"Define camping." I asked as nicely as I am able. "Is it camping camping – like sleeping on the ground camping – or is it Oprah and Gayle style camping, with lipstick and jammies and mattresses and stuff?"
"Hello?" I said.
"It's camping." Replied, the not so adventurous sounding girl at the adventure travel company. "Tents on the ground camping."
I went on.
"So, okay, I'm thinking I'd like to do the drive-thru version of Machu Picchu. In and out like a cheap whore." Of course, I didn't say that last bit, as there was already a distinct failure to communicate between myself and the wouldn't know adventure if it kicked her in the ass-girl at the adventure company.
"You can't drive through Machu Picchu, ma'am." Was the eventual response from the lifeless creature on the other end of the line.
"I understand that, you stupid bitch, I wasn't being literal." I said, losing patience. "What I meant was, I didn't have a whole lot of time to stop and smell the fucking Peruvian roses. I want to be there, on top, feeling like I've accomplished something – then I want to catch the first burro out of there."
It was around then, that I hung up and called Nadine at Maritime Travel.
It's not that I've always had a lifelong burning desire to climb Machu Picchu. It's just that it's there, and it would be nice to wake up on top of something other than a poodle and a pile of drool, icing, and night sweats after drinking too much at a party my neighbours felt obligated to throw in my honour.
I want an adventure – and besides – dragging the Little Bastard along will give him something to remember me by after I stroke out, or get gunned down by someone I pissed off for the very last time.
Control freak that I am, I already knew the dates, places, times, temperatures, history, culture, economy, geography, and every flight coming and going from Lima to Havenot. And, while my travel agent is qualified and eager to research and sort through all the details – I just needed Maritime Travel to deal with the insolent lack of adventure girl at the adventure travel company. (And find me a luxurious last night in Lima.) Besides, I don't trust that random travel companies aren't going to up and blow town, shortly after they have my deposit. Booking with good ol' trustworthy Maritime Travel means I don't have to deal with sweating the small stuff – stuff that could easily escalate into big stuff, if left holding the carry-on bag in some Peruvian shit hole.
"And about the sherpas." I asked, just after my camping concerns and before my drive thru queries. "Will even the tiniest, most underage, toothless, uneducated, malnourished and impoverished of luggage porters be strong enough to carry my Concha y Toro?"
"Hello?" I asked.
"Did you say, Concha y Toro?" the unadventurous girl asked.
"Yes. It's wine. A liquid made from grapes." I told her. "I'm going to be 50."
"And thirsty as shit."
And so begins my attempt to climb Machu Picchu, dragging a reluctant 15-year old and a fat ass. Stay tuned. Plan your own adventure at Maritime Travel's Vacation Superstore this coming weekend at WTCC.