2014 Sep Day 0 Nicasio and Peru
I eased into the trip a day early with my little sister Cheryl at the Whistlestock benefit at Rancho Nicasio.
Country joe (no fish), Big Brother and the Holding Co., and lots of other groups rocking to the music of the Sixties with a crowd in their sixties…so trippy.. :) so retro… so groovy…so…so…?? So much fun…
Here’s Country Joe on acoustic guitar…1,2, 3, what are we fighting 4?
Winner of the costume contest, this guy sang out peace and love to all.
This runner-up wore the same bell bottoms he sported in the Sixties.
And lots of tie-die…
A very mellow, enjoyable day, and a great way to segue into Peru. The music is still roiling around in the neurons. I’m only sorry I didn’t take a photo of Cheryl in her wild leopard hat and pants.
In Houston bulbous clouds spread across the sky. The 5-hour layover turned into 6 hours when the plane arrived one hour late from London.
I was pleased to be seated next to a nice young Peruvian, Alberto Granda Blanca, who is “resourcing the future” as superintendent of exploration operations for bhpbilliton, a gas and mining company. Alberto told me about the jungle survival training he went through, as sometimes their helicopters have problems in the jungle and he and his crew need to know how to survive. He was left out there in the jungle in a group of six with no food or shelter for 3 days. He also told me about some of the strange skin growths and diseases that his crew has encountered despite top corporate protection. Made me rethink any thoughts of an Amazon jungle ecolodge stay.
A very entertaining plane mate, Alberto told me the best places to eat in Lima. Seems that the Peruvians are just as focused on food as the Italians, if not more!! I have been told 3 times now by different people not to eat the ceviche inland but only on the coast where it’s fresh salt water fish and not fresh water fish. I don’t have the heart to tell them I don’t like ceviche, as they seem to fetishize it. I’ve also got to try patas rellenos, potatoes filled with a bunch of ingredients that Alberto carefully enumerated.
Alberto plans to bring his family to San Francisco on vacation someday, so I may have the pleasure of showing them around. He married at 21, has 3 daughters, the oldest 17, and a brand new 2-week old baby boy. Que bueno!
I met another Alberto when I arrived in Lima after midnight. He took me to my Airbnb place near the airport. It was in a gated community with guards everywhere. “Don’t worry. It’s safe,” Alberto assured me. He left me off in a big gated house and told me that Cristien, the owner, would come at 8am in the morning. Turns out I was the only one there! I had the whole place to myself. It’s a little scary to be all alone overnight in a big strange house in a foreign city, even on a gated community, but the bedroom door had a lock on it, and I used it.
Here’s Alberto when he picked me up in the morning to go to the airport.
Alberto claims that he has seen 2 flying saucers. We are not the only ones in the Universe, he claims. I just might agree, he is afraid of flying but says he’d take off in a flying saucer in a minute. I’m just the other way around. Next I’m flying off to Arequipa, the white city.