Cable cars for public transportation started in 2014. There are three lines currently working and six more lines planned. This was a most wonderful way to get an aerial view of the La Paz Recoleta Cemetery and the city, with panoramic views of the mountains.
I’ve wanted to see Peru since becoming enchanted with its botanical riches through the Amazon Herb Company many years ago, the early 2000s.
We are on a quick layover from LAX to Buenos Aires, so the previous picture is as much as I could see this trip from the ground. We flew over some buildings, some were colorful, none looked like they would hold up in a serious earthquake. Good thing the big ones are reserved for Chile.
The engines on the 767 are large and the wingtips curved to fly faster and quiter.
Inside the terminal are duty free shops, a ninos en la calle store selling local artifacts made by kids in the street.
Britt Peru was my favorite shop, with camisetas and sombreros, and an area in the back with gourmet foods, herbs, and spices.
Maca for Men, separately packaged and labeled Maca for Women, and a few other kinds of maca. Chia drinks in clear-sided cans with metal soda can tops. A few other whole dried herbs in very presentable packaging like horsetail (equisetum boliviana), valerian, and special powdered tea.
I last visited Seattle in 1999, as grunge was waning. Now in 2015, it’s interesting to see what’s changed, how coffee and grunge culture have given way to hipster sentimentality.
The classic troll, a sculpture under a bridge attracting many.
(Photo on instagram, link at top right of this page)
Black Sun, a unique sculpture that either inspired a song or was inspired by a grunge song, a circular argument among local music historians.
There is an entire sculpture park. Zoe took some pictures but I was a few layers short of comfort and had to leave there right quick.
The restaurants are quite wonderful. A locally sourced organic soup and sandwich shop. For my birthday, a wonderful farm to table place with refreshingly unique ideas and presentation.
On the garden side of things, I did some landscaping, some days in the rain, every day in 30-40 degree weather.
The guy I worked with was sorry to see me go, apparently good workers are hard to find anymore.
And a unique public Food Forest with strawberry groundcover. Not too much to look at or eat in winter.
And when the clouds open up a bit, some spectacular snow-covered mountains on the other side of bodies of water. Cascades and whatnot.
All in all a splendid time, certainly not a place to be living in the winter.
As of the last few days of 2015 the current exchange rate for Argentine pesos has declined to less than 13 per US dollar.
Next week, we want to land in Buenos Aires (late at night after a 20 hour flight) with some local currency to at least get a cab or shuttle from the airport, and we don’t want to be stuck with highly unfavorable tourista exchange rates in the airport.
There is a main nationwide currency exchange house offering hundreds of country’s currencies, but not Argentinian pesos. Red flag? Apparently they’ve done some funky stuff over the years, inflating and whatnot, oil being a main export and it currently being in a market glut, I don’t know the whole back story but I’m sure it’s quite colorful.
So I just happened to see a guy on Craigslist selling pesos de Argentina his dad had gotten while there a couple of years back. He had intended to return but alas, health problems. So his son is trying to sell 27,300 pesos for 2200 dollars which from a quick Google comparison know that he is already wanting $100 too much, but the rest of his ad says he’s willing to make a deal.
So I offer a few hundred bucks for a few thousands pesos. We make the deal at Starbucks.
I happily go to work landscaping to pick up a few more high value American dollars (most South American countries will accept American cash, and will give better exchange rates on 100s). Zoe and her Google-fu (kung fu for web searches) discover non other than a craigslist peso scam. These 500 peso and 1000 peso bills had all the embossed and hologramed stuff Google told me they should have.
The white family guy said his dad got these bills straight from a bank, but Zoe makes me take them back, which fortunately the guy does give me most of my cash back, but makes me take the rest in 10 peso bills. I believe his bills were legit (plus we would have come out with $60 worth of bonus pesos), and that he had a great naivete about the trouble he could be in passing off dubious bills. My naivete lies in my blind trust for fellow humans who appear to be wanting to do good and right.
I’ve decided once again to start a blog to chronicle my adventures. I had always wanted to start one to tell others people stuff. But I finally realized I want a place to memorialize my experiences for myself. Partly from my memory not wing the best, partly from Facebook showing get me things I posted years ago, and partly from cleaning out my storage unit and realizing I don’t want a bunch of photo albums I have to put somewhere that no one will ever see.
So here we go. Not every picture will be epic, but there will certainly be some. My descriptions will occasionally leave out an important piece I meant to convey but forgot or didn’t have time or signal.
And I’ve got all these tools