by Jorge Sanchez - 10 months, 2 weeks ago
I had a whole day time to discover Cochabamba. I had bought a bus ticket that evening to La Paz. I first went on foot to the skirts of the town (Cochabamba is not very populated, just inhabited by about 650.000 souls) to admire the great statue of Jesus Christ on the top of a mountain. It was called Cristo de la Concordia and was higher than the famous Cristo de Corcovado in Río de Janeiro. I could have gone there in a gondola lift, but I would had spent most of the day and Cochabamba is rich in history (it was founded by the spaniards in the XVI century), so I sacrificed that sight for the sake of the cathedral, a palace and other tourist attractions. As usual, my first visit was to the religious places, such as the Cathedral de San Sebastián, then I entered the Palacio Portales through a fine garden, further on I walked to several historical areas, and finally, when I was hungry, I went to a famous restaurant where I could have for lunch very exotic dishes, especially rare animals like the jochi (a small rodent mammal that in Brazil is known as paka, and its consumption there is forbidden), cuy (guinea pig), and still other exotic animals. I ordered a local beer and went to the kitchen, to watch the animals; there were baby ducks, strange birds, jochi and cuy. Finally I ordered a cuy. Cuy is also very popular in Peru. In general, in cities by the Pacific Ocean in South America people love the ceviche, while in the mountains indian people prefer to eat meat, like cuy, or jochi. In the afternoon I continued discovering Cochabamba. It was sunday and there were musical groups singing in the central streets, so I had a festive day. At about 8PM I returned on foot to the bus station and traveled during the night to La Paz, where I arrived early the next morning.