Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sara's photos of the pachamanca

My sister Sara is visiting us this weekend, and she kindly let me copy and post these photos she took on the day the family spent in Cieneguilla for the pachamanca:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is a picture of Nico and Susana in the Lima airport minutes before boarding the plane for home on August 10th. I had just returned from a (thankfully successful) search for one last pisco sour on Peruvian soil, when I saw the kids and felt we needed an "exit" image from the trip, just like we had one of them on the way down.

The lobby at the gate was full of young gringo evangelicals heading back to the States. Not very Peruvian-looking. So I got the kids to stand in the walkway while I snapped a few shots. This one was the best.

Well, since this particular trip is now long over (frown!), there will be few updates to this blog in the near future until I receive some of the photos or video that my cousins or Sara or my parents took of the trip, or I get the energy to dig up and scan photos of previous visits.

Thank you for reading this far and for sharing in this trip with us!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blog Day 2007

What is BlogDay?

BlogDay was created with the belief that bloggers should have one day dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest. With the goal in mind, on this day participating bloggers are each posting a recommendation of 5 new blogs. This way, blog readers will find themselves leaping around and discovering new, previously unknown blogs.

The blog where my friend Mike shares his interests, projects, trips, readings, and musings. Contains comments and links on a variety of interesting subjects, from Greek culture, to philosophy, labor songs, radical politics in India, and much more.
I knew nothing of Sai Baba of Shirdi before I encountered this, but I was instantly captivated by this blog. Apparently Sai Baba of Shirdi was a 19th C. Indian mystic and saint. This blog is dedicated to collecting videos featuring depictions of Sai Baba, which vary from reverent and well-produced to plain quirky. I love the music and songs!
Roz Savage, according to the blurb on the blog, "Following her successful crossing of the Atlantic in 2006, [...] is bidding to be the first woman ever to row solo across the Pacific Ocean." She set to sea this summer from San Francisco, California, in a specially-built rowboat. Since then she has had to face dangerously rough seas, gale-force winds, and a failing GPS system.
A blog filled with loads of information on all manner of things archaeological and historical. From it we learn the name of a major manufacturer and distributor of roof tiles in Roman-era Spain (Lucius Herennius Optatus), and hear of new discoveries in Atapuerca. However, the site's gaze is not limited to the Iberian peninsula. Posts cover a gamut of Old and New World locales and periods.

If Geoffrey Chaucer had had a blog, this would have been it. Beyond the quirkiness of reading posts in such antiquated language in one of the world's newest media, the content is simply delightful. I highly recommend reading the Paris Hilton spoof, "She's yonge, she's sexie, she's riche: Interviewe wyth Parys." I love what she has to say about blogges!

Blog Day Peru

¿Qué es BlogDay?
El Blog Day es el día de los blogueros, ha sido creado para que los blogueros conozcan otros blogueros, de otros países y de otros centros de interés. El 31 de agosto es el día en el que los blogueros dan a conocer otros autores. ¡Así de sencillo!
Toda la jornada del 31 de agosto, los blogueros en el mundo entero publicarán un artículo recomendando 5 nuevos blogs. Así, en este día los lectores descubrirán otros autores alejados de su entorno habitual. Es un día para descubrir nuevos blogs y nuevas experiencias.
Blog acerca de los vinos peruanos y la historia e industria vinicolas en el pais. Sera de sumo interes para aquellos quienes en un ambito colmado de vinos extranjeros -muy buenos, por cierto- buscan tambien los tesoros que ofrece el Peru.
Aunque la pagina indica que es un "weblog para aprender sobre los vinos", a menudo tambien trata sobre el pisco.
Blog en el que se illustran visitas a diversos sitios arqueologicos y geologicos del Peru, muchos aun poco conocidos dentro del Peru mismo, tales como Ravash, Purunllacta, Sechin, etc.
Muy buenas fotos!
Blog de Jorge Alvarado, donde "encontrarás mis archivos de viaje, noticias de Perú y más." En el Jorge cuenta de sus visitas, en especial a sitios de interes arqueologico o historico. Siendo "publicista, fotográfo y editor de publicaciones con temas de turismo y fotografía", Jorge tiene muy buen ojo en cuanto a sus fotografias, que son bellisimas.
Aunque la direccion del blog dice "cocinapiurana" el ambito del blog se ha expandido hasta abarcar la cocina de todo el Peru, incluyendo los chifas y los conocidos chicharrones de Lurin. Nunca se desprende, sin embargo, de sus raices nortenas. Buenas fotos y buenos comentarios, que dan hambre al leerlos!
Interesante blog que he descubierto hace poco. A diferencia de otros que se limitan ha reproducir articulos, en este blog nos ofrecen un resumen de los aconteceres politicos peruanos en formato audio. Es casi como tener una emisora de radio a la mano sin el peligro de perderse ni una sola oracion si se distrae por algo. Muy buena manera de explorar el potencial del internet.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Family Photos

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"La Catedral" in Paracas

This is La Catedral - The Cathedral- an impressive stone formation in the Paracas Natural Reserve, a peninsula south of Lima and quite near the epicenter of this week's 8.0 earthquake.

For years La Catedral has been one of Paracas' main attractions, not just because of its impressive double arch, but also because of the vault that gives it its name.

