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Entering Peru

Continuing my slow progress through our trip (Feb-March) to Ecuador and Peru. This entry covers the trip out of the Andes across the border to Peru, and then arriving in Cuzco… but first, a couple of things to reference.

First, the new book is out! “Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78” is available now here. We’ve also created a free audio walking tour through 24 points of interest in San Francisco, mostly in the Mission District, which you can check out from afar, here.

Secondly, not to anyone’s surprise, but let me say how intensely I detest Obama and his pusillanimous hypocrisy. Now that the presidential madness is already starting, we’ll have to endure endless reproaches from apologists and the unclear, demanding that we hold our noses and objections and support Obama because the alternative would be so much worse… really?!? Let me quote Jane Mayer’s excellent piece in the New Yorker this week, who is here quoting Jack Balkin, a Yale law professor:

“We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state,” he says. In his view, zealous leak prosecutions are consonant with other political shifts since 9/11: the emergence of a vast new security bureaucracy, in which at least two and half million people hold confidential, secret, or top-secret clearances; huge expenditures on electronic monitoring, along with a re-interpretation of the law  in order to sanction it; and corporate partnerships with the government that have transformed the counterterrorism industry into a powerful lobbying force. Obama, Balkin says, has “systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the Bush Administration.”

Combine this observation with the reauthorization of the Patriot Act’s police-state policies, it’s just another super obvious example of how we live in a one-party state. Sure, there are some minor differences between the two factions, but they agree on war, imperialist militarism, the dictatorship of business and property, reinforcing the widening maldistribution of wealth, etc.  So don’t wring your hands in my direction about keeping the Democrats in power… they are disgusting!

Back to travels… These photos are from our journey from Cuenca, Ecuador to Piura, Peru, crossing the border after a fantastic ridge-top bus ride that took several hours to descend from the high Andes to the hot tropical climate near the border. Before we arrived in Piura we crossed sandy desert, and the entire 3 hour bus ride from Piura to Chiclayo on the coast was through harsh desert.

As we rode along ridgetops on a small twisting road, the views were amazing.

We stayed on top of one ridge after another for hours as we drove along towards Peru.

As we came down from the mountains, the flora changed to a more tropical one.

That's our bus crossing the bridge at the Macara River which is the border between Ecuador and Peru.

Standing on the border/bridge, still in Ecuador.

In Piura, Peru, the most common vehicles were moto-tricycles.

After Piura we continued to Chiclayo where we stayed overnight before taking a very early a.m. flight to Cuzco, back to 12,000 feet altitude!

Cuzco from our hotel balcony... the original capital of the Incas, still a magical city, though super tourism-oriented.

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