Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fondly Remembering Peru

I very recently traveled south to California, and had a wonderful trip, and yes I will blog about that very soon, but right now I'm in a much different place in my mind...

A year ago today I was gallivanting in Peru, adventuring with my sister and a group of others that I was to get to know very well, very quickly. Nothing breaks the ice with people quite like two weeks without showering, while struggling at altitude, cooking, cleaning and existing while trying really hard to speak a language no one really understands. That trip was not about dignity! I learned a great many beautiful things about the people I traveled with though and of course got an intimate look at a world much different than my own. Some characters I traveled with I'd known well before we ever set foot on a plane south. Other faces in tow were new but each added their own color and interest to the company.

There were two main canvases that we scrolled our adventures on, one being the natural world of mountainous Peru--one different than home, but still reassuring. I know trees and mountains, creeks and grass and snow. And cows. I definitely know cows. But the other backdrop was the city scape of bustling Lima and the more enlightening town of Huaraz. The urban environment has caught my memory's attention this evening. It was there that I faced my first shock of conflicting cultures, languages, ideas. It was there that I was gleeful at the sound of other American voices in the hallway of the hostel the morning after the scariest taxi ride of my life. We had many laughs as a group in Lima stumbling through Spanish and attempting to consume the new sights set before us. Our first look at Peru before we headed to the backcountry. We ate amazing food and then rummaged through phrase books to remember how to ask for the check. We drank free beer and listened to traveling performers. We also drank a very special cocktail called a Pisco Sour. Pisco is a grape brandy made in Peru and also found in Chile. For a Sour you add lime, sugar, and egg whites. Oh what a mistake I thought I was making with that first drink! It was one of the most important beverages in the country but I was so nervous to be drinking egg whites (when I was already in a country where I couldn't drink the water!)It turned out delicious though, and I understood why the locals loved them so much.

With Peru on my mind lately, and the Pisco Sour recipe a bit hazy in memory, I searched online for the ingredients. After reading up about the famed drink, I was lucky enough to find a dealer within my town who carried it. I had no idea anyone in Montana would carry South American Pisco! I picked up a bottle and giddily presented it to my sister. After cracking some eggs and shaking our cocktails (till the tell-tale foam forms on top) we enjoyed this drink once more, this time in the comfort of our home. I was immediately transported back to a little restaurant by the sea in Lima. Out on a terrace, under a night sky, up a little spiral staircase. Surrounded by old friends, and to-be friends laughing and enjoying the start of what would be the most memorable trip of my life so far. So cheers to adventuring and stretching the boundaries of comfort to enlighten the soul with the many joys this planet offers. I raise my glass of Pisco to you and your own adventures as I dream of the next opportunity to excuse myself from my every-day and enter the world of "life changing."


  1. What a fun story, I am so glad you found it and were able to re-create the Lima night (and drink) with your sister! Cheers to you my dearest frined!

  2. How cool is that! I can see wanting to remember such an awesome adventure. Nice that just sipping a certain drink can take you back to that time and place. Cheers! LYS


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