I thought that this would be a travel book and was prepared to hear many wonderful tales about South America. To my surprise, the author’s reason for travel was the discovery of his “first grey pube”! This seems like a fine reason to discover the wonders of South America, but the conversation that he overheard from other Backpackers supported this.
The backpackers had just met and were comparing places they had travelled. “Vietnam? Done it! Cambodia? Yes! In three weeks”!
The author wanted a real insider’s feel for the places to which he travelled and, as a consequence, he found himself in some very dangerous situations. When he arrived in Brazil, he lived in cheap accommodation; going for a walk one evening he found himself facing a teenager with a machine gun. The alleyways were presided over by drug gangs, and Aaron’s life was ultimately not worth the bullet.
The author also had a great desire to experience firsthand Ayahuasca! This is an hallucinogenic drink produced in many areas and becoming a part of the Tourist Industry. He describes his drinking, puking and tripping with this drug with great detail. It is the spiritual world that he is hoping to make contact with and gain a sense of and he pursues this pathway relentlessly.
A beautiful woman saved Aaron’s life and before long they realise this is a serious and probably long term relationship. The courtship develops easily and completely, but not without cultural complexities intervening.
This is an in-depth look at many out-of-the-way places, as well as popular Tourist spots that make up South America. It is warts -and-all book; something that is rare and to be treasured by those who can’t travel themselves or those who want to know the reality of the places the author has visited, not the glossy brochure version.