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Like you, at Howlanders we love to travel and explore new places! Discovering new destinations, flora and fauna, or cultures, is part of our passion and also part of our job.
Along the way, each of us has experienced some memorable travel stories, and today we want to share them with you. We hope they will inspire you to keep traveling because as the ancient explorer Ibn Battuta once wisely wrote:
Traveling leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller
Thieving coatis at Iguazú Falls
Our colleague Angela, who is in charge of planning all the content that appears on this blog, was on a trip to Brazil and had one of her travel stories with a wild coati. This is her experience:
“During my trip, I wanted to visit Iguazu Falls on my trip to Brazil. I really like photography and was excited to get good pictures (from the Brazilian side is where you get the best panoramic views.
As I was taking a picture of the Devil’s Throat, I noticed something was tugging on my backpack. I was afraid it was a pickpocket, but when I turned around to see what it was, I saw a coati!
Coatis are popular animals in South and Central America, and I had already been warned about what could happen. In the Iguazu Falls area, they have a reputation for getting into places where they are not allowed. They also love to steal sandwiches from travelers looking at the falls, so if you go, be careful! Don’t let them take your lunch.
I couldn’t save my sandwich, but I did get a lovely photo of the Devil’s Throat and made a coati happy.”
Fighting Soroche (altitude sickness)
Daniel, computer scientist and founder of Howlanders, started with his travel stories at Barajas Airport in Madrid, at 11:30 p.m.:
“Day 720 since I started the adventure that is Howlanders. I was super excited to finally discover the amazing country that is Peru. After 11 hours of flying, we landed in Lima and got the tickets to take the next plane to Cuzco.
24 hours after leaving home I was tired, but also excited. So after leaving our luggage at the lodging we decided to take a walk around the city center.
Eva, a woman we met in Cuzco, came with us, showed us the Plaza de Armas, the Cuesta de San Blas and told us about a real cevicheria (El Mariscal). Of course, we took the next cab to check it out. Deep down I knew I shouldn’t push myself the first day, but it felt great so I ordered ceviche, some cusqueñas (beer), chicharrón de pescado and something else I can’t remember…
It was a wonderful morning! But it was the only thing I enjoyed that day because when I got to the room the soroche punished me for it. Do you remember your worst hangover? Well, it was much worse, so I couldn’t do anything else that day.
The trip was long and we had time, so I drank a lot of water and rested because the next day we were going to do the tour to Machu Picchu. I did everything we tell our travelers to do… which I, brave me, completely ignored at first.
The next day my friend Paco arrived and feeling the same emotions as I did, he followed my every step upon arrival. It was a disaster for both of us! Remember, if you don’t want to suffer the symptoms of altitude sickness, follow all the recommendations, I say this from experience.😥”
The challenge during the W trek of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia
Javier traveled to Torres del Paine two years after founding Howlanders to do the W trek and discover Chilean Patagonia:
“I was very well prepared for the cold and rain, but after two days of hiking, it started to rain as I had never seen before in my life. Believe me, it was crazy!
Along the way I made some friends and we followed the route. At some point, we had to cross a river that wasn’t supposed to be there, but the heavy rain had created it. We spent over half an hour walking along the river trying to find an easy way to cross it.
Suddenly, a guy who looked like an Alaskan ranger appeared. Without hesitation, he just kept walking down the trail, crossing the river like Jesus walking on water. For a moment we were shocked and confused, but then we realized that there was a rock to walk on just 1 cm underwater… 😬
Sometimes things are easier than they seem at first, we just have to look twice.”
Going whale watching not to see them, in Ecuador
Rut is the one with a smile on the other side of the phone. And when she gives advice to our travelers, she knows what she’s talking about. Here’s what happened to him on Isla de la Plata, Ecuador, in August 2011.
“I was volunteering in Ecuador and we took advantage of the weekends to visit the coast. We stayed in Puerto Lopez and the next day we left for Isla de la Plata.
First, I was supposed to see and learn about unique animal species in the area such as the blue-footed nebouxii. We booked a tour that also included whale watching and snorkeling. It was a well-planned and short 2-hour boat ride to the island, so what could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, boats and I are not very “friends”, and what better time to find out, than in the middle of the sea!!! 🌊
I got so dizzy that I couldn’t see the whales. To make matters worse, once I got to the island, my seasickness was so bad that I couldn’t even make the trip to the nature reserve. So I stayed on the beach all morning, like a tourist who had never seen blue water before 💙.
Geysers Sol de Mañana: excitement leading to disaster
Ester, our fellow Marketing specialist, was on a trip to Chile and Bolivia and wanted to take our 3-day tour to the Salar de Uyuni from San Pedro de Atacama. This is what happened to her:
“We were seeing all the spectacular lagoons at each of the stops, having a lot of fun, and enjoying the trip. Our driver, Mike, told us that we were going to stop at the highest point of the tour. We were going to be about 5,000 meters above sea level. The stop was not in vain, as we were going to see some impressive geysers called “Sol de Mañana”.
As we approached, Mike was informing us about the precautions we had to take to get off the 4×4: not to run (we could get dizzy and suffer from severe altitude sickness), not to get too close to the fumaroles of the geysers (their smoke contains large amounts of lithium and is toxic), and never go inside (we would get burned!🔥).
I bet you can guess the first thing I did when I got out of the car… I was so excited to see so much steam coming out of the fumaroles that immediately, I broke the rules that Mike gave us!🙆🏽🤦🏽 I ran to the fumaroles where I could see the impressive craters, but with my bad luck,the air suddenly changed direction and I inhaled all the vapors coming out of the fumaroles.
I suddenly became dizzy and had to return to the car immediately before falling. I stayed there for quite a while so I could regain my balance and lose my nausea. I learned an important lesson that day: always pay attention to your guide or driver! They know what they are talking about and they know the land best. 🙂 🙂
The lost camera in the Caribbean Sea
Ana, who posts all those interesting things on our social networks, was on a trip with some friends in the Dominican Republic a few years ago, were on a boat trip to Isla Saona, they had a little accident with their camera:
“One of my friends decided to bring the waterproof camera he had just bought. While taking some pictures, the camera fell into the Caribbean Sea and this is where it all starts 😱.
He panicked and wanted to dive into the sea to retrieve it because it was floating, but the boat crew wouldn’t let him. There were sharks in the water!😨🦈 It was too dangerous.
But he didn’t give up! He convinced the captain of the boat to turn around and go look for the camera. Unbelievably, we found it! The ship became a party from that moment until we reached the island.”
These are our travel stories. As you may have seen, most of them could have been avoided with a little more care, but without these travel stories, we would have nothing to tell. We hope they have entertained you and inspired you to travel.
Which of our travel anecdotes have caught your attention the most? Tell us some of yours in the comments! We look forward to reading travel stories from our travelers 👀.