See, I made a little button for STTs

I’m going to go off on a tangent today.

People who regularly read this blog will understand that I often go off on a tangent, although a bicycle is infinitely more comfortable because it has a seat.

Travel is not just going to Machu Picchu and going ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at appropriate moments like most tourists blazing their way through an often tight itinerary so that they miss the travel experience. This is not the fault of the tourist, rather the world they come from. The First World is full of pressure and stress. Tourists have a limited time available before they have to be back at the desk on a Monday two or three weeks hence, and as travel to places like South America is costly, they tend to jam as much in as possible.

By doing this they let so much pass them by without so much as an inkling that it was there to enjoy.

My theme today is a simple one.

Cashew nuts, great for parties

Cashew Juice.

Most people are aware of the famed cashew nut, that flavoursome rival to the peanut and fabulous for parties.

The cashew nut hangs from the bottom

But few people are aware of were the cashew nut comes from, it’s a strange fruit where the stone (seed) grows on the outside of the fruit. The fruit is the best part, making a Moorish tasting juice.

And, it is that juice that I am drinking now and that prompted this post.

I would guess, and correctly so, that tourists come to South America have suco de caju (cashew juice) and go home none the wiser.

It is these small things that, to me, make tourism. The idea of being led by the nose by some well-meaning local guide, be he/she knowledgeable or not, is not tourism.

For sometime I was a tour guide in Peru, later Bolivia and Brazil, and also in the Pantanal. I have also stood in as a tour boat guide in Peru visiting the famed Ballestas Islands. As a foreigner being a guide makes one infinitely more attentive to details that would be of interest to the tourist, about things they don’t have at home.

Any way, just a little treatise on minor aspects of travel, that is my tale today.