Most people are content swinging by their local Starbuck's on their way to work to grab their morning cup of coffee -- not adventurer Todd Carmichael. The coffee magnate has made it his mission in life to travel to the far reaches of the globe to find the perfect bean -- documenting his journey along the way.
Carmichael explores exotic locales on 'Dangerous Grounds'On Nov. 5, a TV series based on his exploits called "Dangerous Grounds" will debut on Travel Channel. On the show, Carmichael will visit exotic destinations like Haiti, Bolivia, Madagascar, and Borneo, and he won't be relaxing at luxury spas. Instead he'll sleep under his truck to evade potential robbers and do his best to avoid gun-toting foes -- all in the name of a good cup of java.
In a recent exclusive interview, Carmichael talked about one of the most daring moments he experience during filming. It all started with an unusual flight into Bolivia. He recounted, "Normally you fly into a country, land somewhere near sea level, and you find your crop. You get some tools, and you hide them away in the truck, and then you drive up this mountain. Bolivia's the other way around. You actually land at 13,000 feet. You're up already at nosebleed level. You're higher than where-plants-can-even-grow kind of height."
Next he and his cameraman went in search of the ideal coffee bean. Carmichael recalled, "Then you make your way down this chain of valleys to high-altitude coffee, which is always different. I've never gone down hill to find coffee. It was my first time."
A death-defying feat in BoliviaBut as Carmichael noted, the path itself was treacherous. As he revealed, "The road is really, really precarious, and it was my camera guy's first time on a road like this. And I swear to God, I thought I was going to lose him… It's about the width of your truck, carved in lime in the side of a mountain. It goes down about 3,000 feet on the left. And every once in a while you get a car coming the other way. So you have this really crazy dance you have to do. And once in a while there's no lip. So you have to back up back around the mountain and find this area that he squeezes between you and the cliff."
Luckily enough for Carmichael, his crew member's trepidation was beneficial to his own reaction to the events. He laughed, "It's funny because when you're alone, that type of stuff really gets your heart pumping. You have this certain concern. But I'm able to take all of that and put it on him -- because since he's losing his mind, I'm enjoying myself. He's suffering enough for two people."
Of course, what Carmichael didn't know was that his cameraman had a fear of heights. And, what his shooter was about to learn was that the death-defying feats weren't quite over. He continued, "When we arrived at this area where we needed to get across this canyon, the only way across is on this zip line that's about a quarter of a mile across and about 1,000 feet down. It's the kind where you look down and the river looks like a piece of spaghetti. And so I put him on a pulley and pushed him out there. He was horrified, but he did good."
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