Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Punta Sal Balneario, Peru

Pepe Devascovi, my host at Punta Sal, Peru, with some whitefish just caught a couple hours ago. He's going to make us some ceviche.

Slept soundly, until 7:30 this morning, awaking to the sound of much activity in the neighborhood: lots of hammering and construction, getting the seashore ready for their high season, December through March.

Not quite sure what to do with myself, I went out onto the beach for a walk. The sea was very calm, with waves only one or two feet high. Flights of pelicans skimmed over the water single file, playing "follow-the-leader". I saw what appeared to be a group of whales surface briefly as they headed south. (They looked too large for dolphins. Their backs looked black and the tips of their dorsal fins were rounded.) Crabs skittered along rocks.

The shore is lined with all manner of summer dwelling: hotels, bungalows, houses, thatched-roof cabanas and shelters. The backdrop is a harsh dry land, barren except for a few drought-resistant trees. Pepe says it never rains here, except in the “El Niño” years. It has been eight years now since the last El Niño. He said the climate has changed while he has lived here, in just the last ten years. There used to be sun from 6:00 in the morning. Now it only breaks through the cloud and haze during the afternoon.

2:30 p.m.

Just finished having lunch with Pepe. Earlier, I sat on a stool in the kitchen watching Pepe and Delia prepare ceviche, penne al pesto, and pan-fried white fish. The fish was delivered this morning by a young man. He had just come in from fishing for a couple of hours. He had a bucket of pescado blanco.

Pepe bought three of the fish and proceeded to clean and filet them. About a third of the filets, he used for ceviche, cubing the meat, then adding salt, pepper, aji (red chili), cilantro and the juice from about ten small limes. Stirring it all together, he then topped the mixture with sliced red onion, and set it aside to cure for an hour. "Ceviche de Lima". He later served it with a camote (a yam with a curious clove flavor) alongside (to neutralize the "heat".) This was accompanied by a "Cerveza Cristal" (“La Campeona de la Calidad”)(not that great.)

You have to use plenty of Peruvian limes to make the best ceviche!


After some other travelers arrived and wanted to eat, I retired to my room and worked on some journal entries. Late in the afternoon, I put on some shorts and went out to the beach. Except for a couple of children playing, I was the only one out there. A strange feeling. Went in the water, but not even chest deep. I didn’t trust it. ("Is this shark country?") It was cool and the wind produced a chill, but it felt good. The last time I was in the water was Cancún – very different. I prefer this cooler water.

The beach at Punta Sal Balneario, Peru

Another movie with Jose and Eva tonight: this one an HBO western with John Cusack. In Spanish, I missed virtually all the dialogue.

The first quarter moon is upside down, an angle my brain can’t make sense of.

To bed about 10:00

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I love his round kitchen.