A day at the market

Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, May 15, 2011

Touted as one of the best in Latin America for the gringo visitor, Tarabuco`s market is indeed full of colour.  Have to say we`ve visited several better, but then again we have seen 100s.  The most noticeable things here are the weaving - museum quality - and the hats worn by local men and women as part of their everyday wear.  Some hats go back awhile as evidenced by a statue in the square depicting a famous victory over the Spanish 200 years ago.  Some men wear miners` hats - maybe they`ve worked at the infamous Cerro Rico silver mine in Potosi, our next stop.  Here you can also buy a charango, a mandolin style instrument traditionally made from an armadillo`s shell, often a hairy shell.  Nowadays they tend to be made of wood, the armadillos having made a protest.

We buy a huge bag of coca leaves for our next trek, cost about 35p, and a miniature version of a hat worn by locals, being unable to carry (or afford) an original in our rucksac.  We sample local fare in the campesinos` market at the end of town and marvel at how much coca people can stuff into their mouth - people have great bulges in their cheeks, dribble running down their cheeks. 

We resist the urge to buy llama covered woolen jumpers and hats - standard gringo wear round here although we have a great time trying on Ponchos and other local traditional garb.

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