Cochabamba, home to the largest Jesus statue in the world!

As in every South American city, we headed to a market the following day, but it wasn’t a market we were expecting. I thought they would be selling more indigenous items but it was more westernized things. On our way to the market we heard a lot of loud noises on the street, which we later learned were university students rioting. They were throwing tear gas and lighting trash cans on fire throughout the city. Thankfully, we were far enough away from the action. After the market we walked to the Cristo de la Concordia, a statue of Christ modeled after the one in Rio but taller, therefore making it the largest Jesus statue in the world. On our search for saltenas (a pastry filled with a spicy, juicy stew of either meat or chicken with vegetables, olives, and a hard-boiled egg) we found an outdoor market that we explored before heading back to the hostel. We headed to the bus station where we thought we would catch a night bus to Sucre, but they ended up being sold out. We were then convinced that we could take a bus to Oruro arriving at 4:00 am, where we could then catch a bus to Sucre leaving from Oruro at 6:00 am. We got fooled though, there was no bus in the morning to Sucre only night buses leaving from Oruro and that wasn’t the worst part. Our bus to Oruro, which was supposed to take only 4 hours, ended up being 15 due to road blockage as a result of the protests that were going on in Bolivia. Farima, Dan, and I were stuck on the bus in one spot for 9 hours, in the freezing cold. The views from where we were parked for the time being, were actually quite beautiful with snow-capped mountains surrounding us. After a few hours though, we were over the view and just wanted to get moving already. Also, since there was no bathroom on the bus, you needed to go outside in the snow where pretty much everybody could see you from their cars or buses; it was not an ideal situation to say the least.

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We finally arrived in Oruro around 1 pm and bought tickets for the 7 pm bus to Sucre. We watched the Champions League final at a hotel bar to kill the time and then boarded our night bus to Sucre, which would take another 9 hours. We finally arrived in Sucre and went to the first hostel (Gringo’s Rincon) that had rooms and beds available that early in the morning.

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