Along the southern side of the peninsula there is a long arching beach at the foot of seaside cliffs. The there water is so rough and the currents so treacherous that the local fishermen named it Supay, which means "devil" or "demon" in Quechua.

In 1976 I camped on that beach for a week with my Boy Scout troop, Jesus Maria #82, and La Catedral was one of the wonders we discovered for ourselves.

The land approach is from Supay beach, and through a small door-like opening in a cliff, as can be seen in this photo from a visit I made in July of 2002 with my children, my cousins Jose Alberto and Juancho, his wife, Cristina, and their daughter, Rafaela.

Susana, Jose Alberto, Cristina, Rafaela, Nicolas, and my cousin Juancho
at the entrance to La Catedral

Passing through the entrance and through a short passageway, one suddenly came into a large vaulting cavern, open to the sea.

From the cave the double arches could be seen and the noisy colonies of sea birds observed - as long as one kept an eye open for incoming waves! If one was patient and quiet for long enough, soon sea otters' heads would pop up out of the water to observe their visitors.

The Catedral was carved by immense forces, as evidenced by the massive boulders which littered the leeward side of the cavern. This week, that process -which undoubtedly took many thousands of years- took a drastic leap forward: the earthquake caused the main arch to collapse, sealing the cavern and doing away with a true natural wonder.

More Images from Machu Picchu

From L to R: (Standing in back) Juan Ramon, Nicolas
(Middle row) Peter, Betty, Ben, Ceci, Benji, Taysha, Susana
(Front row) Adrian, Pali, Betty Susana, Guille

Site map given to us at the gate

The mountains surrounding Machu Picchu.
The peak at right is Mt Yanantin.

Terracing down the western slope, at bottom is the Urubamba River

The "Mortars"
The purpose of these is unknown. Hiram Bingham supposed them to be mortars, but archaeologists now believe that, filled with water, they were used as mirrors, but for what purpose is still open to speculation

A reconstructed hut near the Ceremonial Rock

The Artisans' Wall and Group of the Three Doorways, in the Western Urban Sector

The Artisans' Wall
If you look closely at this image and the one above you may be able to notice a small opening half-way up the wall between the two sets of windows. It is a drainage duct built into the wall by the Incas, and example of the care with which they designed their cities

The Eastern Urban Sector, with the Royal Enclosures at front

The famed Temple of the Three Windows overlooking the plaza

The Torreon

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Liz, the kids and I missed being there for the shaking by a week. We're all safe at home.

In Lima, the damage doesn't seem to be significant, except for places with older homes like Rimac and Barrios Altos, though I expect that when the news crews go out into the poor neighborhoods ringing the city they'll find a lot of damage there, too.

Among our relatives and friends, thankfully the only casualty seems to be aunt Betty's bruised hip, which she banged fleeing down the stairs of her apartment. Sara talked to Rosa and David in Ica and they are OK.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

peScados capitales

It's been said that every city has one restaurant that's the "must go to" place for tourists and locals alike. In a place like Lima it's awfully difficult to choose that one place as the variety of cuisine options is overwhelming. Narrowing it down to seafood places, it hardly gets easier, this being a coastal city. Further narrowing it to just cebicherias, we're still left with over 2000 to choose from.

Maybe selecting one place is an impossible task, but one restaurant that is on everyone's short list is Pescados Capitales, and on the day before we left Lima we finally made an oft-postponed lunch trip there.

The name of the restaurant is a play on words on the Seven Deadly Sins. In Spanish pecado means 'sin', while pescado means 'fish'. The pecados capitales are the 'mortal sins' (in the order portrayed on the logo above the gate): envy, pride, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed, and sloth.

The semantic fun is carried on in the menu, and it is hard to place an order because one simply wants to keep reading the menu, focusing on the humor instead of the selections.

The ambience combines the classic elements of cebicheria decor -natural light, airiness, and cane- with upscale touches such as heating ducts and ceramic reproductions of pre-Inca statuettes. It is relaxed and casual despite the crisp service and all the suits at the tables.

In a city where a whole meal can be had for under s/. 10, Pescados Capitales' dishes are not cheap, but when the food arrives you understand immediately why the restaurant is full every day. When you taste it you understand that the buzz about the place is not mere hyperbole. The food is outstanding.

Here is what we had that day (I can't remember the cute names from the menu, sorry):

Arroz con mariscos
Seasoned rice with shellfish

Muchame de pulpo
Cooked, sliced octopus in an olive oil sauce, served with crackers

Cebiche Capital
The house's signature cebiche, it contains 3 kinds of peppers,
3 kinds of fish, and 3 kinds of onion

Lenguado en salsa de mariscos
Sole in a seafood sauce

Pais en ascendencia
Pieces of sole (lenguado) wrapped around causa and deep-fried with a panko crust
This was a new dish that debuted that week. Each week each of the restaurant's four chefs is responsible for producing a new, never-before-seen dish.

Tiradito a dos tiempos de lenguado y pulpo
A tiradito of sole and octopus with two sauces: rocoto and garlic

Filete de Corvina al limon
Grilled sea bass with a lemon sauce

Pescados Capitales
La Mar 1337
Miraflores, Lima
Tel.: 421-8808