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What's your most memorable detour?

Travel Forums General Talk What's your most memorable detour?

1. Posted by tway (Travel Guru, 7274 posts) 15 Feb '05 09:57

The bus broke down and left you in a city you couldn't find on a map? Take the wrong train and end up staying a week? Met a crazy stranger who took you over the border and you never looked back?

What's the most fantastic (good or bad) experience you've had from ending up in the "wrong" place at the right time?

2. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru, 2457 posts) 15 Feb '05 10:12

What's the most fantastic (good or bad) experience you've had from ending up in the "wrong" place at the right time?

Sure this has come up before, but on one occassion i met girl who became my fiance.

I'm used to delays now as i get so many, some of which have been somewhat long &/or involved huge detours (and spent so many nights roughing ti i've lost count), but amongst others, i've met several people i'd count as good friends, including my best friend; i've slept in no mans land (utterly, utterly bizare), had an entirely unexpected trip across Iraq and ended up in many places i wouldn't normally plan/expect to go. But for me, that's at least half the fun of travelling. Not knowing what the heck is going to happen, or where on earth i'll end up.

3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru, 2634 posts) 15 Feb '05 11:27

Man, I hate posting right after Gelli. He always has the best stuff happen to him. There's no way I can beat travels across Iraq or meeting my soulmate...

Very recently, I had a bit of a detour that was fun. I was travelling via van from Stone Town to Kendwa in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Unfortunately, the van developed a serious fit of grinding metal, and thus we had to stop at a mechanic in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

Mostly in Tanzania, due to the nature of the things I was doing, I was in places that were very used to white-skinned tourists. The people there are either respectful and go about their business, or they are eyeing you as a potential target for purchasing of something. And the children mostly saw you as a potential dispenser of pens and/or candy. Often the first words out of a childs mouth was "gimme candy" or "gimme chocolate."

I was starting to get sick of the constant pestering, actually. For 3 weeks I had been deflecting touts away from me, and I was starting to feel down to my last nerve.

At this small mechanics shop, though, they obviously didn't get a lot of white tourists, and soon a bunch of children were crowded around the van. They were amazed when on of our party spoke swahili to them. She tried to give them some chewing gum, but the children wouldn't take it! They were a little weary of accepting anything from us foreigners. It was a nice switch from the constant asking for candy from children in the more touristed populated areas. The kids just wanted to stand around, and talk (though other than the girl who spoke swahili, we couldn't say much to each other) and laugh and joke around.

It completely and totally took me out of my funk, and reminded me that 99.9% of the people I met were nice, and weren't out to get anything from me, and were just going about their daily business of living their lives.

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin, 5579 posts) 15 Feb '05 12:03

I recently wasn't allowed into Bali and they deported me to Darwin, Australia. Managed to get a flight back two days later with the proper paperwork but it was a nice detour (which cost a pretty penny too) that I won't forget any time soon

Makes for a good story though when you are supposed to be working in a travelling business.....

5. Posted by travelover (Respected Member, 494 posts) 15 Feb '05 12:44

This was a family trip... oh man, I think more than ten years ago! We went to Cape Cod for a few days whilst on a trip in Boston, and decided to take the ferry over to Nantucket to explore for a day. My dad likes nature, and he decided to rent bikes for the whole family so we could ride them to the nearest beach which was a mile away. Not a bad ride. We got to the intersection leading to the beach, except there was about 4 or 5 forks in the road. So, we took the one going left. We rode for what seemed like hours under the hot sun. To make a long story short, we had taken the wrong road, and ended up travelling a total of 22 miles (11 miles each way)! We all laugh about that now, but our disgruntlement was extreme at the time.

