16/06/2017

When things go wrong

Travel is often made to look perfect. We don't want to post ugly pictures on Instagram or blog about our failures or misfortunes. We focus on the positives. What we loved about that place or the amazing food we ate there.

So I'm writing a post about all the times my travel as gone a little wrong. I'm lucky that I've never had any serious problems travelling (and will hopefully not have any on future trips!). So this is more of a light hearted post about small disasters that I've encountered along the way.

Getting our passports locked in the safe

Safes are a great way of protecting your valuables. That is, until you can't get back your valuables back out. And then their a nightmare. Especially, when it's your passport locked in it and you're flying home the next day. 

It was our fault. I take full responsibility for the incident but that didn't make it any less stressful. We got to our Casa Particular (a room in a private apartment) in Havana and were completely exhausted, We'd gone out the night before in Cancun because it was either that night or not at all. We had to deal with our tiredness the next day.

This, of course, meant we needed a good lie down (or a two hour nap). Our host had said she'd come back and show us how the safe worked. However, she never came back, probably because we had scurried into the room and not exited for two hours. We needed to head out and get some food so Kate, my university friend who I was travelling with, decided we should just do the safe ourselves so we could head out because by this point we were both getting a bit hangry. 

Well, it turns out it wasn't like the safes in hotel rooms, like we'd assumed. We didn't realise our mistake until two days later when we finally decided it was best to get our passports out because we were flying home soon.

The safe wouldn't open. After many attempts we had the realisation that it wasn't going to open because our passcode hadn't been set. It got to the point where we were thinking about going to the UK embassy in Cuba for an emergency passport. I would say we were googling how to overcome the problem but we couldn't as there was no wifi (Cuba has no internet unless you stay in a fancy hotel and pay for it).

Long story short, we did get our passports back. Luckily, our host had a key that unlocked the safe in cases of emergencies which was good as Kate had considered getting a hammer and attempting to rip the safe off the wall! 

While we were reunited with our passports and everything worked out I'll definitely be more careful with making sure I know how things work before I rush into assuming I know how they do! 

The flood

My next incident happened in Sri Lanka; Arugam Bay to be precise. The guest house we were staying in wasn't great. I'm used to staying in cheap, basic places but this one was particularly dirty and seemed to have an ant problem. I got over the lack of hygiene and got on with it. That was until my shower decided to flood. 

Thankfully, it was a wet room but the tap on the wall that linked to the shower to burst. The top popped off and I awoke (pretty hungover) to the sound of dripping. Actually I'd heard it throughout the morning while I was half asleep but I'd assumed someone was taking a shower because there was a outside shower right outside my window.

Eventually, I got up and went to the toilet. I was greeted by water spurting all over the bathroom. Half asleep I attempted to put the top of the tap back on. This did nothing but soak me. It kept popping back off. I then panicked and decided I'd have to get some help so I stumbled outside and found the manager. Thankfully, he managed to fix it and didn't seem to bothered about it. It wasn't my fault but I was worried he'd charge me for it.

In the end, it actually made the shower better. I'd been having to have cold showers and once tap was fixed the showers were warm! 

The mad dash and running out of money in Zagreb

In a sense we'd planned our money perfectly. We had enough left to buy a few snacks and get the tram to the station. The plan was to grab a bite to eat near the train station before we headed off to Ljubljana.

We found what looked like a promising cafe. However, the cafe only served drinks and no food. We decided we'd get a hot drink and Soph would locate the nearest Mcdonalds. Very cultural I know but we wanted something we could take on the train. Soph got directions to Mcdonalds and headed off, it didn't sound like it was too far away.

The drinks came and the waiter asked me to pay. I got out my purse and start counting out money and then suddenly realised we didn't have enough. I very awkwardly ask if I can pay when Soph gets back. 

I sat there for a good 20 mins and started to wonder where Soph was. Time was disappearing and we'd soon be needing to go to the station and I still needed to go and find an ATM to pay for the drinks!   Soph finally turned up with the Mcdonalds. Turns out it was way back near our hostel which is nearly a twenty minute walk away. So much for people telling her it was just a few minutes away. 

I then quickly set off to find the nearest ATM and was told there was one in the underground shopping centre. I get downstairs and find the ATM, which seems to be the only one within a mile because everyone else in Zagreb also seems to be waiting for the ATM. The ATM is also extremely slow. I get into the queue and just hope that I'm done before our train. Thankfully, I am so I dart back to the cafe we pay and set off to the train station which is only across the road. Turns out there was a shop in the station and a ATM! 

Lets just say we were thankful to get on the train and eat our Mcdonalds which was the first thing we'd eaten all morning! From then I always made sure I had a bit more cash than I needed! Which is a sensible thing to do anyway. Best not to forget you have no money when ordering drinks!

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Have you had any minor disasters on your travels? 

Sophie 

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