Papa Party

Strolled the 20 minutes to Marian from Gary’s house to meet my friends Rodrigo and Andrey for an afternoon bouldering session.


Rodrigo lives in a progressive cooperative compound. Essentially, there are always D-I-Y (do it yourself) projects a-happening and the goal in a few years is for the property to be a climbing cooperative for climbers who are passing through the Huaraz region.

Check out this sweet homemade solar cooker:


We munched a delicious but oh-wow-that-pepper-was-incredibly-spicy-and-now-my-eyes-are-watering lunch:


When my tears subsided and our plates were scraped clean, we loaded up with bouldering pads and walked behind the compound to the local session boulder. (Notice the bright blinding sunshine…)


Well, we climbed and nodded our heads to Rodrigo’s music and stared into the never ending rows of corn that are planted 5 meters from the base of the boulder.

The thunder cracked. The sky turned a dark grey black. And the deluge began.

We sat, protected by the overhang of the boulder for a good while with the hopes that the weather would let up and call it good. When it didn’t, we hot stepped back to the house:


I felt like we were sitting beside a firing range with the rain above us pelting the thin tin roof. Yelling became talking. And the talk became that of a Papa Party. A Potato Fiesta. A celebration of Peru’s most diverse crop.

Little did I know that we would be singing our own renditions of the songs Guantanamera and This is the Rhythm of the Night (Night at the Roxbury).
“Guantanamera” became “Papa a la Huancaina”
“This is the Rhythm of the Night” became “Esas son Reeboks o son Nikes

We gathered supplies and ingredients and the cooking began.

I thought we were pretty good after the hard boiled eggs. Wrong.
I thought we were comfortable after the boiled potatoes. Wrong.
I thought we were satiated after the mashed potatoes, tomatoes, and tuna fish salad. Wrong.
I thought we were for sure finished after the two massive dishes of causa (mashed potatoes pureed with chili and lime, pressed into the bottom of a dish, covered with tuna fish, covered again with the potato puree, decorated with kalamata olives). Wrong
I thought we were going to explode when we began to eat the final dish, the spanish tortilla, an egg potato omelet of sorts. Wrong.


We didn’t explode then. Well, shall I just say that my stomach had a revolution and quite a battle the next morning.

Truly enjoyed the company, the kitchen shenanigans, and the food. Salud! According to the guys:

“That’s what we do here. Eat potatoes and have fun.”

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