AWOL guide upon arrival
Before I even begin this story, let's start with some advice: Wherever possible try to travel within a network of people and a framework of places you've set up prior to leaving on your adventures. If you have this in place, when things go wrong (as they invariably do), usually they will work themselves out thanks to your plans and forethought. I'm not saying plan to the nth degree because where's the fun in that (the best moments in travel are the ones that come from spontaneity), but at least have your "back ups" stashed in the back of your brain.
I was taking a trip around northern Ethiopia and I'd just flown from Lalibela to Gondar. On arrival there was no sign of my guide or driver. They didn't fly with me, they drove instead and I'm wondering if something happened. I'm also acutely aware we have a packed schedule ahead of us (one night in each town before moving on to the next). It's not a big airport so it's not like there's anywhere I can search for them. Within ten to fifteen minutes everybody on my flight leaves and I'm the last one in the hall. I take a seat to work out a plan. I figure people know I'm here and they'll be looking for me soon enough, otherwise I'll take a taxi to the hotel myself and decide what to do once I'm there. One of the airport porters comes over and we get chatting. He asks me what I'm waiting for and I tell him the situation. He asks around on my behalf and one of the other porters makes a phone call for me. The next I'm hearing, my driver and guide are just doing a spot of shopping for me in Gondar town and they'll be along shortly. Apologies for the delay.
Did I mention there's an element of luck involved as well, but don't rely on this...
If you want to be super organised and efficient, carry a mobile phone with that country's sim card and take your driver and guide's mobile numbers. I knew once I got to the hotel I could make phone calls because my trip framework was already laid down and had been distributed accordingly!
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Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.