Alan’s Very Important (possibly) Facts about Bolivia, mostly, and some about Peru

Hairdressing Salons and Barbers.
Very, very few. Some found in Sucre. So that’s why the ladies wear hats of all sorts and braid their hair.

Traffic
In Cusco, junctions are controlled by police blowing whistles continually. It’s just dangerous. Other cities are built on the grid system…so many junctions simply seize up during rush hour.

Weather
Generally warm during day and cold at night….except in Amazonia where it’s hot hot hot.

Bolivia
Signs of Very strong growth in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

N.I.T.- Bolivia
Which is basically your TAX Number.
So what seems to happen is that individuals pay 13% on their income. There may be nil rates etc ..I can’t find out.
When you purchase items or services the vendor or provider gives you a receipt with your and his/her NIT.
You include in your tax return and get a credit for the tax (presumably similar to VAT).
Brilliant….removes the black economy in one swoop.

Means everyone needs to complete a tax return…but just think, all the TAX avoiders would have to pay TAX…so simple and with online TAX returns…

The tax Inspectors here in Bolivia make spot checks on businesses ..one strike is serious, the second the doors of the business are sealed!!!!

Restaurants
Good to Excellent

No McDonalds, Starbucks (seen In Peru) or Tescos ( just realised there is no real cafe culture here..so no Starbucks)

Evo Morales
President of Bolivia
Been in power since Early 2006. Up for reelection this month. Very likely to win. Has taken on the USA and the international multi-corporations.

Ollanta Humala
94th President of Peru. Next elections due in 2 years time.

Che Guevara
I think we all know where he was killed by the CIA.

Laundries
Be careful…ironing is clearly not a strong point in this part of the world.

La Paz
Hoping to solve traffic problems with cable cars…tube/metro not very practical

Back to “Driving”.
Our host’s son aged 14 years drove us back home. If you get stopped, it’s a small fine(?) to the policeman. You can take your official test at 16 yrs, but only drive in an emergency!

Buses
The buses in Peru were fine…well organised, on time and plenty of space..for long legs.
In Bolivia good organisation but roads slow and between towns/cities take hours and hours..up to 12hrs.

Bolivian Election
Presidential election due on 12 Oct..see above. Everyone over 18 yrs has to vote. When you have voted you get “receipt” which shows you are a good citizen. We understand your Bank can ask to see it. (In Peru you get fined if you don’t vote. Small amounts if you live in the countryside and much larger if you reside in the City.)
Election Day is Sunday…how sensible. Also we are told that sale of alcohol is banned the day before and many services Including airlines are suspend on ElectionDay.

Finally
The is a partial eclipse of the moon on 8 Oct here in the Americas. Hope to see, as much less light pollution here.
Which reminds me Bolivians have loads of gas which they export.
And 43 % of world’s Lithium is said to exist in Bolivia. Morales is apparently stopping the multi nationals from exploiting the resources. (The silver taken from Bolivia could have built a bridge to Paris. Or you could have used the bones of the miners. So said our guide Pablo)

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