Good question! I use to plan a lot on the way, whenever I have a spare time – in planes, buses, over a meal, etc.
Therefore having my Lonely Planet with me is always a must have! I can’t afford to miss it, or I’ll miss a lot of knowledge/options and adventures.
People tell you about what to do, what to see, but sometimes you may not get all the information you need. People may not know how to get to some places, all the tricks, the advices for you as a foreigner, etc.
For my Asia trip I only booked the planes and I planed the trips before landing. And every time it was amazing and it worked out, somehow. 🙂
12.12.2012, I suppose to be in my way to Mexico and then Costa Rica, but somehow, due to an amazing weather alignment – snow in Bucharest and fog in London, I get diverted to Panama, instead of Mexico.
7 PM, completely dark, Panama City, faimous for the money laundry, drugs, human traffic and a lot of others.
Anca with her Lonely Planet, found the accommodation, trip plan set, all good, enjoying the new destination. I always wanted to be there, I found it interesting and fascinating, but I was always scared to do it. So I guess now it was the time to do it.
Few days later, 7 AM Boquete, Panama. I live for David and plan to get till the border with Costa Rica by the time the open the counter. In David I realized I miss my Lonely Planet – I forgot it in the hostel. But to back and return it would take me more than 3 hrs, so I’m thinking, maybe a bus driver can make me the favor and go to pick up my guide, and I’m fine paying a tip for it. So it was. Called the owner very nice, he said “Sure, send someone to take it, your Lonely Planet is safe with you”.
And that was it. He never picked up again the phone, and he didn’t gave my book to the guy who went for it.
Oh well, guess everything is paid in live and in the meanwhile I have 2 options:
lose the day to go pick up personally my book, and I know I’m gonna get it back, or
leave it and move ahead without it, but I didn’t have time to plan my trip on this route, and I have no idea how to go further..
Well Anca, sometimes you must take radical decisions, which take you out of your comfort zone and challenge you more wanted.
It was a hard decision and it hurt. For me Lonely Planets are part of me. They live with me my trip, my moments, my life, they are the testimony and my best friend! They always help me find solutions. How can I give it up? How can I think in replacing them?
I knew the hostel owner will find somebody who will use a lot that book, as I used a camera charger in Panama City, so I was not sorry for my best friend till then. And I did give up and went forward. I knew I have to make it! So I brushed my sad face and get into the minibus towards the border.
It was not easy without it. I was asking people who were not travel agents, about what to do and see in Costa Rica, how can I move from a place to another, from south to north. They love their country and they were born to take care of the tourists, but… they didn’t know to tell me there is only one car a day going to Corcovado National Park, or it takes a day to get the pass, which you can take it from the park as well, or there is no transportation after 5 PM… So I had a hard time. I lost 2 days and lots of money in talking to people trying to figure out information on how to travel. And I have a great trump: I speak perfect Spanish.
I also had the most gorgeous trip ever from Puerto Jimenez to San Jose by plane! Speechless! Emotional! Must do in live! But that is another post.
When I got to San Jose, I took another Lonely Planet from the airport and my life improved.
After this mishaps the Lonely Planet was officially promoted to my best travel friend.