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

Peru

Reflections on Cusco

Reflections on Cusco

First, let me admit that I have been way too occupied (some may say “fucked up,” but they are lying, Mom) to write and have been incredibly hard on myself about it. And yet, I wouldn’t take back a single day of what I have been able to experience here. Cusco is not just a […]


Election Time!

Election Time!

With local and regional elections last weekend, the past two weeks have been absolute madness in Peru, particularly in Cusco Province because of recent “disputes” (putting it mildly) over natural gas and water resources.  As a student of politics, there is always something fascinating about the mechanics and process of elections in any country I […]


Pisac

Pisac

  Below is a “clean” piece that I wrote for a local travel agency.  I apologize in advance for the lack of vulgarity and crudeness.  (Oh, and the chess comment is a bit of “creative license.”  I will crush you given the opportunity…)         After living in Cusco for two months, I […]


Bar Stories

Bar Stories

First Night When Michael approached me about taking over the bar for a few months, my very first objection was that I didn’t want to clean up someone’s vomit in the bathroom.  It’s a bar!  It’s bound to happen, right??  “Oh no, that never happens here.  It’s just not that kind of place.  Besides, Rich […]


The Nut

After a 20 year “interruption” living life as I was raised to live it, I feel again those same things I did when I was first out of the house and on my own.  So alive, so vibrant, so energized by all the people I meet.  Strong, unstoppable. Limitless energy and potential.  And so fucking […]


The Lost City

The Lost City

First off, since it looks like I’m going to be staying in Peru for an extended period (more on that later…), it seems appropriate to change the title header on my blog.  If you translate the page into Spanish, “The Shining Path” becomes “El Sendero Luminoso,” which also happens to be the name of a […]


Cusco V

Cusco V

I’m sitting in the café trying to write this and the hottest local girl I’ve seen is sitting next to me trying to talk to me about movies.  In Españolish.  This relationship doesn’t have legs, but we can sit here and pretend to communicate for as long as she is willing…nothing but time…  And I’d […]


Cusco IV

Cusco IV

I actually got sucked in by “Hotel California” even though I knew it was way too early for that.  Now I’m sitting here listening to a Peruvian “rock band” try to make the gringos shake it.  Not sure that I’ve ever seen anyone dance to “Another Brick in the Wall” in The States, but they’re […]


Living in South America

Living in South America

I’ve had some questions via email that I thought the answers might be good to share with everyone:   How is the food? Overall, Peruvian food is quite good.  At first, the omnipresence of chicken and potatoes is a bit overwhelming, but it’s easy enough to work around it.  The Peruvians claim to have over […]


Cusco III

Cusco III

I returned to Cusco (~350,000 people, ~10,800 feet) ecstatic to finally be on my own schedule.  The prior six weeks had been amazing, but also exhausting trying to keep the train on the tracks…to put it delicately.  Time to settle down for a bit, right?  I made it to town, dropped my bag at the […]


Arequipa/Colca Canyon

Arequipa/Colca Canyon

The cold bug that hit me in Puno proceeded to kick my ass for 10 days.  It got so bad (I know you want to know how bad) that I had big green boogers coming out my eyeballs.  One night, I had to get up and wash my face in order to open my right […]


Puno/Lake Titicaca

Puno/Lake Titicaca

I didn’t have high expectations for Puno (~110,000 people, ~13,000 ft, Rubble Alert Level: Beige) based on the piece-of-shit guidebook, but it turned out to be a very nice little town.  It’s a bit off the gringo trail, so life seems to go on a little more as normal.  It’s nice not to have someone […]


Cusco II

Cusco II

We were all looking forward to returning to Cusco, and not just because of the nasty ride back from Aguas Calientes.  There’s always something happening here.  We scored a great hotel right off the main square (Plaza de Armas – I think every city on this continent has a Plaza de Armas…will keep you posted) […]


Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Not much to say about Machu Picchu (~8000 ft) except…HOLY SHIT!  Seriously, if you can do it, you really should go.  As soon as we rounded the corner and it came into view, I felt the blood run out of my face and I had to sit down for a minute and collect myself.  Unfuckingreal.


Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes

The Lonely Planet guidebook says that “it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to get stuck for a night in Aguas Calientes.”  First of all, what the fuck does that mean?  Second, why am I carrying around “the backpacker’s bible” when the damn thing weighs 5 pounds.  Don’t I have enough to carry […]


Cusco

Cusco

You know how a parade is cool for somewhere in the 15-30 minute range and then you’re ready to go back home and fold laundry or something more compelling ?  Well imagine that you stumble into an indigenous parade celebration that you watch over lunch, walk the parade route for 2 hours, stop for a […]


Huacachina

Huacachina

Nearly 20 hours after leaving Huaraz, we finally arrive in the tiny desert town of Huacachina (~200 people, ~1000 ft).  Family crisis averted.  This place is an honest to god fucking oasis!                 As difficult as some of these towns have been to assess, this one is pretty […]


Pisco

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 […]


Chincha

After a 9 hour night bus ride from Huaraz to Lima and another 3 hour trip south, we arrived at what was supposed to be one of my “finds” on the Peruvian itinerary.  Chincha (~175,000 people, ~200 feet above sea level) is the center of Afro-Peruvian culture and is reported to have a great local […]


Huaraz/Santa Cruz Trek

Huaraz/Santa Cruz Trek

Huaraz (~140,000 people, ~10,500 ft) is a jumping off point for trips into the highest part of the Peruvian Andes called the Cordillera Blanca.  There are 30 peaks in this area over 20,000 feet.  The town itself is nice, but fairly unremarkable if not for the mountains looming all around.  We arrived at 5 am […]


Huanchaco

Huanchaco

We took the 11 pm night bus so we could delay our departure from Mancora as long as possible.  (Without an agenda, we would likely have stayed another week or two, which seemed to be a very common result.)  The beauty of the night bus – if you can get some sleep – is that […]


Mancora

Mancora

Inserting yourself blindly into a new town is one of the most difficult travel experiences – Who will we meet?  What should we make time to see or do?  Where do we eat?  Particularly when staying in group/hostel arrangements, the choice of where you stay is key to the kind of experience that you will […]