Dirty Wars, a Trans-Andean Bus Ride and a Left Jab on the Street – Piran Café’s Top-5 Posts for March 2013

Los Libertadores Pass, connecting Mendoza and Santiago

Sucre, Bolivia – Before plunging headlong into April (and my second day of Spanish language classes!) and in case you missed something really big (!) here over the past month, here’s a quick review of the top-five posts on Piran Café from the past 31 days, the second full month on the road on my 14-plus month Around the World jaunt.

The list is compiled using a top-secret in-house methodology, one that combines page views, comments and blog visitor likes on WordPress with comments, likes and shares via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


5. Pink Fountains, Flying Pigs, Ernesto Cardenal and a new Pope – Mendoza Notebook (14-Mar). Making the cut was this request for a day-in-the-life post which coincided with my stay in Mendoza, the heart and soul of Argentina’s wine country, where even the fountains flow malbec red.

Hugo Chavez as Jim Morrison. Or vice versa.
Hugo Chavez as Jim Morrison in Mendoza. Or vice versa.

4. Remembering Argentina’s Dirty War (16-Mar).  From the intro:

I didn’t need the implications, widely reported over the past few days, that Pope Francis might have had a role in Argentina’s Dirty War to recall the horrors of that gruesome period. I’ve crossed paths with reminders everywhere since I arrived in the world’s seventh largest country nearly eight weeks ago: on sidewalks, in parks, in front of schools and on large murals in Buenos Aires; graffiti on dead end streets in Ushuaia; on the brickwork of a public square in Bariloche.

Civic Center Square, Bariloche, Argentina

3. Los Libertadores Pass – Mendoza to Santiago by Bus (19-Mar). A notebook from what was probably my favorite bus ride thus far, one linking Mendoza, in the heart of Argentine wine country, with Santiago, the Chilean capital, via a stunning high altitude pass across the Andes. Delay matter little on rides like this.

2. Lost in the Details – Weekly Photo Challenge (03-Mar). A photo of a lonely, aging boat.

Puerto Puyuhuapi, Chile
Puerto Puyuhuapi, Chile

And the winner is:

1. Punched in the Crotch by a 4 1/2 Foot Tall Woman, or the Dangers of Street Photography in Potosi (30-Mar). Fairly self-explanatory from the headline. Lesson learned? People like it when I get punched in the groin by grandmothers wrapped in colorful clothes.

This month’s list includes an honorable mention for the post that finished down the list at No. 7, but was my personal favorite. Dam Project Threat Still Looms Large in Chilean Patagonia (12-Mar) summarizes a battle that’s being waged over a proposed five-dam project in Southern Chile that threatens substantial portions of rare forest ecosystems and pristine landscapes.

Thanks again to everyone who shared these and other posts via my Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages. It’s very much appreciated. Sharing is nice. 🙂

The top posts for February 2013 are here.

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