29 Sep 2012

Student Protest: Santiago...Chaos as Usual


Originally published in The Santiago Times

Here is a compilation of photos from two different student protests in Santiago. While often these marches begin peaceful, soon they deteriorate into tear gas and concrete block fights between encaupuchados, hooded vandals, and Carabineros, Chile's national police force.

4 Sep 2012

Day Drunk at La Piojera: Santiago, Chile




La Piojera, a grungy, midday to after hours joint, bustles with a ragtag crowd of locals and foreigners, both young and old. There is a faded tanguero vibe to the place, making the drifting accordian players seem like part of the booze-splattered furniture. The food is grimy and greasy at best, but they specialize in a bizarre cocktail called El Terremoto. Meaning the earthquake, its invention traces back to 1985 after a particularly grand quake inspired one noble Piojera barman. (The rest as they say is history.) While recalling Chile's frequent confrontations with the Richter Scale, El Terremoto undoubtedly references how the earth shakes after imbibing.

Components of El Terremoto from bottom to top:

Vino PipeƱo- cheap white wine

Fernet- Potent, medicinal liqueur of Italian origins and popular across Chile and Argentina.

Pineapple Ice Cream- Self explanatory

3 Sep 2012

Gwendy and the Lost Mountain Boys

For a few short weeks of August my role as carefree traveler converted briefly to toilette scrubber, bed changer and night waitress extraordinaire. My company in this time has been for the most part, a pack of kind-hearted, honest climbers from a handful of Latin American countries and a smattering of English speaking ones. We live side by side, sharing tales, foodstuff, advice. I clean their showers, wash their clothes, make them tea or serve them mate in the afternoons. Like the lost boys, they live in limbo in Huaraz, blissfully escaping their real lives for a month or two in which time they can live out their rugged fantasies of conquering mountain peaks alongside their brothers. Their humdrum paying jobs, their roles as spouses or fathers fade into memories that are trumped by the magical countryside around them.