The Weekly Travel Theme from Where’s My Backpack? is Unexpected. Let’s face it! Seasoned travelers have learned… sometimes the hard way… to expect the unexpected. Our month-long trip through Ecuador was no exception.
We had just arrived in Quito,Ecuador via Costa Rica, when I received an email from a friend: You need to check the law for returning to Costa Rica from Ecuador. They won’t let you board the plane without proof of a yellow fever vaccination and it has to be dated at least ten days before you board the plane.
Oh, no! We weren’t expecting to be in a high risk area, but what if this was true? I really didn’t want to get the yellow fever vaccination because I was afraid of getting sick, having a bad reaction, or ruining our trip. Our last day in Quito, we decided to go to the hospital and suck-it-up! After waiting in the vaccination line, the nurse asked, “How old are you?” This was one case…probably the only one… where we were rewarded for our age. “You are too old for the shots, and the risk is too great,” the lovely nurse said. Instead, she filled out the information and handed us the certificates all for free!!!
A few minutes later, while waiting for a taxi, we were hit by a freak hailstorm. “It never hails in Quito,” everyone told us. Expect the unexpected? We only had one umbrella to protect us.
You would expect real coffee in a country that exports coffee, wouldn’t you? All through Ecuador, we were served instant coffee. In the small fishing village of San Clemente, we had to knock on a restaurant door after 9 am to get our morning fix of instant coffee.
Did you ever expect a 121 year old tortoise from the Galápagos to need dental work? Poor Miguelito, someone needs to brush his teeth.
Most of the time, my head watches my feet as I walk…especially in Nicaragua where there are many unexpected holes, scorpions, and cow manure on the paths. But, walking near the ocean in Puerto Lopez, I heard such a fuss above my head! Looking up I unexpectedly encountered hundreds of swallows on the electric wires.
The variety of trees in Ecuador were an unexpected surprise. Is this a truffula tree?
You never know what unexpected surprises you will find when you look up! Attack of the giant lobster?
We tried to prepare for the unexpected before beginning our travels. I bought a small tablet in Costa Rica because I didn’t want to lug my Macbook on the buses. It was my first tablet, and I couldn’t figure out how to save the pictures I took from my camera onto the tablet. We were in a hostel in Banos, Ecuador and I inserted my micro sd card to post pictures to Facebook. The tablet has a strong spring and the micro sd card has to be inserted just right to stay inside the tablet. When I returned to our room, my micro sd card wasn’t in the tablet. Apparently, the cleaning woman swept all my pictures into the trash! The only pictures I could retrieve were from Facebook.
Such is life. Always expect the unexpected, but don’t freak out when things don’t go your way! We have to learn to roll with the punches!
How do you prepare for the unexpected?