Up the Hill with Pishtaco

Friends are good people.

This morning I met up with a friend of a friend in the Plaza de Armas. Gary, (who lives here in Huaraz with his family) and I have been in contact for the past week or so, thanks to Danny and Kristin (Davis pals), who stayed with Gary a few years back when they were explor-getting after it-ing in South America.

So, cheers to good friends, old and new, alike.

Gary, whose nickname is Pishtaco (that’s a story in itself), lives up the hill from Huaraz in a little area called El Pinar that is surrounded by campos.

From the collectivo, looking down (west) at Huaraz. The Cordillera Negra is in the background. Behind the Cordillera Negra is the Pacific Ocean.

Gary and I headed to the mercado, to purchase a few things for the house and for meals. We went straight to his friend, Carlos’ poultry counter. How this guy still has 10 fingers is simply amazing.

P1130832 Carlos, chopping the chicken.

Notice his hands. Deep in the chicken, all up in the guts. Well, if you think that’s gross…get this: when you pay and don’t have exact change, expect to receive your change from the chicken-gut-covered hand. Oh yea. Change, with bits of chicken gut to spare.

Gary is a kick in the pants. An awesome fellow, originally from Chicago. A climber, trekker, and avid outdoorsman, Gary is genuine and welcoming, always ready with a joke.


We ran around town, loaded up in a collectivo, drove up the hill, and then we strolled for the afternoon. Gary’s home is beautiful and brightly colored, and there seems to always be something going on. We took his pup, Lobo, for a walk around the campos near his house. Talk about boulders extraordinaire. During my days back in town from the mountains, I’m planning on project-ing a few of the routes!

Cheers to a beautiful evening and mountain salute.


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