Thursday, October 08, 2009

October 8, 2009
I promised Thomas Charles we would take him on a Mexican food tour when he got home from Peru, so this weekend we are heading for Tucson, Nogales, Naco and Bisbee to enjoy some of the best Mexican cuisine on the planet. Someone asked me what I was going to do on this trip and I said, "Watch him eat the food I love."

Although Fred Nolan told me he encountered pinto beans in Argentina, we really didn't see any of that staple south of the equator and Tomas didn't have it in Peru. Lots of corn, potatoes and steak (and alpaca in Peru), but no pintos.

Speaking of South America, here are some more pages out of my sketchbook:

We stayed at a very fancy Sheraton at Iguazu Falls ($140 a night, the most expensive on the trip), on the Argentina side. Spectacular waterfalls, seen in numerous movies (The Mission with Robert DeNiro for example). Our room looked right out at the Devil's Throat, as it's called. I sat right on the bed and sketched this scene.

A couple days later we were in Paraguay on an estancia (ranch). Tomas and I went for a horseback ride:

We rode up into the foothills, and the dog in the picture, Naomi, started chasing the calves, and their mama's didn't cotton to this and made lunges at her several times. Unfortunately, I was on a horse near her and my horse didn't like this at all. Come to think of it, neither did I.

When we got back to the ranch I sat on the porch and sketched this scene of Naomi and the estancia stretching out to the horizon behind her:

The gauchos wore an odd combination of gear and styles. Check out the spur strap:

Here's a closer look at it:

The gauchos also wear a version of chink chaps with fringe:

In the back, they all wear a big, buck knife, stuck into their belts. And they have a type of buffalo down there:

Anyway, back to the sketches. Here is a face I drew in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, based on a photo exhibit I saw in Buenos Aires:

And here's the Alianza (lighthouse) building outside of our Las Margaritas Hotel room in Asuncion, Paraguay:

Although it's billed as one of the poorest countries in South America, we all really liked Paraguay. Excellent food and very pretty women:

The women are tall, dark beauties, mostly dressed in black with tall boots. And they walk down the street with a provacative swagger. Not the best thing for an old man with heart problems.

We also saw a very pretty sunset in Samaipata, Bolvia:

On the last day in Argentina, it was raining and we stayed in our room (in Canuelas) and I sketched the building across the street:

We watched the kids walking and riding bikes to school. It took me back to being a kid.

"You aren't just the age you are. You are all the ages you ever have been."
—Kenneth Koch

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