Ola B(rrr)olivia!

Cochabamba Travel Blog

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A very fine Harley

After taking the bone shaking 'Death Train' and a bus ride I arrived in Cochabamba, a day ahead of schedule, after some tough decision making about my itinerary I decided in order to fit everything in I really wanted to do and give myself enough time I had to cut out Samiapata and miss out on the pre-Incan ruins at el Fuerte as well as the Che Guevara trail at Vilha Grande. I justified these painful emissions from trip with the thought that I was going to see Macchu Picchu after all and that I have already been to Santa Clara in Cuba to see Che's monument as well as trekking the Sierra Miestra.

After arriving in Santa Cruz it was another frustrating day of hanging around waiting for my night bus to Cochabamba, you can't really however get uptight about transport when travelling though as it's just the way it is.

Local woman at the market in Cochabamba
I didn't even leave the bus station in Santa Cruz as I'd heard it wasn't a particular beautiful or safe city so I just hung around with my new Peruvian friends as Oliver had decided he was going to Vilha Grande to visit Che's last stand. I managed to take a tepid shower at the train station and filled the rest of the day chatting, eating and typing my blog.

I finally got to Cochabamba around 5am, i wasn't sure if the hostel would be open or how safe it was to wander around at that time so I took a cab. After 5-10 minutes of the taxi driver pressing the doorbell then battering the door down, I was greeted by the owner who was suprisingly chipper and friendly given the unsociable hour. It felt so good to get into bed after two days sleeping on buses and trains and after a few hours sleep and a lovely (if embarassingly cheap) breakfast I ventured back to the bus station to find out about buses to Sucre, these turned out to be only in the evening so I took the tough decision to move on again that night to give me more time there and in the rest of my preferred destinations.

I spent the day at the markets as Cochabamba is Bolivia's bigegst market town and I love markets! As I was going to miss out on Tarabuco's Sunday market, Cocha seemed like a good compromise, besides Cocha's market isn't a Gringo market and after last years experience at Chichi in Guatemala I wasn't too concerned about missing an overpriced tourist market, also I'd read La Paz is the place to shop. There wasn't much in the way of things to buy but it was interesting just to get my first experience of the local people and also the indegenious clothes worn by some of the women. I really enjoyed just wandering around and also  discovered the great fruit and food market where I had lunch and the biggest chocolate milkshake I think I've ever had, it was topped with fruit, cream and a wafer to boot, I took a photo I was so impressed.
I did manage though to pick up another hat to add to my collection and keep my ears warm (it's proved invaluable so far), its Llama or Alpaca motif screams "I've been to South America." 

After my dose of markets I headed up to witness Bolivia's answer to Christ The Reedemer (its apparenetly 3cm taller than its Brazilian counterpart, a case of one-upmanship perhaps?) and although it doesn't quite have the same magnificent setting as Rio, Cristo de la Concordia, as he's called, still had a great view and cute little cable cars to take you up to the top, the 1000 or so steps aren't recommended as people have been mugged going up them. It was also good to see what the statue looks like sans-scaffolding as its indetical to its Rio counterpart in form, maybe a sneaky bit of Photoshop is required to my Rio pics?

Later that day on my bus to Sucre the family curse of getting stuck next to the grossy overweight on modes of transport struck, as I got wedged in by a rather large man, why god? Why???? Thankfully for small mercies the fat man in question didn't at least snore his head off and I arrived in Sucre relatively unscathed at a more sociable hour of 7am.

 

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A very fine Harley
A very fine Harley
Local woman at the market in Cocha…
Local woman at the market in Coch…
Colourful fabrics on display at th…
Colourful fabrics on display at t…
The biggest milkshake I think I ha…
The biggest milkshake I think I h…
Christo...just like Rio only 3 ta…
Christo...just like Rio only 3" t…
The teeny cable cars that take you…
The teeny cable cars that take yo…
View over Cochabamba
View over Cochabamba
Down on terra firma
Down on terra firma
Cochabamba
photo by: jendara