SF Cable Car Route Llamas, Alpacas and Mutants Fall Colors Mardi Himal Trail Golden Gate Zabriskie Point Prayer Flags Sunset Chinchero at Sunset Annapurna South in the Early Morning Fish Market Cementerio de Trenes de Uyuni Night Cats Sunset From Moro Rock Very rare deserted street Half Dome at Sunset Machhapuchhre Sunset from Marshall Beach, SF Grafitti The Danube at Night Annapurna South Under the Stars Mardi Himal Trail Rolling Fog Prepping to FIght Boudhanath Stupa Sheepherders and Annapurna South Cumhuriyet Anıtı Phewa Boats Alamo Square Bluebird Skies Stars Over Annapurna South White Mountains Sunset Fog Rolling In Half Dome at Sunset Vocano Scarred Mountains The Golden Gate at Night Old Man in Siding Twilight Fog Market Flags Bodie Eastern Sierras Under Shadow Snow and Shadows Temple Statue Marin Headlands Sand Dunes Hong Kong from the Peak Bay Area Sunrise Yosemite Fall Leaves Monument Valley Green River Canyons at Sunrise The Blue Mosque Buildings and a Bridge Cropped Crosswalk Headfirst Pisac Hillside The Buttermilks Rooster Fights at Forest Camp Resting Zabriskie Point Photographers Annapurna South

Chavez Country

March 31, 2010 —

I am now halfway through my tour of part of South America.

Cayo Muerto Cayo Muerto

The trip started off in Venezuela (more pictures from Venezuela here) where I was immediately introduced to my second family, the Hurtados. About 90 minutes after landing in Caracas, I had seen a dead body, saw Ines for the first time in almost 7 years, met her father, mother and other sister, about 30 (at least!) other members of her extended family, and though I tried really hard to remember their names, I forgot most of them. And then I got my first glass of wine in South America which was soon replaced with a cuba libre. Shortly after, some of Ines' friends taught me how to call Chavez a son of a bitch in Spanish, which was a new Spanish expression for me.

A Giant Man of War A Giant Man of War

I then proceeded to spend the next 3 days enjoying solitude and sunshine in the small beach town of Chichirivichi, reading, appropriately, 100 Years of Solitude. I also spent time recovering from the bad sunburns I received after my first contact with the sun in quite a while. I also got to see a great big jelly fish, which was awesome, and yet scary.

A long drive later and I was back in Caracas combing the city for Arepas (which are really good), wedding cheese, wedding pastries and views of the city. Thursday and Friday with my mom, sister and the Hurtados went fast, but seemed to cover much more time than just the 45 hours we were all together those days.

Mom, Alicia, Amy and I Mom, Alicia, Amy and I

Some things I learned:

  • Weddings in Spanish aren't as easy to understand as I thought initially.
  • "Merengue is with couples and Reggaeton is sexy"
  • My Spanish skills get better with alcohol and the English skills of others similarly increase with alcohol.
  • Arepas are delicious any time of the day, for breakfast, for lunch, after a great wedding reception, or while walking around like a zombie in an airport at 5 in the morning.
  • Apparently I can dance Salsa (or the Venezuelans were being nice and just wanted me off the dance floor)

In all, a great first part of my trip. New food, new people, new places and hanging out with my first and second family. Estoy chevere (or, in Peru, cheverenge).