I’ve spent a good length of time in the gym this morning, working off some of the many excesses of a very enjoyable final MBCC meet of the year. No December meal because let’s face it, we’re all going to be in Struisbaai by that time.
Well, most of us.
This morning was a session of weights, kettlebells, stepping, spinning and sprinting. All the major bases covered then, and I’m still feeling remarkably fresh after it all. And it was required after appearances from Jack Black (and almost his mate Jack Daniels), Rupert and Rothschild, a superb ribeye steak, and goodnight prayers courtesy of Don Pedro.
What’s this? Oh, just the border post between Paraguay and Bolivia on the Ruta Nacionale 11. It looks like a rather uninspiring place. But it also looks like a place that exists.
“But, but” I hear you ejaculating, “If Paraguay has a border with Bolivia, then surely Bolivia has a border with Paraguay, no?”
Strange you should ask. Literally weird.
Yes, of course it does. 466 miles (750km) of it:
If you had better eyesight, you’d be able to see the tiny conurbation that is Mayor Infante Rivarola towards the horizon. One meteorological station, and – somewhat implausibly – it’s own aeródromo. But your eyesight isn’t that good. So you’ll just have to take my – and Google Maps – word for it.
That’ll be R2000, please.
It’s not always been so dull and quiet there though:
A border dispute between Paraguay and Bolivia existed for 74 years. The dispute, which began with the Chaco War (1932-1935), is believed to be related to a large oil reserve that both countries wanted to control. Paraguay eventually won control of approximately 66% of the entire region (about 22,000 square miles of land). The war, supported by two opposing oil companies, is remembered as the deadliest encounter of the twentieth century in South America. Over 70 years passed before any petroleum was located, and the discovery occurred in an area that was declared as part of Bolivia after the war.
I – as I think we all were – was well aware of the border between these two countries, but knew less about the war. It wasn’t nice. (Wars aren’t, generally.)
Humph. Typical Czechoslovakia sticking their noses in where they had no business. Will they ever learn?
Apparently, some of their veterans from World War I advised the Bolivians and helped supply them with weapons. They replaced a German general, Hans Kundt. No comment.
Anyway, it didn’t end well for any of them, as you can see above.
Fortunately, Bolivia and Paraguay (neighbouring countries which share a border) now exist in peaceful harmony.