Monday, January 29, 2007

Follow this blog on a new venue

After having used Blogger for about a year and a half, I only now stumbled upon a much better, and more suited-to-travel style blogging page, Travel Blog

where I can give a better accounting of my rambles day to day.....

see you there!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


This fruit is very cactus-y looking and is from Oruro, Bolivia. I just chanced across it in the market place. One pile is selling for one boliviano, or about 15 cents. In the lower right hand corner one can glimpse the inside of this fruit, whose name will forever be lost, since it was 'jacoroto', 'jorocoto', something along those lines. If I may describe it, the flesh is white with black seeds, but nothing like a kiwi; sweet but foamy, the most delicate (soft) fruit I've ever tasted. As soon as I gathered to take this picture, a bunch of market beggars surrounded me, so I only got to eat one before giving the rest to them (they all seemed quite grateful, so it is tribute to the deliciousness of this fruit)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Promise Made is A Debt Unpaid.

The small Cessna plane that represents the completion and closure of a promise I made to myself 16 or 17 years ago. At the time I was running out of money, backpacking around and staying in three dollar hotels, not sure what I was going to do, and when I came to Nasca I really had to chose between doing a flight or Machu Pichu. I´m glad I chose the latter, for I paid only $10 to get in (the admission is now $40) - but the cost of this flight was only $38, the same or less than it was then. Of course, neither monument has changed that much- except that perhaps Machu Pichu is even more overrun with tourists now than it was. The Nasca Lines have been there thousands of years, so 17 more hasn't made any noticeable difference.

Friday, January 19, 2007

George really gets around

Here's a picture of a nifty little project I came across from the real world. (usually we get links from the cyber world, right?) The red stamped info is a link to a website , a clever little currency tracking project for god knows what reason- but the fun thing is their website has some sophisticated tracking stuff....hopefully they'll add a world map with red lines showing george's trajectories in the future.
This picture was taken at the bus terminal in Arica, Chile....somebody gave me this bill in Peru as part of my change....most likely a vendor at the duty free market in Tacna. If you are really keen on it, and have nothing better to do with your time, go and check out the great software on the wheresgeorge site...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

One of the Last pics from a busted camera

This is one of the last pictures taken with my little replacement camera which lasted a total of ten days. I liked how this street in the small town of Nasca just ended abruptly in the desert and the mountains...I almost expected coyotes and other critters to be wandering around here on the fringes....this place kind of reminded me of my dad´s descriptions of Tucson in the early days.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


This is the view from my hotel room, I kid you not, I can hardly believe that I´m paying only a few pennies more than 6 dollars a night to have this view, my own room with bathroom. It also illustrates a typical latin courtyard(copied from the roman atrium) like those described in One Hundred Years of Solitude. For those botanically inclined, the interesting white flowered bush on the left of the picture is something I thought for years to be a tropical variety of datura, a dangerous alkaloid hallucinogen, and a member of the nightshade family. (Nathaniel Hawthorne referred to it in The Scarlett Letter as "apple peru"....kind of odd considering this is Peru. ) But thanks to the miracle of Wikipedia and second guessing from clues in that, I surmise that it is a member of Brugmansia - an academic distinction, since it still contains the dangerous cocktail of scopolamines and atropines...

Monday, January 08, 2007


I never feel like I'm travelling unless I see a new fruit. This is called "lucuma" and from all appearances is a kind of zapote (mexican word), a member of the rubber family (on hearsay). Shown next to it, for the purposes of scale, is an ordinary cantelope melon. Picture below is a cross section showing the large, avocado-like seed.
The taste is rather dry and not unlike a half-cooked pumpkin. It's mostly used in milkshakes and ice creams..

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The main reason I love South America and the tropics... this particular variety has the popular name of "Mango Blanco"...compared to those hybrids you get up there in the Northern Hemisphere, this has a mango taste that is seven or eight times more is really impossible to describe, you just have to put it into your mouth to feel the difference.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Language Study Memories in Lima

Just seconds after I asked the girl at the hotel for water, she went out the door, followed by the sound of screeching tires, the horrible impact sound, and the buzz of rubbernecks...This was actually the first picture I took with my new camera in South America, but it has another special meaning for me; when I was learning Spanish for the first time, I remember one phrase that was pivotal in my development of proper pronunciation: "Se choco con el autobus en la esquina!" (they had a collision with a bus on the corner)
Thankfully the girl didn't die and leave me with a karmic debt for having sent her to her death....but she was very close to the accident, about a meter or two away, she said.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Does this need a subtitle? Make of it what you's just a back alley of Portland near the train station, I was testing out my new $150 camera. tomorrow or later today I'll post the first photos of Lima....