I woke up still full this morning after our meat feast last night. We’ve only got today to explore Cochabamba as we’re planning on catching an overnight bus to Sucre tonight. To help digest the food from last night, we decided to walk around for a little bit and head towards San Pedro hill where Cristo de la Concordia sits upon, the largest Jesus Christ statue in the world. Yes, I repeat, the largest JC statue in the world, bigger than Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro!
Cristo de la Concordia standing on San Pedro hill
There are two options to get to the top of the hill. We could walk up the hundreds of steps (which we probably needed to after our hefty meal last night) or we could take a gondola. Wikitravel and the Lonely Planet warn travellers against walking up the stairs as its notorious for thefts. With this in mind, we decided to take the gondola. Plus, this would add to John’s list of “different types of transport we’ve been on” for the year.
Gondolas up to the big Jesus
The gondola ride took around 15 minutes or so and gave us a nice view of the city. Once at the top, we were dwarfed by the size of the statue. Cristo de la Concordia is 40.44 metres (132.7 ft) high. The surrounding area was quite peaceful and gave us a good opportunity to take some photos of the city.
Me and John standing in front of JC
Great view of the city
You may also notice that Cristo de la Concordia has numerous holes along his body which looked a bit like bullet holes from where we were standing. After spending around 20 minutes, a door appeared to open at the base of Jesus and a man came up to me and was like you can go inside. I was like, really?! I was a bit dubious but it turns out, you can! We followed the spiral staircases up and could get as high as his chest and arms. The little holes which we could see from below provided lookout points for us.
A view from inside Jesus
I stayed inside Jesus whilst John ran down to take a photo of me inside Jesus’ shoulder
After exploring Jesus, we were getting a bit peckish so we headed back into town and grabbed something to eat and explored one of the biggest markets in Bolivia. It was also a really nice day so we had a midday ice cream break. South American ice cream is actually very very tasty!