A day trip to the Municipality of Arque in the central highlands of Cochabamba , site of the death of former President General René Barrientos and old train station(1day)

Arque he was a former railway station on the road between Cochabamba and Oruro , when running the national railway company ENFE of Bolivia until 1996 he was transferred to private capital and to be a stretch to many landslides that ruined the railroad decided now stop and transit by land

The town of Arque is 120 kilometers from the city of Cochabamba. In full main square is a house in the fifteenth century in its wall has written the phrase ” house built in 1522 ” supposedly by the Spaniards when they invaded the territory of America, in the place that is now Arque , looking for precious and semi-precious and surrounded by old trees that were planted 200 years ago minerals. Arque is a town where traditions and customs are respected, the church is one of the oldest in Bolivia . At 6 in the morning until before 7am bells ring to call people to the celebration of Mass . In this church is the birthplace of the Madonna Rosario , whose feast day is celebrated 6 to 9 October with the visit of many Catholics. On the feast of the Madonna Rosary devoutly observed through dances and folk groups . The holidays can enjoy all the local cuisine , one of the typical dishes of beans stew ( pejtu ) , tamales or humintas to the pot, broken wheat with no cream cheese ( Phiri ) , the whole rabbit fried, fake rabbit, chicken chanka , all accompanied by the delicious chicha prepared on site .

Arque is at the head of the valley, is situated right near the middle of the canyon between two hills that make gloomy or dark. Arque founding dates back to the originating indigenous Challacollo , delegation of Paria province of La Plata in the Spanish colonial era . Arque passes near the river ” Colcha ” . Farms established in the colonial era and later in republican times leverage the strength of the waters of the ” Colcha ” river , the Arque river , the river Wallia to operate the stone mills installed on farms to grind wheat produced in the region and then to make the traditional bread Arque and exquisite pies with sweet lacayote or pumpkin.

Near the town of Arque they are also Cerro Grande mine , mine and mine Berenguela Tujsuma where the tin for export , besides other minerals are exploited .

Arque has the hot springs of ” Cabracancha ” and ” Quilt ” with medicinal properties. To get there you can enjoy the lush landscape valluno .

Another attraction in Arque are the ruins of Inca Pucara ( Callajchullpa ) .

To please the researchers in the fields zoology , biology and environment in the town of Arque dominated the hare , rat, mouse, vizcacha , weasel, fox, these species are indicators of ecological balance in the area. For ornithologists , biologists , environmentalists and naturalists , Arque is a paradise of wild birds like partridge , tarajchi ( bird appropriates the oven built by another bird called baker or tiluchi so that when the builder arrives and sees invaded the nest, top entry , leaving locked up and buried the bird invader Tarajchi ) , eagle , hawk, wild pigeon ( Juruk’utitas ) are birds that exist in greater proportion. In all the homes of the residents of Arque is inevitable chicken and duck as domestic birds, which then provide the delicious meat to prepare the delicious typical food.

Arque also known as a historic site by the tragic death of General René Barrientos at the age of 50, President of the Republic of Bolivia, on 27 April 1969. On leaving the town of Arque once his presidential activity it was over, when his helicopter began its promotion, a telegraph cable became entangled in the propeller and sent the ship down. The fire consumed the helicopter and those traveling by helicopter. Barrientos died in this, as well as the service aide and the pilot. The helicopter was led by Lieutenant Estívariz Carlos Cardozo, an expert helicopter pilot and just why he was chosen to lead on their trips to the President of the Republic. That day beside the pilot was General Aviation President René Barrientos, also experienced pilot in dangerous places geography. The ship should have raised flight and took the proper height, about 100 or 200 meters to climb the hills and go to Tacopaya no risk.

The width of the canyon where the casualty occurred from hill to hill , is 250 meters. The telegraph poles planted on both sides of the creek is about 25 meters from the river bank, which means that between pole and pole was within 300 meters or so . This distance is impossible for a telegraph wire or wire either remain rigidly taut , that is in perfect horizontal line as a tightrope rope . Chances are that the cable , as any cables that crosses a considerable distance cannon , has a pronounced curvature. Then the height between the lower part of the curvature and the river bed is lower than the tops of the cable.

There are different versions to narrate what happened that Sunday April 27 , 1969. One version says that the height between the catenary wire telegraph and the river bed was already 12 meters long 14 meters. Currently on the bed of this stream there are countless cables, all thickness , crossing it from end to end at a height that does not exceed 15 meters , something which can be checked by anyone who visits the place .

” When the helicopter was found about a kilometer and a half of the take-off , the base of the rotor suddenly collided with a telegraph cable in that place across the ravine between two hills at a height of 20 meters above sea level floor, apparently succeeded cable fracture the essential mechanism of the rotor and the helicopter fell sharply to earth on fire immediately. ”

This means that if the helicopter blades tangled in telegraph cable , the body of the ship had to be at least two meters below. If the cable being 12 meters high , the body of the helicopter was 10 meters high. But , if the height of the cable was 14 meters, the body of the ship in time of the crash, was 12 meters tall.

It was an event of great impact , because besides the General René Barrientos had generated great enemies and because of the guerrilla Ñancahuazú , and the murder of Che Guevara had given him international fame.

Officially considered death as a result of an accident, although not without several versions of foundation , talk of a criminal attack . In both cases there will always be doubt and mystery that seem to confirm .

It is known that the death of General Barrientos is one of thirteen violent deaths of Presidents of the Republic of Bolivia , which records the political history by placing the first country in the Americas in this area.

To spend a day hiking in Arque the central highlands of Cochabamba. We leave early from Cochabamba city after breakfast. After three hours of traveling the main square of Arque is reached , the beautiful church of the Madonna Rosario , whose feast day is celebrated 6 to 9 October with the visit of many Catholics will visit . There is also a visit to the house built in 1522. In Arque is inevitable lunch with local dishes like fried whole rabbit, rabbit false , chanka chicken , accompanied by exquisite chicha prepared on site

After a lunch the output is ready to see the place of the death of General René Barrientos about the Arque River , checking the lengths of the research reports of the clash of propellers with telegraph cables Recalling the events of 27 April 1969 and the biography of President René Barrientos . Within the Municipality of Arque we passed the ruins of the Pucara Inca fortress or ( Callajchullpa ) . Then departure to the hot springs of ” Colcha ” where you can swim and enjoy the medicinal waters. Then visitors enter expltocación sites of Tin Mines of Cerro Grande , Berenguela and Tujsuma . Then you are ready to return via ” Pongo ” to Cochabamba.

The cost of the tour includes :

Private transportation for the round trip
Food (breakfast, lunch)
Refreshments or Snack during walks (water and fruit)
Visits to tourist attractions mentioned
Interaction with the locals to take pictures , ride in the place of death of the former President of the Republic General René Barrientos , Inca ruins of Pucara , thermal waters of ” Colcha ” Tin Mines in Cerro Grande , Berenguela and Tujsuma , arrival ” Pongo ”
Depending on the language of the visitors, there is a guide in Spanish , French , English, German , Dutch, Italian , Portuguese.

The cost of the trip does not include:

Mosquito repellent
Barrier cream against sunburn
Hat sunscreen
Thick and warm clothes against the cold and wind
Extra walking shoes in case they get wet or embarren first walking shoes
Socks, towel , swimsuit
Clothing and personal protective equipment to enter the mines ( or guardatojo helmet , gloves, boots, flashlight)

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