by Stephen Nagy
(Sucre, Bolivia)

Now one thing I wasn't expecting was a rally car race through the city of Sucre. Each year in May the cars gather at 25 de Mayo Plaza in the center of town and one by one take off through the streets and into outlying areas and then return snaking through the city again at speeds that must be close to 100mph.

Hills, turns and curves. The police are placed at regular intervals and use their distinctive whistles to warn the advance of a car as they move people back and prevent street crossings. Only vehicle traffic is prohibited from crossing as pedestrians scoot in between the racing cars.

It may seem a bit dangerous to visitors but as usual the residents have a sense of being careful. One can stand on a sidewalk inches from a racing car whizzing by and many are seated on their balconies. The whining engines can be heard reverberating off the buildings throughout the three days and it adds a sense of excitement to the city. The park is jammed with spectators and wave drivers past with hats and flags, but it is like a carnival with food and hand made wares booths all over.

I sat and watched part on my TV and then walked about four blocks up near the cemetery on a beautiful bright day. Festivities will be abundant for the next two weeks as Sucre celebrates 25 de Mayo and I can hardly wait for my next surprise here.

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