Who wouldn’t want to hike a trail with such a reputation? Where might this place be? Favorite hikes of mine include Nepal’s Mt. Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar trek via Namche Bazaar; the network of trails around Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen Valley and Grindelwald; backpacking trails in California’s Marble Mountain Wilderness, the Sierra Nevada, and Yosemite.
I’ve been tempted by the Overland Track in Tasmania. But Robert D. Hershey Jr. extols the virtues of the Milford Track in New Zealand in a recent story in The New York Times. As far back as 1908 this 33.5-mile trail was called the finest walk in the world and many hikers feel it’s true today.
After reading Hershey’s story I’m ready to start planning a trip south. How about you?
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As I wrote in a post on my own blog earlier this year, Chile and Peru dispute the origin of the addictive aperitif known as the pisco sour, the welcome drink at nearly every hotel in both countries. I enjoy both the Chilean and Peruvian versions, but I never expected to read, as I did in a recent Huffington Post, that George W. Bush had broken his personal prohibition pledge at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima, Peru, with a pisco sour.
On my last night in Santiago de Chile before heading north into the Atacama desert for several weeks, I enjoyed a fish dinner at Ostras Azócar, one of the city’s classic seafood restaurants. In tribute to Mr. Bush’s rare indulgence of good taste — and his imminent departure from the U.S. presidency — I ordered a Peruvian pisco sour (pictured here). I’ll have at least one more on January 20th, and I’ll hope that he enjoys many more in the coming years.
By the way, despite what the Huffington Post piece suggests, there is no such thing as non-alcoholic pisco, which is at least 30 to 35 percent (60 to 70 proof) alcohol. In fairness to Mr. Bush, refusing it would not only have violated diplomatic protocol — it would have been extremely rude in the Peruvian context.