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fiftynotes San Vicente - A travel report by Mark
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San Vicente,  Bolivia - flag Bolivia -  Potosí
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fiftynotes's travel reports

On the trail of Butch and Sundance.

  15 votes
Kid, the next time I say let`s go someplace like Bolivia, lets go someplace like Bolivia! Paul Newman from the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The old trail Huaca Huanusca
The old trail Huaca Huanusca
Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker) and the Sundance Kid (Harry Alonzo Longabaugh) were American bank and train robbers, after pulling a number of jobs in the US and being trailed by the Pinkerton detective agency decided to head for South America. They originally arrived in Argentina and bought a ranch by the Rio Blano in Chubut's Cholila Valley in the early 1900's.

Favourite spots:
The robbery site
The robbery site
By the 1908 they thought they would pull one more job to finance there retirement and headed to Bolivia to rob a poorly gaurded pay roll of the Aramayo, Frencke and Compania in Tupiza. The pay roll was to have been $480,000 and Butch and Sundance lay in wait for it at a hill called Huaca Huanusca (dead cow hill). On November 3 1908 the manager of the company, Carlos Pero, his son and a servant were following the old trail over the hill to the river, at the river Butch and Sundance were waiting for them and relieved them of a mule and the pay roll which turned out to be just $90,000

What's really great:
San Vicente travelogue picture
Dispirited Butch and Sundance headed for San Vicente and on arrival on November 6th they rented a room from Bonifacio Casasola and ordered supper. By this time the word was out and the army and police were on the lookout for the robbers, a four man posse arrived in San Vicente and went to investigate. On entering the courtyard Butch shot and killed one of the posse and the posse returned fire, badly wounding Butch and Sundance, who then took cover in there room.

San Vicente cemetry
San Vicente cemetry
The posse was joined by a local police man and they lay siege to the room, throughout the night sporadic gunfire was exchanged between the posse and Butch and Sundance. Relizing there was no escape Butch put Sundance out of his misery with a shot between the eyes and them turned the gun on himself with a shot to the temple. They were buried in the San Vicente grave yard.

San Vicente church
San Vicente church
San Vicente is a 4 hour drive over very rough roads from Tupiza in a 4x4, and is at an altidude of 4800m about 3 miles above sea level. The mine has now been re-opened by a Canadian company and the locals now benifit with a school, good health care and very good wages comparred to the rest of Bolivia.

Gustav Zimmer's grave
Gustav Zimmer's grave
In 1991 a team of forensic anthropologists were led to a grave supposadly to be Butch and Sundance by an elderly local. After extensive digging the team came across only one occupant that turned out to be a German miner named Gustav Zimmer.

Published on Wednesday June 25th, 2008

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Mon, Jun 30 2008 - 04:09 AM rating by marianne

very nice story and good photos

Sun, Jun 29 2008 - 09:50 AM rating by eirekay

Nicely done! fULL OF GOOD INFO!

Thu, Jun 26 2008 - 11:23 PM rating by nannos

You made it!! Well done mate, great story....looking forward to all the photos when I see you next!! Cheers Steve

Thu, Jun 26 2008 - 03:05 PM rating by rangutan

An adventurous true-life story. Well done!

Thu, Jun 26 2008 - 01:47 PM rating by bineba

Very unusual, but fascinating travel report. Well done!
(will have to watch the film again soon!)

Thu, Jun 26 2008 - 09:36 AM rating by mistybleu

Nice story; well I've never heard it before.

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