Cheers to Chicha!
A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting in a local’s hangout, well off the beaten tourist path in Cusco, sipping a giant glass of chicha. I was there courtesy of Leo Cusi. We had just finished a three-hour meeting during which we shared our business philosophies and discussed possible trekking options I could offer my clients with Leo’s help. The chicha, which is a corn-based brew, came in a glass the size of a blender. Thankfully, my friend Malia was there to share it with me. Better still, it was of the non alcoholic variety. I have to say I’ve never had this kind of experience on a “business” trip. And, I’ve never had more fun!
Of course, there were the typical meetings conducted in the typically sterile conference rooms; one of which was entirely in Spanish. But, we also were there to check out different activities so I could judge whether they would be suitable for my prospective clients. The chicha got two thumbs-up.
Especially, tough duty was paragliding off the cliffs in Lima. After all it did involve jumping off a cliff which somehow seemed both metaphorically and strangely fitting. Who starts a travel business in a worldwide recession?
We also visited a remote community in the Andes and shared lunch with its members. The meal consisted entirely of different varieties of potatoes and some tea to help us cope with the altitude. Did you know that there are thousands of types of potatoes?
And we ran through a torrential downpour at Machu Picchu. Hey, what’s a little rain when you are at an awesome place like Machu Picchu?
Now, though, the “real” work starts. After recovering from exhaustion, I have begun the process of finalizing details of possible itineraries with my associates in Peru and emailing hotels so I can prepare a budget for my trips. Developing a real website is on the horizon, as well.
I can’t complain, though. I’ve never had a job that involves jumping off a cliff to soar high above the coastline as freely as Jonathon Livingston Seagull.