25 May, Bolivian Independence Day

What do President Evo Morales, a giant chocolate horse and thirty different types of chorizo have in common? Not obvious, I know, but they all formed the centre piece of today’s Independence Day celebrations.

First came the pomp, circumstance and the politics, with hours of parades through the main square accompanied by military bands. There was much excitement and anticipation amongst the waiting throng as President Evo made his appearance.

First came the police outriders on Harleys (showing some style I might add).

Given the anti-American rhetoric, a strange choice of ride?, Sucre, Bolivia

Given the anti-American rhetoric, a strange choice of ride?, Sucre, Bolivia

Then came the military band.

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia

And finally, after an hour of being hustled and bustled by campesinos in the waiting mass, the great man himself.

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia

After a bit of street level waving and hand-gladding, the Presidential party took to the balcony of the Casa de la Libertad to watch hours of parades. Lots of waving and the occasional party political gesture.

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia

The church made a brief visitation to the balcony, but didn’t do any waving at all – no stamina and what’s with the paper under the arm at such a formal event?

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia. Was the Cardinal on his way to the lavatory?

Independence Day with Evo Morales, Sucre, Bolivia. Was the Cardinal on his way to the lavatory?

All-in-all, a grand morning’s music and marching, and a real thrill to see El Presidente.

But what about the chocolate horse and the sausage I hear you cry?

Sucre is renowned for two foodstuffs: chorizo and chocolate. Independence Day being a public holiday, it was natural there should be separate chocolate and chorizo festivals (no one is losing any weight in this town).

The centre piece of the former was a six foot high chocolate horse, with a facial expression suggesting someone had done something inappropriate to it, and more calories packed into one room than I’ve ever seen in my life.

Was the Cardinal on his way to the lavatory?

Was the Cardinal on his way to the lavatory?

But for real foodies, the business end of the day’s celebrations took place in the open air of the Recoleta Plaza. Located at the top of the city’s steepest hill a whole 15 minute walk from the chocolate – the quest for chorizo came at a price, but one worth paying.

First the cooking. Yum!

Chorizo on Independence Day, Sucre, Bolivia

Chorizo on Independence Day, Sucre, Bolivia

Not forgetting to soak the bread in delicious oil.

Chorizo on Independence Day, Sucre, Bolivia

Chorizo on Independence Day, Sucre, Bolivia

Then the eating.

Chorizo on Independence Day, Sucre, Bolivia

Chorizo on Independence Day, Sucre, Bolivia

Many emotions have come and gone since the eating of these delicious porky treats: delight, guilt, relief and, finally, as I sit here typing, regret.

It has been an Independence Day to remember…and at least no one had the crazy idea of combining chorizo with chocolate!

2 thoughts on “25 May, Bolivian Independence Day

  1. I think you’re possibly the only guy I know who actually knows the facial expression to expect from a horse when something inappropriate is done to it…. No, wait a minute, I was forgetting Tim Higgs.

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