TOWARDS THE INTERIOR
Of the imposing network of mountains in southern Bolivia.
Mancha and Gato take a short rest in a dry riverbed.
Chicha , the native beer, can be found almost everywhere. Even along some of the trails
one sometimes meets an Indian woman who is sitting near a bush with a pot filled with this
beverage, patiently, spinning wool whilst waiting for some thirsty traveller to stop to buy a
bowlful from her. When drinking chicha it is distinctly 'bad form' and shows lack of manners
if one drinks the bowl empty, for the general custom is to spill a certain amount of the liquid
on the ground, this being supposed to bring good luck to the person who is offering it. Should
Indians happen to be ploughing a field and a traveller pass near there, they often come run-
ning towards him to offer a bowl of chicha , and even if he does not feel inclined to drink, the
correct thing is to spill the liquid on the ground. In so doing the traveller is supposed to be
blessing the soil, and for this reason the passer-by is offered the drink - not so much out of
hospitality and generosity as for purely selfish motives.
chicha is prepared.