Cochabamba street art.

On the way back from Toro Toro National Park we decided to stop in Cochabamba for a few days, seeing that we had to pass through it on the way to La Paz anyway. Besides, we had been told that it was Bolivia’s food capital! Sold! Synchronicity!  How I love it! We had only just arrived and found ourselves in the central plaza discussing potential places to stay, when we were greeted by Raquel.  We had recently met Raquel and her husband in Samaipata.  Lovely people, Raquel is a batik artist and Roy Querejazu Lewis is a university professor and Andean rock art specialist. Raquel invited us over for lunch the following day.

After lots of walking  and checking of places (I am very fussy, I know!) we finally ended up at Hostal Colonial.  The owners were never going to win the hospitality award, but it was a quiet, safe and comfortable place, which would serve us well for a few days.  Good eating, relaxing and reading.  A few years ago my wonderful friend, Linda Drew, gave me Eduardo Galeano’s The Open Veins of Latin America to read. A book which analyses Latin America as a whole, I believe it’s a must read for all Latinos and indeed anyone who is passionate about Latin America and its history.  So, I bought the book in Spanish and thought I’d give it a crack!  Amazing reading!

The next few days were really just about chilling out, eating good food, drinking good coffee (Bolivia has really impressed us!), partaking in one of my favourite pastimes (visiting markets, of course) and simply taking in the city sights.

Almost at the top!

We visited the Cristo de la Concordia, which effectively looks like Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.  We caught a cable car to the top of Cerro (hill) de San Pedro, where the statue sits atop of and were offered sweeping views of Cochabamba and its surrounds. And here’s a bit of information; both statues are 33 metres tall because Christ supposedly died when he was 33 years old.  After some chill in’ at the top, we took our time walking down.

 

 

It’s a good life at the top!

 

View from the top!
More sweeping views from the top.

Meanwhile, back at the bottom, we did some exploring of the city!

A variety of potatoes!

 

Looking up to Cristo de la Concordia.

 

Cochabamba’s central plaza by night.

 

Street art; what some had to say about the church!

 

Cochabamba’s central plaza by night.

 

Bolivian weavings.

 

Veggies anyone?

 

Local bus.

 

Gorgeous little boy, sadly begging!
With Roy, Raquel and Mariel.

The highlight of our stay in Cochabamba was our lunch with Roy, Raquel and Raquel’s daughter
Mariel. We had a wonderful time chatting about a multitude of things from politics to the many books Roy has written on rock art.  He has even published a book on Bolivian flora.  He gifted us two books and signed them both.  These are the magical travellers minties moments!

Alex and Roy having a beer.

 

Roy’s work in an Australian Rock Art journal.

 

The girls; Raquel, Mariel and I.

After a few truly wonderful days, it was time to move on.  La Paz awaited us!  I wondered how much it would have really changed since my last time here in 1999?  But then I suppose a lot has changed since then!  Last time I was in Bolivia I was only weeks away from meeting my soul mate and the love of my life in Ecuador.  We have now forged a brilliant life together and are exploring the continent of his birthplace together.  Ain’t life grand!

Ombi

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”. – Michelangelo

Next:  La Paz you did not fail to impress!

Always ready to take a good shot!

 

A room with a view, cable car to the Christ.

 

One of Cochabamba’s many plazas.

 

Not everybody is having fun!

Goodbye coffee with Raquel.

Dedication: To Raquel and Roy.  Meeting people like you is what makes our trip truly special!  Thanks for offering us your friendship and an insight to your country that no guidebook could ever do. 
Dedicación: Para Raquel y Roy.  Encontrar gente como ustedes es lo que hace que nuestro viaje sea verdaderamente especial.  Gracias por brindarnos su amistad y darnos una mirada adentro de su país que ninguna guía de viajes te pudiese haber dado.





 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Ombi and Alex