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Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 | 22 comments

Most Insane Moments I Have Experienced in my Travels

Most Insane Moments I Have Experienced in my Travels

I think every traveler have had his/her moments.  Those moments when things don’t happen as expected.  Moments where you want to cry, scream or pull your hair.  And pull it really hard.

No matter how experienced of a traveler I claim to be, insane and crazy moments are always take place.  I bet they have happened to you and I bet you were angry, sad, confused or shocked at those instants.  But we have made it thru and here we are.  What
is left?  We have learned from those experiences and now is the moment to laugh about them (hopefully, we can laugh
really hard).

So, hear they are. The most insane and outrageous moments I have experienced during my travels.

Riding with stoned people in Belize

From Ambergris Cay, we wanted to take a bus to San Ignacio (close to the Guatemala border, we had to cross the entire length of the country).  I had the brilliant idea of taking public transportation.  When I arrived to the dilapidated bus station, a guy ripped my suitcase from my hand.  I stood there thinking I was robbed.  My husband followed the guy.  I learned some people offered their “luggage carrying services” at the station.  They take your suitcases and carry them to the bus you intent to take.  Then, they charge you money for that.  The thing is that they don’t even offer their services; they just ripped the bags from your hands.  I gave they guy a few bucks (with a very angry face) and recuperated my bag. Let me just say, he scared me to death and I sweat a river at that moment.

But that is not it. The story does not end there.  Taking that bus was probably one of the most stressing situations I have been involved.  I had to share my ride with people selling stolen goods and guys jumping around because they were high on something.  Plus, people were getting in and out of the bus every five minutes. Ok, they bus wasn’t even stopping for them to do that.  I felt like something bad was going to happen at any moment.  But not everything was bad.  There was a curious case of a couple carrying a cake thru the entire country. During my ordeal, I invented stories about who was going to eat the cake.  The best story had me in my car rental cruising thru the country while eating that delicious cake. Why I didn’t think about renting a car before. Arrrggggg!!!

No place to stay in Guatemala

I guess it is advisable to have at least a remote, tiny, minimal idea of where to stay in a big city. Well, I think I wasn’t in my five senses when I decided to take a bus from San Salvador to Guatemala City without a hotel reservation at all.  I thought we
were going to have enough daylight to find a place upon arrival.  I was dead wrong!!!! The trip took double the amount of time because of a heavy rain we experienced once we crossed into Guatemala.  I am not exaggerating when I say it was raining cats and dogs.  Result?  We arrived really late to a dangerous city without any idea of what to do.  So, what else?  I asked for hotel information at the bus station (at least it was located in the nice part of town). Somebody in the station called a nearby hotel and a worker picked us up.  As you may imagine, the price was exorbitant but we didn’t feel like we had a lot of options.  A little bit latter, we were hungry and went out to eat.  We were followed by all the gazes of security guards with long, semi-automatic rifles.  We ended up in Mc Donalds eating weird tasting Big Macs.

Vomit eating dogs in Guatemala

Do you think what I described in the previous paragraph was the end of my Guatemala City adventures?  Of course not.  Next morning, we were waiting for a friend at the hotel lobby. There were two Chihuahuas running around.  They got close to us and one ended licking my husband toes (he had sandals).  My husband, who dislikes dogs, got kind of pissed off.  I told him it wasn’t the end of the world.  Well, when I finished that sentence we noticed the dogs were eating their own vomit in one of the living
room corners.  My husband almost passed out.

A different kind of toilet paper in El Salvador

I have more restroom stories than fingers in my hands.  One time my husband and I were visiting friends in the Western part of the country. I asked for permission to use the restroom and the house owner gave me instructions.  I started to worry when
she asked me to go outside the house.  The restroom ended up being a latrine.  I entered it in total disbelieve.  I stayed there for a few minutes pretending I was doing something.  The worst part is that they had pieces of newspaper stuck in the door. Somebody made newspaper balls to soften them before passing them thru you know where.  After that, I had to wait more than 2 hours to use a real restroom.

Get out of my bus in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, I took an express bus from San Jose to Manuel Antonio National Park.  The ride went really smooth until the moment we were about 5 or 6 miles from our final destination.  At that moment, the bus driver commanded everybody to get out of the bus. A lot of people started to complain.  “I am going back to San Jose, so get out now”.  The thing is that he didn’t want to take the risk to cross a bridge that was in a deplorable state.  I had to cross the bridge on foot.  I must admit that that thing was about to fall at any moment.  Thanks God another bus stopped and picked up the stranded passengers.

