Saturday, 19 April 2014

Cochabamba: A Yellow Palace for the Tin Man

I had a huge break from my blog since last week, mainly because we were in the amazon jungle which was absolutely great! Back in civilisation now and trying to catch up.

The roads in Bolivia are so long and windy and bumpy that we decided to break up the mammoth trip between Santa Cruz and La Paz by taking a rest in Cochabamba.

We decided to stay at the Las Lilas Hostel. It was a little out of the way, every taxi driver had serious trouble finding it, which drove us a little crazy, BUT the garden was amazing! It was so big, and the weather was really bright, it reminded me of being sat in a garden at home on a Summer's day. Not to mention they had a pretty impressive dog, although he was incredibly stupid and would shake whenever he got excited!
Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Unfortunately. it was still the tail end of Carnaval, and people were prowling around in pick up trucks, with plenty of passengers in the back, laden with water balloons. Because of the problem with the taxis I mentioned above, it was easier to catch a local trufis, which is kind of like a people carrier which pick people up on the way to their destination. These trufis were few and far between, leaving us stranded on the pavement side, waiting for the trufis and also waiting to be pelted by water balloons!

Trying to keep it cheap, we spent a long time wandering the streets. Although every plan we made seemed to fail us somehow. The teleferico to the San Cristobel monument was under construction, the lake we planned to walk around felt pretty dodgy, and lots of shops were closed because of carnaval.
Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba
The highlight of our time here was definitely relaxing in the garden of The Tin Baron, Simon PatiƱo's, house. The Tin Baron decided to try and make it rich by buying a mine and digging for silver. Sadly he didn't find anything and was almost broke when he hit gold, or more literally tin. This was back in the WW1 days when tin was in big demand. He used his money to buy lots more mines and became one of the wealthiest men alive. To show his status he built this yellow mansion. Sadly, he never got to enjoy his palace as he had a heart attack before it was finished and was told not to return to Bolivia as he was in Paris at the time. I'm just happy that at least the public get to enjoy it now a days.
Cochabamba
Cochabamba
Cochabamba
After an afternoon of reading in his gardens, we popped next door to the Turksish restaurant and had some delicous kebabs for dinner.
Cochabamba
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