Thursday, January 31, 2013
Pisco, Peru – Namesake of the national drink of Chile (even though we are in Peru) – The Pisco Sour. Pisco is a brandy-like liquor, made from distilled Muscat wine. It is aged for quite a few days and then bottled – a clear liquid, 80 proof. I don’t think anyone drinks it straight. It is combined with lemon juice, sugar and (if you like a frothy top) whipped egg whites to make the sour. A dash of Tobasco on top completes the drink. It is also mixed with fruit juice. The “coctel del pisco mango” is really yummy. But I digress. From Pisco, Peru we took a small boat to Peru's own version of the Galapagos, the fascinating Ballestas Islands. They are covered with penguins, cormorants, turkey vultures, sea lions, many types of gulls and lots of boobies. The baby cormorants are fluffy; the turkey vultures have red heads; well. You get the picture(s). There is also a pier. Every three years they come to the islands and harvest several feet of guano – a major export of Peru. On the way to the islands we saw the famous Candelabro, also known as Candelabra, a giant figure in the style of the Nazca drawings etched into the coastal hills. They don’t believe this figure was carved by aliens. Wind coming down the mountain keeps the figure clean – they don’t need to maintain it.