My first conversation with world trekker and travel journalist Mittie Babette Roger didn't go well. I asked, "Would you like to submit your stuff to me?" She looked disgusted. "What I mean is: would you like to come on my staff?" She slapped me hard. "No!" I protested, "I'm not looking for a relationship. I just hoped you'd occasionally help me get my post up!" After more confusion, she finally understood. Persuading the cops to unhandcuff me, Mittie agreed to give a woman's touch to this blog (only the blog), by sending us regular dispatches from around the globe. Here's one from Peru called I Eat Male Hikers For Breakfast:
When I set off to Machu Picchu, I had no idea that my companion would need an Incan descendent to carry him piggyback down the Camino Inca. Back in Louisiana, where I’m from, I’d trained like an idiot, taking my gator-bait dog off leash in the swamps for hours with my fully loaded pack. Porters were out of the question. When I asked my partner if he felt ready, he shrugged, “I've done outward bound.”
So off we went, from below sea level to a peak of 12,000 feet, hiking for 4 days through lush, foggy forest and into alpine climbs, pushing aside hallucinogenic Angel's Trumpets and slurping coco leaf tea. After the first day, his right knee was aching. "Can I put a few things in your pack?" The next day it was the other knee. "I guess I was favoring it," he said. Some more stuff hopped into my pack.
Needless to say, it didn't end well. On the third day, both knees gave out. Our guide clicked her badass Peruvian heels three times and two porters stepped out from behind a dew-speckled wall of jungle leaves. One carried his pack and one carried him. He hung his head in shame as a New Zealander ran backwards in front of him, videotaping his descent to Machu Picchu.