Friday, August 10, 2018

Adventures in the Amazon Day Four: On the trail of the elusive Rubio Cerveza!

Poisonous as it is purty.
On our Amazon trip, we saw monkeys (thieving lil' b@$+@*ds!), manatees, toucans (just like on the Fruit Loops box!), parrots, jungle squirrels, poisonous frogs (and, dang, if they ain't pretty!), piranha, caiman, alligators, thumb-sized flesh-eating ants, ducks, 600 species of catfish (okay, not really, but that's pretty much the number of breeds they have in the Amazon), sloths, a fleeting glimpse of a pygmy monkey, gorgeous butterflies and birds, vultures, a pig (pet or breakfast? YOU decide!), horses, cows, spiders, and an ugly American at the airport.

Yet, there was one thing that eluded me, a creature so rare, so hard to find that I spent a great portion of our trip hunting down this most mysterious of beasts: I'm speaking, of course, of the hard to pin down Cusquena Rubio Cerveza!
The rarest of rare Peruvian finds!

So join me, steadfast travelers, as I'm in hot pursuit of the mythical creature known as...Rubio Cerveza.

Known by many, but drunk by only the very privileged few, I first caught wind of the intangible Rubio in our hotel restaurant. There I caught a brief peep at my wily prey. So dehydrated, I could drink Peruvian tap water, the Cusquena Rubio Cerveza caught my eye and captured my heart.

I ordered. And waited.

After 45 minutes, the waiter--everyone's on "Peruvian Time" which  basically means time just simply doesn't matter in Peru--brought me out a bottle of cerveza. Cold? Si! Cusquena? Si! Rubio? No.

I held the bottle, stared dumbly at the Negra label. Oh well, something must've been lost in translation, didn't matter. I downed it in several gulps. Bueno! But not Rubio. 

The next night--at the Espresso Cafe in Iquitos--the wily Rubio crossed my path again. Excited, the menu trembled in my hands as I spotted the item under cervezas. My hand, slick with sweat, caressed the plastic overlay on the menu. My tongue ran over my sun-licked lips in anticipation. With a shaky voice, I ordered.
Later, the waiter came back , said, "I'm sorry, we're out of Rubio."

Foiled again!

But success awaited me in the heart of the jungle, I just knew it! After we finally arrived at the Heliconia Lodge, just off the Amazon River, I headed for the bar at the center of the compound. Lo and behold, a bottle of Rubio rested on the mantle along with three other types of Cusquena beer!

Yes! I'd bagged the creature, suitable for mounting on my wall back in safe, civilized Kansas! Knowing that the hunt had come to a successful end, I rejoined our group, assuming I'd be able to enjoy the fruit (and hops) of victory later.

Tragically, later that night, those hopes were dashed, shattered like a bottle of Rubio against a ship's hull. The mysterious Rubio bottle had vanished from the shelf. Noooooooooo!

Undeterred, I ordered one anyway. This is what I received:
A friggin' Trigo, aka a wheat beer. Cursing, I slammed it anyway.

Once back in the States, I'm still hunting for the ever obscure Cusquena Rubio Cerveza. No luck so far.

But it will be mine one of these days. Oh yes, it will.

Hey, that reminds me of another challenging hunt! In my comedic thriller, Chili Run, the protagonist, Wendell Worthy is on the hunt for the perfect bowl of chili, his brother's life on the line if he doesn't come back in time with the food. In his underwear. It's complicated. See just how complicated by clicking on through! 
Take out or die!

No comments:

Post a Comment