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Sunday, October 30, 2011


Argentina is 2400 miles long from north to south (the USA is about 2700 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic) and is four times the size of Texas.  The population is 40 million, with Buenos Aires at 3 million.  Peru is three times larger than California, with a population of 30 million, but Lima has 9 million people.  The flag of the former is blue and white, with the Sun of May, a representation of the Inca Sun God, in the middle, while that of Peru is to the right.

Neither country has yet been hit by a hurricane, and while Peru does have some significant earthquakes, Argentina's major ones are in the west and north.  Buenos Aires is a safer city with respect to natural disasters.

Both countries were part of the Inca empire (which amazingly enough, only existed for less than 100 years), with Peru conquered by Francisco Pizarro in 1532, but in that same time frame, Argentina was merely settled by Spanish settlers because there was no organized indigenous resistance. They both declared independence from Spain almost 200 years ago.  The spoken language of course is Spanish, for all the countries in Central and South America except Brazil speak it.

The president of Argentina, as earlier reported, is Cristina Kirschner, while Ollanta Humala this year beat Keiko Fujimori (graduated from Boston University) for the Peru presidency.  She is the daughter of Alberto Fujimori (an agricultural engineer and mathematician, he was known as El Chino, or Chinaman), former president, who is now in a Peruvian jail.  In 1938 he was born in Miraflores, where my Lima hotel is located.  If she won, she probably would have pardoned her father.

Education in both countries, incidentally, are compulsory and free, even through college (undergraduate), providing you qualify.

Well, what else?  Miss Universe in 1957 was Gladys Rose Zender de Meier (left) of Peru, and in 1962  was Norma Nolan (right) of Argentina.

I'm now in Lima, and I bet you didn't know that the city has 43 mayors, 250,000 taxis and 400 casinos, which is impressive, because Las Vegas only has 78.  I got a quick tour pass the Peruvian version of the White House  and walked through a couple of museums, where their restrooms are the only ones where you don't need to pay around 35 cents to use.  The Cathedral museum to the left and two items from the Larco Herrara Museum, which included a pornography section

After which I chatted with Ila and Jashu of Kalamazoo:

Jashu Patel is particularly valuable, for he is a medical doctor and provided confidence about three spider bites I apparently got in the Rio botanical park.  They looked ominous and could well have been fatal, but I appear now to be recovering.

The Pisco Sour is the national drink (also of Chile), sort of like the Brazilian Caipirinha.  However, at the Casa Andina Private Collection, where I am staying, I had a variation called Coca Sour, which adds coca (no, not chocolate, but from which comes cocaine).  This is an outstanding hotel, and not only because of their drinks.


1 comment:

Rogger Mcloud said...

Pisco, Pisco!!! Look at that Pisco, it is amazing. I have tried the Pisco and is also very strong for the throat. It is a cool beverage. I have also been in Argentina. In Buenos Aires rent an apartment is so easy, I was surprised. Also I have eaten a lot of meat.