Tam

6. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member, 272 posts) 17 Feb '05 12:25

Went for a walk in Xian, China. Got very lost and ended up thinking i should follow the city wall cos the hotel was somewhwere near it. (At the time i didnt realise it streched about 10 miles around )
ANYWAY, i was wandering through a Muslim market and found a women selling steamed duck, we were about to go on a 15 hour drive so i got some. Only she steamed the thing WHOLE, i made a chopping motion and she got the biggest machette out ever and cut it into three pieces......i meant sliced.
Then i rambled on and was thrust into a tea leave shop where for the next two hours i sat gettin free tea and chatting to the owner and his two VERY pretty daughters. (yup i got the jist). Then a freind i'd made walked in, she asked me if i wanted to go back to the hotel for dinner and i nodded furiously and dashed out the shop faster than my legs could carry me.

7. Posted by noemagosa (Full Member, 355 posts) 18 Feb '05 10:27

It was late in the evening on my first day in Berlin, Germany. I had walked around as much as I could and my feet were killing me, I was feeling lost and all (I was 19, it was my first travel alone ever, in a foreign city/country and all...). I wanted to eat something, but I didn't know what, not WHERE... the only thing I barely had an idea was that the hostel was not so far (and it didn't have restaurant or even a coffee shop... Anyway, I found a small chinese restaurant, entered, ordered a soup and was waiting for it, when 2 nice german guys started talking to me, asking me questions, where I was from, what I was doing etc... At the begining, I didn't know if I should be talking to strangers, but they liked the story of my life so much that they ended up paying for me!! ;)

A similar situation happened to me in Roma, Italy. I had spent two days walking around this "open air museum" , feeling lonely (I had spent 3 days of fun and friends in Torino/Le Langhe before...) and I was writing emails in that laundry/internet shop... When the tenant, a nice italian guy started talking to me in English, then Italian, when he saw that I knew his language... When I told him I wanted to go away from Rome because it was too big, too noisy, he persuaded me not to... And we had a very nice evening with restaurant/jazz concert/and ... night swim in the sea at midnight!! (and that's it, don't go imagine anything else!):);)

8. Posted by HDW (Budding Member, 10 posts) 18 Feb '05 20:10

I was once trying to get home on public transit with my mum. Somehow we wound up on the wrong bus, of the same number. Anyway the driver dropped us off at his last stop in the middle of a Boeing Airfield district. It was early evening and it must have been winter because it was very dark. So there we are sitting at an empty bus station, waiting for the last bus of the night to take us home, when we noticed an odd sound coming from across the street, bagpipes! Coming from a dark, seemingly empty parking lot. It was a mournful song, and given our day rather creepy!

9. Posted by Cbppc25 (Full Member, 75 posts) 19 Feb '05 00:12

i hope this tells as good as my memory sees.....

I was in Perigueux, France on my first solo trip(i had just spent a month in Brittany with friends) when i decided to rent a bike and ride to Sarlat because i had heard it was a very beautiful town. It couldn't be that far from here, i told myself. On my map of France, the distance was only the lenght of my index to my thumb. I rented the bike for two days and set off. By nightfall, I had made it only halfway (about 30km) and started hitchhiking. I found a hotel with one empty room due to a no-show. As soon as i got there, it started to rain. What luck.

After a full nights rest, I made it to Sarlat in the late afternoon. I was now 60km from Perigueux where the bike was due back in five hours! I dismally searched for a hotel with no luck. I checked EVERY one. nearing 11:00 i resorted to hitchhiking to find a hotel outside the town. Few people would take me with the bike though. Then this Frenchman pulls over and after a long struggle with language barriers we put the bike in the trunk of his BMW. We drive to his apartment. I meet his wife, his daughter. He pulls out his sofabed and brushes off some of the dead flys and crust the sheets. I lay down. It rains. I sleep.

Day 3 is full of fun in Sarlat. Its a touristy town because of its "old village" and there are some great restaurants and sights/markets. late in the day I catch a train back to Perigueux.
When I try to take the bike back the following day(Sunday), the shop is closed! I only paid for two days, and here i am four days later. I had to go to the police station and tell them in very broken french that they have to take the bike back for me because i have a flight to catch!

Long story short: Don't plan, its more fun!

Chad