Saturday, August 14, 2004

Off the Mountain to Cochabamba

I officially recommend they move the Embassy (all government officials take note!) to Cochabamba.  Just a quick 28 minute plane ride down the mountain to this town of about 600,000 people.  

View of the Alto Plano from the LaPaz Airport

Saturday morning our friends Daniela and Inez took FM and I up to the reservoir/dam for a picturesque view of the mountains and Lake Eden.  We stopped on the way at a roadside stand to have empanadas from some Bolivian Indians.  A staple food here, they are like the Bolivian version of a grilled cheese sandwich.  Very filling.

Lake Eden

Damn(ed) River

The rest of the day was spent go-kart racing (a nice display of male testosterone and bumper banging), bowling and imbibing large amounts of the local beer.

Sunday FM and I grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel and a cab to the Teleferico, which is the ski lift/gondola contraption that takes you to the top of the mountain where the Christo de Concordia is. This is the largest statue of Jesus in the world. Yes, even larger than in Rio at Sugar Loaf, just not quite as an impressive of a location. But, the view was lovely and the sun very warm. 

We had the option of climbing up the mountain to the Christo de Concordia, about 900+ steps, so of course we w

ent with the "teleferico" tram ride up the hill.  Lazy Americans.

The stairs not taken. . . 
Jesus Christo!
Views were the very best part

Our best estimate was that Jesus was around 6-7 stories high.  Pretty impressive except for all the holes in Him . . . must be to make Him wind resistant?

Returned to LaPaz Sunday night. The taxi ride down the mountain from the airport in La Paz is not so fun in the dark. I think I am getting more chicken as I age. Had the death grip on FM's knee most of the way. Someone should teach the Bolivians about guardrails! Anyway, arrived safe and sound, got a good nights sleep, and back to biz as usual. 

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