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Mat and Vendy's travels

Crazy Cochabamba

BOLIVIA | Thursday, 21 August 2008 | Views [591]

We arrived in Cochabamba not really knowing what to expect from this town, as it isn´t even mentioned in one of our guide books.

It has the biggest Jesus Christ statue in the world (bigger than the one in Rio) but I heard that the one in Rio is bigger if you include its base - but like one of our fellow travellers said, anyone can build a base!

So on our first day we walked up to the statue, and surveyed the city from the mountain. It looked bigger up there, and there was a cable car which wasn't running (but we did see the maintenance team riding on the roof of a cable car - maybe its a new extreme sport!)

After that we went to the market, the biggest in South America but we have all had enough of markets after La Paz. I bought a fake puma cap, and that was about it. Then we looked around the centre which wasn't too special and then went to relax around the pool. (Yes although the hotel was very strange it did have a little pool-more details when I see you)

The best part about this townis the fact that there are so few tourists. People don't seem to know what to make of you, and children were openly staring at us in the street!

After seeing everything in town on day 1 we decided to take a hiking trip on day 2. 7 of us set out next morning with a driver and 2 guides in a car designed for 8 people! It was a squash and what was weird was that none of them seemd to know where we were going, and the english guide kept talking to us in Spanish.

After 20 mins we pulled up in a small village and one man jumped out and went to a small house, coming back with a machete we were a bit worried! Finally after 1.5 hours we stopped at a lake and we thought this was where we´d go hiking. We got out and took some photos and then got back in the car. At this point the men were all having fun, and we felt like passengers on their road trip!

In another hour we stopped again at a trout farm and they told us this was where we´d have lunch. ´good´, I said ´but when do we walk?´

´Do you want to walk?´ they asked, ´yes´, we all replied.

And so the hiking began.

At this point the day got much better, we walked through woods and jungle, saw pigs, chickens, dogs, and even made friends with one dog who followed us all the way. We stopped to paddle in the river and then went to cross the inca bridge, which actually collapsed a long time ago and has been rebuilt. At this point, our dog friend was too scared to cross by himself and one of the guides went bck to rescue it, and carried it across.

After this we went for a fresh trout lunch which was very nice, and they got us back to town just in time for a wash ready to catch our night bus.

The journey back made me realise how imaginiative the drivers are here, as they see lanes which don't exist and overtake in places where we would consider it impossible!

All this considered, I think the drivers pay a lot of attention to whats going on around them - and I think they need to!


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