Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lima-Quito-Bogota June 8-9

Long day, slowed a little in the aftermath of the pisco sour celebration in Lima the night before! We had a good time though -- this is a small group of journalists, only 6 -- so we are able to organize ourselves a bit better.

We had pisco sours on the veranda of a restaurant on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific -- gray, overcast, but surfers braving the big rollers coming in. Later we went to a place on the beach where they dished up fantastic ceviche. A couple of the gov't guys came with us, and as always it is easier to get a real picture of what is going on when people are relaxed and off the record.

On Tuesday we left for Quito. The trip was interesting because Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa has been a part of the Hugo Chavez gang, and critical of the U.S. Clinton's trip was clearly aimed at driving the beginnnings of a wedge between the Latin Lefties, and perhaps she was able to work her magic. They certainly came out looking very friendly, and he at least appeared mollified on the issue of U.S. troops using Colombian bases, which has been a big sticking point.

Quito itself looked great -- spread out on steep mountainsides, lots of windy, climbing alleyways, old architecture. Definitely looks worth a return trip. After a quick stop at the ambassador's house to file our stories, we went back to the airport and on to Bogota. Today's schedule looks pretty light and news-free. Our best hope of getting something might be reaction to the U.N. Security Council vote on Iran sanctions, but that's not really our story down here.