Today should be a writing day, so I think I’ll have some more content up today, including a long, long blog about the sailboat trip in Panama. Perhaps. Damn, its long.
So I thought I’d knock out a short on this morning. Here are a few lists of things I’ve done so far on the road.
Countries visited: 11
Counties visited that the U.S. had not invaded, assassinated a leader or tried to overthrow the government: 3, I think. Someone can correct me here. I have Costa Rica, Peru and Argentina. But my history may be off.
Least favorite country so far: Costa Rica
Most favorite country so far: Hard to say. Columbia. Nicaragua. Chile. Gotta say that most of them have been great.
Best place visited: Manchupiccu. Truly does live up to the hype. If you haven’t been yet — it really must be the next place you visit. Do not go during our summer — overrun with tourists. Take the chance at a visit during their rainy season with less people around.
Things lost: 10. One ATM card. Two pairs of sunglasses. Two bottles of shampoo (annoying, I leave them in the showers). One watch. One pair of socks. One SPOT device (lost yesterday on a bus, but also found yesterday, supposed to be delivered back to me today). One pen. And one towel.
Books read: 12. Sun After Dark: Flights Into the Foreign by Pico Iyer (fantastic — one of the best travel writers out there — go get it). House for Mr. Biswas by Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipal (so-so). Butterfly and the Diving Bell by Jean-Dominique Bauby (quick read and interesting). What am I Doing Here? by Bruce Chatwin (again, fabulous — go get anything he’s written — I really, really need to find Patagonia while I am here). Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (best 20th century author to not win the Nobel Prize — but not one of my favorite books of his). Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (what an incredible pompous twit — can’t write at all — found it on the sailboat and read it — interesting story, but he is a horrid writer. . .and likely a horrid person). The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (kudos to Veronica for giving it to me — great little read). On the Road by Jack Kerouac (interesting — has it been made into a movie? If not. . . I may have another script to write). Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (I promised myself some big reading — half way through — its a read and set down for another book read — WILL finish). And last but not least, one of my new favorite authors. I don’t read much fiction, but I’ll be pouring through about a dozen of his books when I get back — Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru. Incredibly good stuff. And just stared Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes: A Novel (his stuff is a very quick read, I’ll finish this one in the next day or so. Loved The Alchemist and really haven’t liked any of this other stuff, until this one.)
Times sick: zero. Knock on wood.
Strangest food so far: fried grasshoppers.
Favorite food so far: no shocker — ceviche.
Favorite beer so far (most countries have their own beer monopolies — limited choice, but on the good side, different every time you cross a border): Panama’s Balboa. 2nd place probably was Salva Vida in Honduras, partly because I think the name is great (“Lifesaver” — how good is THAT for a name of alcohol??)
Interesting for my Texas friends:
Chile adopted its flag (commonly known as “the Lone Star”) in 1817. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Chile
Texas adopted its flag in 1838.
Just sayin’. . . . .