16 Oct 2012

Protests vs Violence vs Protests

This is the picture I took, while running. As you can see the picture is terribly underexposed, because I obviously wasn't focused on taking it. But while not focusing on picture taking, I was also not concentrated on running and I ended up in an impenetrable cloud of tear gas only to be saved by a student who dragged me to a nearby stoop, sprayed my face with perfume, wiped the tears from my face, and shielded me from police buses driving by.

29 Sept 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 Sept 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 Sept 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.


31 Aug 2012

Spirit Monkeys and Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers, or let me qualify this statement, the handful of climbers that I have met since I've been in Huaraz, boast a great affinity for monkeys. To a rock climber the reasons are obvious, but for regular humans like myself, any similarity between monkeys and rock climbers had never crossed my mind (Hell, rock climbing itself just entered my radar within the past three weeks).