Crying in Brazil

I experienced my latest insane moment this year while visiting Brazil.  I am not going to get in much detail because it was so bad that I don’t want to remember it.  Let just say it involves a shortage of reales (money) to return to Rio de Janeiro from Petropolis, a woman kicking us out of a change house, and me crying in public. Lesson: make sure you have enough local currency before going outside a main city.

This is it for now.  I realized I will need a second part to finish telling you about my insane stories.  But now it is your time!!! What are some of the most insane moments you have experienced?


    • I agree with Inka. Thanks for sharing these insane moments and I’m looking forward to your next post.
      Demi recently posted..asbakMy Profile

  1. Right after college we went backpacking for five weeks in Europe – my first time out of the country! We flew into Paris and discovered that our hostel had fallen through…. and the cheapest accommodations we could find were in the $300 range because of an event or something.

    So we made the last minute decision to take a sleeper train down to Naples…. and were stuck in a cabin with a young Italian couple who couldn’t get the toddler with them to stop crying. It would settle down and almost be asleep and then they’d start violently rocking the kid and wake him up again so he’d start screaming for another round! All of us in the cabin (all speaking different languages) spent the entire night trying to talk some sense into them… and then at least trying to make them leave so we could get some sleep.

    We still laugh about how they must have stolen that baby because they were so obviously inept at the whole parenting thing!
    Technosyncratic Travel Blog recently posted..Unexpected Perils of the Roman BathsMy Profile

  2. These are some bad moments… damn. Yeah I think my worst moment has been being held at gunpoint in Monteverde, Costa Rica… yeah it was a nightmare and of course I wrote about it.

    • Actually, you reminded me of a similar story I had in the Dominican Republic. I went to your blog looking for that Monteverde story and found it. So glad nothing bad happened. Thanks God you were able to talk to the guy in Spanish. Hope you have fully recuperated from it.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Los Angeles County FairMy Profile

  3. Haha, I enjoyed reading this. One of the moments I cannot forget was in Indonesia, when we went to visit a family’s house and use their toilet….the family told us they don’t use toilet paper (more like they use their left hands to wipe and then wash their left hand). No wonder the tour guide told us not to use left hand to shake people’s hands in Indonesia.
    Annie – FootTracker recently posted..Japan(13) 5 Tips for Traveling in JapanMy Profile

  4. I’m sure you will never forget these experiences, even if you would like too! My most memorable experience was getting deported from S. Korea – one that I hope to never repeat.
    Laurel recently posted..Photojourney to Oktoberfest ParadeMy Profile

  5. Wow! Those are all quite interesting moments! I’m glad you survived them all. Off the top of my head, the one of the worst situations I’ve been in was when my taxi driver kept falling asleep and nearly crashed three times. And this was in Miami—not some third world country.
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..La Jolla: The Jewel of San DiegoMy Profile

    • Sorry Michael but this is hilarious. I wonder what was happening to this guy. I have a friend who can go miles in the freeway asleep (like the 5 or 405). I don’t know how he is alive. It is kind of a nighmare to be with him in the car while he is driving. I can’t imagine the experience with a stranger.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Los Angeles County FairMy Profile

  6. One thing to note about dogs – eating vomit is common. They also eat other dogs’ poop as well.

    As for my insane moment, will have to think about this one. Off the top of my head, I would say the nude beach in Portugal but I am sure I can come up with others if I think about it.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Where in the world am I?My Profile

    • Thanks for your reminder of dogs eating poop. It actually reminded me of one of the American Pie movies. You have to tell us later details about that experience in Portugal. Hopefully, your kids weren’t there.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Los Angeles County FairMy Profile

  7. Well I’m afraid mine are pretty tame compared to yours but we were camping on a sandbank in Ecuador being told about how a local had been attacked by an anaconda on that very spot and then when we girls tried to go around the bend in the river to find a private spot to wash, the boatmen were very quick to tell us to stay near the boat.
    Heather on her travels recently posted..The Siwa sunset at Fatmas Island – in EgyptMy Profile

  8. That sounded like the bus ride from hell. I think anytime you travel there will be moments that throw you off your game. I’m glad you were safe. Jeremy is right, Dogs do that.
    Lisa recently posted..UNDER CONSTRUCTION EXCUSE MY DISORDERMy Profile

  9. Oh my! Those really are insane moments. Great blog subject though. Very, very interesting! Thanks for sharing them.
    Sheila recently posted..CNA CertificationMy Profile

  10. Everything is a experience !! although i didn’t start my journey so i learned a lesson from your post ..
    Sheril Benedict recently posted..World Tourism Day !!My Profile

  11. Wow Ruth de verdad que has pasado cosas!!!!! Que asco lo de los perros fochia y que miedo lo de Brazil me imagino el susto pero gracias a esas experiencias eres toda una experta ahora!

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