Episode 7: The Art of the Deal
Tranquilidad is being plundered. We open with Rowan on a stakeout, waiting for the police to show up and arrest the thieves that are stealing cacao from Volker’s property. It’s 2022, and Volker has returned to give cacao one more shot. The lure of chocolate keeps pulling him back in, and he’s desperate to save his little grove, which fell apart in his absence. And he’s fighting fires on all fronts. Thieves are poaching his cacao forest and selling to his competitor. Even worse, he’s foolishly flamed the Baures Cacao Council on social media for having low quality standards. In retaliation, they’ve cut him off from his main supply. So he needs new sources, fast. Soon he and Rowan are road tripping across the Amazon, in a last-ditch effort to secure enough chocolate to pay his bills this season… He journeys up the Rio Blanco by boat, chasing a rumor, then returning just in time to rendezvous with the police to arrest the thieves…if they show….Everything is falling apart…until Volker’s scouts on the Rio Blanco come back with reports of massive, untouched cacao groves stretching all the way to the Paraguay border…just waiting for someone crazy enough to mount an expedition. The episode ends with an open invite to listeners: Who’s in?