A couple weeks back we went out to the country side with some friends from the school we work at to visit a little get away “resort” in Balthali Village. We were dropped off by van and hiked in a couple miles to get to the lodging. Unfortunately, it w as still monsoon season, so we didn’t get to see any of the wondrous views of the big mountains that this end of the valley boasts, but there was still a great deal for the eyes to soak in. There were a couple of burma style bridges to cross, first there was the big one. The image can’t convey the roughly 250 meter drop that it spans. The second smaller bridge emptied out in a little valley lush with rice crops.
The “Little” Bridge
We also came across some beautiful elders along the way that seemed very happy to see us climbing up to the village.
The view looking down from one of the “hills” down onto the location of the lodging where we spend the weekend on top of another hill, along with an image of the paths and terracing of the rice fields below the “resort” where we stayed. Hunter and I had great fun “adventuring” on the trails around the lodge.
The “Big” Bridge With Prayer Flags
Cristo de la Concordia – Christ of Peace
Cristo de la Concordia – the largest Christ statue in the world*
Our son, Hunter, has a fascination with the musical Jesus Christ Superstar that boarders on obsession. So, yesterday we climbed up to the Cristo de la Concordia to visit the monument and appreciate the panoramic views it offers of the entire valley of Cochabamba. I first visited the Cristo in 1994 before it was completed, and we go up to the monument every time we visit Bolivia. At the top of the mountain you will see tourists from all over the globe visiting so they can include the tallest, most massive (2,000 tons+) and highest elevated (≈2,800 meters) Christ monument in the world to their bucket lists.
*The fair people of Poland (and others) will argue that their “Christ the King” monument is the tallest in the world, but the defenders of the faith in Bolivia will argue that the three meter crown placed upon the head of the Polish Cristo shouldn’t count because Christ only worn a crown of thorns. It is akin to counting communication towers as the height of a building. some say. See “The Tallest Statues of Jesus Christ” for more details.
Categories: Andes, Bolivia, Cochabamba, mountains, travel
Tags: Andes, Bolivia, Christ Statue, Cochabamba, Cristo de la Concordia, Jesus Christ, mountain, travel
A vista of the mountains from the balcony of the house in Cochabamba
A few days ago, we awoke to the sight of the northern peaks that surround Cochabamba covered in an alabaster blanket. I captured the above photo from the balcony of the house in the morning. The week after we arrived in Cochabamba, cold moist air from the south pushed its way over the Andes. By “south” I mean the antarctic. These winds bring frigid weather to southern Argentina and Chile but don’t often make it up and over the southern peaks of the Andes into the Valley of Cochabamba. When they do the results can be seen here. These peaks are normally free of snow, and it’s a special treat to see the beautiful contrasts the snow creates on the mountain peaks among Cerro Tunari. The peaks seen here range in elevations from about 13,000 to 15,000 feet. Living below them is a comforting and humbling experience. The photo below was taken later in the same day from a different part of the valley.
El Tunari, Cochabamba, Bolivia – June 26, 2013
Categories: Andes, Bolivia, Cochabamba, mountains, travel, Tunari
Tags: Andes, Bolivia, cerro tunari, Cochabamba, mountain, travel
When we travel to Bolivia, the first stop is Aeropuerto El Alto. Flights from the U.S. land in the early morning and during the winter one can expect the temperature to be about freezing; if you arrive in the summer, expect temperatures to be about freezing. The airport sits at an altitude of just over 4,000 meters (13,000ft+). That places travelers at an altitude just about 1,000 feet lower than the highest mountains in the continental US. Altitude sickness (soroche) is common and visitors from sea level can be identified by their pale faces and bluish lips. But, after you get through customs, there are the mountains of the Cordillera Real range to greet you rising to over 6,000 meters, Illimani has a greater elevation than any mountain in North America at over 21,000 feet.
Huayna Potosi is another of the mountains that dominate the horizon in La Paz rising to an elevation over 20,000 feet.
Categories: Andes, Bolivia, Cordillera Real, Illimani, travel, Uncategorized
Tags: Andes, Bolivia, El alto, Huayna Potosi, Illimani, La Paz, mountain, travel