In an earlier post this week, I reflected on five camping or outdoor experiences where for one reason or another, the trip turned into a debacle. Whether it was the weather, other people, or just a fluke accident, things can go wrong when on an adventure outdoors.
Mishaps and misadventures can happen anywhere unfortunately, and here is a list of five adventures overseas that happened to me while traveling that went wrong. Being in a foreign country can sometimes feel like being in the wilderness as you do not have the same support system and comfort level as you do at home.
5. Crooked guide in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica
While at the Cabanas Cabin, the proprietor recommended Felix Menocal from Osa Adventures. We agreed on three days for $150.00. At the last minute, he backed out, so I renegotiated for $150.00 for two days. After one day, he told me he was leaving and left me stranded in the middle of the park and would not return my money. I posted an in depth post about it and he has begged me to take the post down as I know for a fact that people have found it and canceled his services and probably many more steered away from him.
4. The bus trip from hell from Bangkok to Siem Reap
I was warned that this trip was a bitch from a fellow traveler in Bangkok, but I figured it could not be that bad. It was worse. It started off innocently enough with a big comfortable air-conditioned bus from Bangkok to the border. I had the three seats in the back to myself, and I was able to stretch out in style.
Once we hit the border, everything changed. First of all, we waited in line to get through Thai customs for two hours in the sweltering sun. Then we got crammed in a small bus. I was stuck sitting in the middle on this fold up seat and my feat was stuck between backpacks. It was hot and dust was blowing in through the open window. It took over 5 hours to ride 70 kilometers. I have never been more uncomfortable in my life.
3. Running out of gas in the Chiang Mai countryside
I posted this story on Nomadic Samuel’s site. I hooked up with a pretty Venezuelan, and she rented a car to tour the countryside around Chiang Mai. We ran out of gas and stalled right in front of a bar in the tiny village of Mae Om. Fortunately, a kind soul took me to the gas station and helped me get a bucket and some gas to come back and fill up.
2. The Macqueripe Beach misplaced keys
To kill time before Carnival started, we decided to go on a leisurely four kilometer hike to Macqueripe Beach. We parked in the golf course and hiked 2.2 kilometers to the beach and decided to hike back. Our friend Russ, was tired after the first leg and decided to stay at the beach. We hiked back to the car and we were then going to drive back and pick up Russ. Only problem was, Russ had the keys in his backpack. Click on the Macqueripe Beach link above to read how we got out of the mess.
1. Stolen Eurail pass on the way to Chamonix
On my obligatory post college Eurail trip around Europe, my travel companion, and I were heading for the Alps and Chamonix, France. On the way there my friend Michele realized she was missing her Eurail Pass. Someone had stolen it from our hostel in Avignon, France.
Instead of going to Chamonix, we had to proceed onward to a Eurail Pass center in Switzerland. We were fortunate that no conductor checked our tickets. We then got a room and then the next day had to purchase a new Eurail pass for the rest of the trip. It was only a $100 plus dollars, but when you are a starving college student, it was substantial.
Feel free to share a quick misadventure in a foreign country that you have experienced.
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Interesting stories. I remember the story about Corcovado. Good to read the follow up to that story and see that your post really affected your guide’s business. Guess he won’t make that mistake again.
Jeremy Branham recently posted..Northern California Hiking in North Lake Tahoe – Mt Judah Trail
I believe Felix’s dye is cast. I would like to think I had that much influence over the travel world, but I think the limit is warning other travelers about him. I am happy with that. If my post changed his behavior, so much the better, but I highly doubt it will occur.
Thanks for sharing your unfortunate travel stories. You’re lucky you had a pretty lady along or you may still be on the side of the road outside Chiang Mai;-)
Erika recently posted..Photos of the day: Paddling the Chattooga River
There is more to that story Erika. Pretty lady and I got into a nasty fight about twenty minutes after we left our friend. She dropped me off at the guesthouse we met at and have not kept in touch.
I really don’t think he was motivated by her though. I think he was just an incredibly good guy. You should read the story on Nomadic Samuel’s post (even though he kicked your favorite blogger off the top 100).
I’m glad that all of your misadventures turned out ok in the end! And that none of them were horrific. It’s always good to have things like those happen, otherwise you wouldn’t have as good of stories to tell!
Payje recently posted..Gold Mining in Hope Alaska
I have been really lucky traveling. Nothing horrible has ever happened to me. If the worst thing that happens is I get scammed out of $75.00 by a crooked guide in Costa Rica, that is not so bad.
Word on Felix keeps spreading! I never pay a guide in advance. If they want something, they get maybe 20%. Thanks for sharing – makes me think what mine have been…
Raul (ilivetotravel in Twitter) recently posted..Trekking with a Purpose – the Best of Both Worlds
Actually, I did not pay him in advance. I go into more detail on that aspect in the actual post. You should compile a list yourself into a post.
At least you enjoyed a sunset, that always helps… plus, I’ll be honest, I was hoping for photos of the pretty Venezuelan…
stay adventurous, Craig
Craig Zabransky recently posted..A Few of My Favorite Tastes of Amsterdam
If you click on the link to the post I did on Nomadic Samuel’s site, you will find her picture there.
There was this one time, I had to climb out of a hostel window in Venice because we were LOCKED IN our room. Good times. I’m going to have to read that in-depth post about Sir Felix in Corcovado. Don’t know how I missed it before.
Francesca recently posted..My annual trip back in time
That was posted back last September, so it has been awhile.
Wow…I bet the guide in Costa Rica really is kicking himself. That was an expensive mistake. Misadventures aren’t fun in the moment, but down they road they always seem to provide the best stories…
D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..California Route 1 – Big Sur to San Francisco
My favorite was the Costa Rican story. What a jackass. Ahhh…the power of the pen (or keyboard, in this case).
Leah Travels recently posted..Three Reasons I Love Las Vegas
these are interesting misadventures, Ted. running out of gas seems a likely one that would happen to me. i’m glad you met some local saviors to help you out. hopefully, i’ll be so lucky should this ever happen to me!
lola recently posted..Cambodia Countdown – 4-3-2-1-0 BLAST OFF
Losing my eurail pass was a common nightmare I had while traveling through Europe…thankfully it never happened but I can only imagine the pain it would have caused.
John recently posted..A Santorini Sunset
just clicked over to read the full story of felix… what a guy!
the lazy travelers recently posted..no travel required
Ah, the misadventure! Thanks for sharing.
Wow Ted, you have certainly had your share of memorable travel moments!! Are you going to write a post about hooking up with the Venezualan? 😉
My misadventures have included a terrible hotel room in NYC, complete with a TV painted over (??) and a mouse; also, after an emergency landing on the way from Zurich to Krakow the airline (Swissair) chartered us a bus from Vienna. A bus, not another plane!! I haven’t flown them since.
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