Florencio the AMAZING prosthetist from Funprobo lives in Cochabamba and had really kindly (and excitedly) agreed to give us the locals tour and as we landed at the airport him, his wife and family, and friends, all gave us the warmest greeting to his ‘tierra’.
He had organised everything and we were treated like gringo royalty for the entire trip. We already think Florencio is a bit of a legend but seeing him in his own town shows that everyone else thinks so too! He’d arranged his friend (who owned a taxi) to be our driver for the 3 days so we were chauffeured everywhere! We dropped our bags off in a beautiful appt just near prado and were whisked straight off for lunch. Well……we’d heard the rumours anout Cochabamba being the food capital of Bolivia but WOW was if true!! Lu and John shared a Pique Macho which was meant as a sharing plate for two but could have easily fed a family of four! I had trout which could have fed that family of fours extended family as well!!
The Cristo statue is the biggest in the world! It is 3m bigger than the Rio de Janeiro one because the Brazilians built the statue at 30m to represent the 30yrs Jesus was alive, the Cochabambinos thought Jesus was alive for a few more years so added a few more metres! The statue was phenomenal, beautifully made, beautifully cared for and located with the most amazing panorama to look out over. We were lucky enough to get there just at sunset so had the most breathtaking views day, sunset and with all the city lit up at night.
It turned out they weren’t kidding about more food and off we all went to an amazing grill, met even more of his beautiful family and 4hrs after the last epic meal we were chomping down cheesy rice, corn, potato and chicken/meat from an epic BBQ.
The next day we were picked up by our chauffeur (?!) and headed out for breakfast at the best place in town! Breakfast consisted of meat, potato, cheesy rice, veggies and a huge bowl of soup to put it all in. It was delicious! Then we went to meet an American guy Florencio had met who is starting up a charity for amputees in Cochabamba, and Florencio being the legend that he is was also helping this guy with the first lot of patients coming through. We then popped into Florencio’s old work and met all his previous team and you could see the admiration and respect they all have for him, not to mention that he built pretty much all their equipment in the gym!
Then we were invited to Bismarcks house for lunch. Bismarck also works with us at Funprobo so it was amazing to meet his family. For lunch we had chicken, cheesy rice, potatoes and veggies……..also delicious……also huge!!
That evening even though we thought we’d never move again we were picked up to head to the family park for the Cochabamba daily light show. We were expecting a few lights and some fountains……but wow!! We got so so much more than that!!
They actually show a whole amazing short film about Cochabamba, with traditional music, dresses, instruments against a stream of water that is ultimately a water screen! It was the most amazing show!! After the light show all the locals run and play in the fountains. As they are locals and smarter than us they also all bring a change of clothes and a towel!! We decided not to run through the cold water in the dark as we hadn’t brought any of the additional things we needed! The light show was so cool and after that we finally collapsed full of food in preparation for one more day of eating before we went back to La Paz!