Grantourismo August Competition - Winning Entries
By Frank McMains
A New Cazuela
The jeep swayed around the ruts and potholes along the edge of the San Miguel reservoir, down a grassy, well-traveled lane, past brick kilns fired orange and black, toward the house of Don Esteban. On the console rested a warm bag filled with chicharones and carnitas, our contribution to lunch. After all, food was the reason for our visit. A few days earlier I had taken a cooking class from chef Paco Cárdenas. According to Paco, making Mexican food required more than good ingredients; you also needed a good earthenware pot, a cazuela. Now he was taking me to get one.
Don Esteban stood in the hard-packed dirt courtyard of his low-roofed house and watched his grandchildren play marbles. He was over 80 but unbowed by age. He stood stock straight in his patched jeans and dust-covered sandals, like the decades spent crafting vessels from the local clay had made him into a monument, imbued with the earth beneath him...
Continue reading on Frank's blog
Terrifying Old Dragon Man
Even a year later this man’s look strips my facade to its frame. Can you feel it too? His worker, a young man, made room in the shop for our flat-tired motorbike, and he went to work silently.
I wanted a picture of the old guy, I had to have a picture of those nails, but I made myself a rule to only take pictures of people I talk to. Damn principle. He didn’t speak English, so with my (very) limited Indonesian, I attempted to have a heart-to-heart with the old man, to get to know him, to have a meaningful, cross-cultural exchange...
Continue reading on Mike's blog
By Sarah Warwick
Queen of Sapa
As my foot slips, I have time to let out just the tiniest of squawks before a hand grabs me. Blushing, I turn to my rescuer. ‘Oh Chau’, I smile at the girl who has saved my footing, if not my pride. ‘Thank you.’
16-year-old Haa is an excellent person to have by your side on a trek into the hills of Sapa, northern Vietnam. She belongs to the Black H’Mong tribal people, renowned for their wiry strength and indigo-stained clothing.
As we walk she keeps me entertained with her opinions on life, of which she has many. Life in the village is ‘boring’, and she wants to go and live in California or Australia, “where everyone is rich and clever like tourist”...
Continue reading on Sarah's blog