roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

29 Dec 2008 - 4:01:45 PM
Colca Canyon

Well, what to say about Colca Canyon? It's a gorgeous area with steep cliffs, soaring condors, and less steep valleys covered with terraced farms and dotted with villages. I think the first day -- hiking 1000m down -- was the hardest. My feet were pretty sore after that. The hike up wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, probably because it was all clouded up, so we weren't subjected to direct sunlight. Got a bit of rain on the way up, too, which wasn't helpful, but hey, I live in Seattle -- hiking in the rain makes me feel at home, right?

Saw several condors, and even got a few pictures that weren't completely blurry. I'll post a few photos tomorrow. Next up is a morning of rock climbing here in Arequipa. Whee!

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25 Dec 2008 - 3:59:22 PM
My Paul Theroux Moment

This one night last week in Lima, I walked into a little restaurant, and an older gentleman sitting alone brusquely motioned me over. "My name is Antonio," he said. "I am a poet. Please join me." He indicated the seat opposite. Turns out he was Antonio Cisneros, and he's a really funny, smart guy. Spent the evening drinking beer with him and talking about (or, actually, listening to him talk about) everything from politics to women to travel to language, etc. It was also interesting to see random people walking by recognize him and tell him how much they love his poetry. He also introduced me to the former Peruvian ambassador to the U.N. who happened to walk by.

As for the present, I signed up for a three day trek into Colca Canyon, which should be fun if the weather holds. I'll keep my fingers crossed. I also found a little agency that does rock climbing trips, so after the trek I'll get in a half-day or so of climbing on some Arequipa rock. Now I just need to pack a few things for the trek...

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23 Dec 2008 - 9:25:44 AM

I'm happy to say that this morning I woke up, got high, and did some lines. That is, I went on a scenic overflight in a little Cessna 6-seater and saw the Nazca Lines. I have a few hours to kill before my bus to Arequipa leaves, so I decided to upload a bunch of the Nazca pictures -- lucky you!

Whale -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Dog -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Monkey -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Spider -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Condor -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Hummingbird -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Albatross -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Hands -- Nazca Lines, Peru

Tree -- Nazca Lines, Peru

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22 Dec 2008 - 10:10:52 AM

I'm on my way to Nazca to, I hope, do some lines. So this will be just a quick update to slap a few pictures up. One from Lima, one from Huacachina. If all goes well, I'll have a few scenic flight pictures to put up tomorrow.

The bells! The bells!
Inside the San Francisco Cathedral, looking out -- Lima, Peru

Tourist oasis
Lunch view -- Huacachina, Peru

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17 Dec 2008 - 2:57:07 PM
Still in Lima

Well, I think I'm ready to leave Lima, although I haven't quite made up my mind where to go to next -- Pisco/Paracas, Ica/Huacachina, or Nazca? Need to figure that out soon if I'm going to leave tomorrow. I've had a busy couple of days in Lima, though, not to mention all the packing and traveling. Saw a lighthouse, toured around the Plaza de Armas, checked out a big concrete block of a museum, did a little gym climbing. Maybe tonight I'll take it easy. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. Drink a Cuzqueña or a Pisco Sour. Mmm.

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15 Dec 2008 - 8:14:09 PM
Lima, Peru

Hey, I'm in Peru! The Peruvian keyboard is going to drive me nuts, but I'll try and deal. So let's see... I bought a one-way ticket to Lima and am planning on traveling for several months in and around Peru, Chile, Argentina, and maybe one or two other countries. I'll figure it out as I go. Thought I'd dive right into things and had a little ceviche sampler for my first meal here. It was awesome! Spicy and so acidic I thought it would eat through my teeth. Yum! Staying at a pretty nice B&B called Casa Serena in the upscale Miraflores neighborhood. And on my way to dinner, I passed by a climbing gym! Maybe I'll like Lima...

Oh, while eating breakfast and watching the news in the Bogotá airport this morning while waiting for my connecting to flight to Lima, I learned a new Spanish word: zapateado. I think that's how it's spelled. It means "shoe attack."

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4 Dec 2008 - 8:58:55 PM
21st Amendment

I ended up in the Bay Area recently, but only managed to get to one brewpub, 21st Amendment. Pretty cool spot, but the taster set was the most expensive one I've had: $14! Could've saved $2 if I had asked them to hold the taster of the guest cider on tap, but oh well. Had a "half" salad, as well, that turned out to be huge -- a thick mound on a full-size plate. I don't think I want to know how big the "full" size is. Anyway. They have an odd mix of beers. Can't say I recommend their banana beer, and I didn't try their IPA because it only comes in cans (as does their watermelon beer). Hmm.

    Rob's Picks
  • Back in Black - one of those dark IPAs. Not so crisp but dark and hoppy, which is nice. 7.2%
  • South Park Blonde - nice, drinkable, fairly light. 5.1%
    The Rest
  • Autumn Wheat - okay, slight sweet edge
  • Fat Bavarian - banana wheat. Banana/clove flavor too strong for me.
  • Bitter American - American extra pale ale - bitter in a bad way. Basically a bad IPA, although it did start to grow on me by the end. Hmm. Only 3.8%, sadly.
  • Holiday Spice (seasonal) - winter pumpkin ale - ugh. At least it was strong. 7%

21st Amendment
Artfully arranged 21st Amendment samplers - San Francisco, CA
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