on the horizon and move nearer. Up here they rise slowly over the surrounding mountains, gaining in size, like a foam over the side of the bath. Note the whole of that side of the ground was nearly empty. Everyone, apart from the away supporters who had to go there, crammed themselves into the shady side without the evening sun glaring in their eyes.


The game ended 0 - 0, we had 2 sendings off. One was a San Jose official and the other the San Jose reserve keeper while he was warming up.

The Strongest won the league by default. We had another cheap afternoons entertainment.


We often stop at small roadside eateries and have the "guess what it is" soup.

The soups are all healthy stock based with potatoes, vegetables and quinoa. Usually with a piece of chicken or meat in it.

I was a bit disconcerted when I had what appeared to be a babies hand.


But on closer inspection it was a chicken foot.


While I am on a random drivel, this is an example of a Bolivian traffic cone, in a major city.


Posted by Bruce Porter at December 15, 2012 05:33 PM GMT

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