Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cochabamba

(to be sung to the tune of the flintstones song)

Last weekend I neglected to update the blog (at least with pictures) because I was hard at work in the city of Cochabamba. I won't get into the work part of the trip because I'm still a little rusty on the rules about that sort of thing. But I did want to share all the adventures I had in my free time.


So. Cochabamba. Have you ever heard of it? My guess is no, and so you might be surprised to know that Cochabamba is home to a sight that will look pretty familiar.
That's right! It's a big Jesus on a hill! Just like in Rio de Janeiro. BUT this big Jesus is actually the tallest in the world. It's a bit of a surprise in this dusty town in the middle of Bolivia, but as long as I was in town I had to go see it. Especially since I discovered how much the visa fee is for Brazil and decided not to do a long weekend in Rio after all.
You get to the top in these cute little tram things.

Then it takes about ten minutes (and I'm being generous) to circle the statue and get some good shots.*
I wonder if Cristo Redentor is also kind of a disappointingly short trip?

Anyway, after Cochabamba me and the work people took a very long bus ride. First we stopped at some Inca ruins, called Incallajta. There were lots of facts that they shared about these ruins, of which I don't remember anything (sorry). They are pretty extensive, but not nearly as well preserved (so I hear) as Machu Picchu. Still, if you're looking for something a bit further from the beaten path this is it. It's so deep into the middle of nowhere that we met zero foreigners at the ruins. So thanks to the embassy for giving me a cultural experience I definitely wouldn't have had otherwise!

Finally we made it to our destination, the city of Totora. It's a colonial city with beautiful architecture. I would have loved to take half an hour and photograph every building in town, but you know, work happened. Anyway, I managed to get a few shots as I was running back and forth through town.

Mostly I took pictures of people though. (With permission, of course.) I'll have to post more pictures when I'm back in the states with super awesome internet.



So there you go! My first 'authentic' small town Bolivian experience.  I had a great time, froze myself into a popsicle, and learned a lot about the power of diplomacy.

I love my job. ;)

This weekend is (thankfully) set aside to rest and do some more celebrating for the 4th of July. I worked the embassy events (yes there were two, and today is the third) on the actual 4th, so I'm excited to have a chance to just chill and enjoy the company of all my intern and officer friends. Happy Independence Day!

*I have no idea why there are holes all over the statue. I'm guessing it's a structural thing, but don't take my word for that.

1 comment:

  1. In Rio you are at the tallest peak, so you get the view of the WHOLE city, you can see out for miles and miles and miles... So you're not there just for the statue (which is huge -- this one doesn't look any bigger, I wouldn't be surprised if it's bigger just by a couple of inches), but you also go for the view! Definitely not disappointing!

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