Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.


One hour down the road (standing in the middle of the collectivo with my 47 lb bag the entire way) is Pisco (~110,000 people, sea level) at the heart of Peruvian wine (and pisco) production and the gateway to the “poor man’s Galapagos,” the Ballestas Islands.

Nothing developing world about this place.  “If you thought that last place was a dusty shithole…”  We took a moto-taxi to the “beach” where we found nothing but chained up hostels, angry stray dogs, and piles of rubble.  After walking 4 blocks and seeing nothing resembling civilized society, we started walking toward the ocean to sit down and make a plan.  A kid immediately rode out to us on his bike and said it wasn’t safe for us there; a gringo had been stabbed and robbed in the same place the day before.  Retreat.

We did manage to find a nicer hostel, but even there the sign on the heavily barred door said, “Do NOT purchase beer or water from the vendor across the street.”  Evacuate.

Total stop time: 35 minutes

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