Pisco in pictures

I had a chance to visit the town of Pisco a few times recently. Pisco is about a 4-5 hour busride south of Lima, and best known as the namesake of the famous Pisco Sour drink (more on that later).

I’m not a great photographer, but here are some random pictures of my visit to Pisco (click on the pictures to enlarge):

A street leading to the main square in Pisco, Peru

A street leading to the main square in Pisco, Peru

Plaza de Armas, or main square, in Pisco, Peru

Plaza de Armas, or main square, in Pisco, Peru

The church on the main square in the town of Pisco, Peru

The church on the main square in the town of Pisco, Peru

You can see some construction going on next to the church. The town of Pisco was hit by a serious earthquake in 2007. It was hard for me to tell exactly what’s ongoing reconstruction from the earthquake versus some of the typical half-finished buildings you see in Peru, but there is still obvious earthquake damage in the area.

I think most of the economy in Pisco consists of growing grapes for the “Pisco” drink and fishing. Pisco also has a shared civilian/military airport, a relatively large seaport and some oil and gas installations. You can see the oceangoing ships in the background.

Small fishing boats in San Andres

Small fishing boats in San Andres

I stayed in the small village of San Andres, on the Pacific coast about 5 minutes from Pisco. San Andres is a very quiet seaside town, but a few tourists do come through there to get to the Pisco airport for scenic flights over the famous Nazca lines.

The seaside village of San Andres, near Pisco, Peru

The seaside village of San Andres, near Pisco, Peru

Birds on the beach in San Andres

Birds on the beach in San Andres

The beach in San Andres, near Pisco, Peru

The beach in San Andres, near Pisco, Peru

Near Pisco you also find the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas islands, where I was told you can find really beautiful beaches and a resort-style hotel, but I didn’t have time to go there.

In San Andres I stayed at the hostal “La Jalapa”, which is a very quiet and pretty hostal just at the edge of the town. It has nicely kept green areas, a pool and restaurant. I paid the silly rate of S/.30 per night and was very happy.

Hostal La Jalapa in San Andres, Peru

Hostal La Jalapa in San Andres, Peru

Papi esta en la casa!!!

After a long trip I’m back in Peru. Posting on this corner of the blogosphere should resume its normal trickle.

I snatched a picture of the Peruvian customs form on the plane back from Madrid. Patricia pointed out an interesting restriction on the Peruvian customs form when we were flying back from Belgium in January but I didn’t get a picture of it until now:

Foreign made Pisco will be confiscated

Foreign made Pisco will be confiscated

“… las bebidas fabricadas en el extranjero que tengan la denominación de “Pisco” … serán incautadas…”

So any foreign (read: Chilean) made Pisco will be confiscated if you try to bring it into Peru. Pisco Sour is of course the national drink of Peru, and the unhappy word on the street is that Chile has claimed to produce Pisco as well.

Kind of like the Italian uproar over foreign-made Panettone I guess…

Pisco Sour

Occasionally I try to explain to my gringo friends how to make Pisco Sour, the Peruvian national drink. This video does a much better job than I can, and it’s funny to boot. Otto posted it a while back, but it’s worth repeating. All of the commentary the bartender adds is quite true, by the way.

Here’s what you need to know about Pisco:

  • It’s Peruvian, not Chilean. The drink is named after the town of Pisco, just south of Lima.
  • Peruvians often have a Pisco Sour as an appetizer, but you can also drink Pisco in shots or mixed with Sprite, etc.
  • It can be rather funny to see gringos here in Cusco drink Pisco… combine the elevation, the fact that they are away from home, and the smooth taste of Pisco Sour and they get more than a bit tipsy…

Tomorrow we’re making a big jar of Pisco Sour right here at our house 😉