A comedy of errors

Date Posted: November 10, 2012
Posted in: Travel Tales

The start to my trip was a series of small issues that I figured you would all enjoy. So I got to Logan early to check my bag because I bring my Swiss army knife with me everywhere, and while I have been allowed on 7 (yes, SEVEN) flights without security noticing it in my purse I decided not to risk it and just check the bag. The copilot on my flight was late because his bus broke down on the highway. We waited for him, and then when we pulled away from the gate we had to de-ice the plane because Boston is part of the frigid arctic tundra and these things happen. We finally left an hour and fifteen minutes late. You would think I would’ve been nervous about missing my connection in Miami, but no. I just slept the whole time instead.

We got to Miami 40 minutes before my next flight took off, which was conveniently from the gate next to my arrival gate. I got on plane number two a-ok. However, my backpack did not. This I realized upon arrival in San Pedro while I watched everyone and their mother grab suitcases and boxes and what could have qualified as a body bag for Andre the Giant. There I stood, bag-less. The American Airlines guy was fantastic though. He took all my info, said they would send the bag on the next plane from Miami to San Pedro, and then to the local airport in La Ceiba, where I was headed. And then he gave me a conciliatory toiletry bag. How sweet.

After the 4 hour bus to La Ceiba, I was supposed to have a cabbie pick me up and bring me to a hostel downtown. Again, there I stood, this time bag-less AND cabbie-less. The bus driver stayed with me until the cabbie showed up 15 minutes later. No biggie. I’d been traveling for 18 hours so I was too tired to bother caring.

SO off we go to the hostel and during the whole drive my cabbie friend tells me he doesn’t like working at night because cabbies get killed for their money. There was a 30-day period when 15 cabbies were murdered. YIKES. Lucky for him I don’t even have my small pocket knife because it’s still hanging out in Miami.

My new cabbie friend agrees to drive me to the airport the next morning to check on my bag, so we head out at 9:30am. After asking each airline who might possibly have my bag, we figure out it’s probably Taca, but their flight from San Pedro doesn’t arrive until 10:50. Cabbie friend doesn’t want to wait and pay for parking so he says he’ll pick me up at 11. At 10:50, I go back to the Taca desk and the woman brings me the back way into the customs office after a very pregnant woman does a very cursory check of the bag I do have with me. We walk in, the three people there stop their conversation, and with big smiles on their faces they point to the suitcase on the floor. A suitcase which does not in fact belong to me. Smiles immediately turn to frowns and apologies. Welp, looks like I’ll be buying some new clothes! I’ll miss that knife though…

Just kiddinggggg the bag was still on the plane! Everyone was so excited to locate it, and also baffled that I checked such a small bag. Whatever, just give me that knife! I use it all the time!

After all that jazz, I got back to the hostel, shared some Pizza Hut with the random dudes hanging out in our common area, and then hitched a ride to go whitewater rafting. It was SO much fun, mostly because I was the only one going so I went with three rafting guides from Jungle River Lodge. We had Class I-IV rapids, I only flipped out of the raft once, and I consider it a success! Plus I got to jump off the high rocks on the river bank. They promised me I wouldn’t die in both English and Spanish, can’t ask for more than that!

Sorry no photos! I haven’t even pulled my camera out of my bag yet. That trend will likely continue so don’t hold your breath.

The start to my trip was a series of small issues that I figured you would all enjoy. So I got to Logan early to check my bag because I bring my Swiss army knife with me everywhere, and while I have been allowed on 7 (yes, SEVEN) flights without security noticing it in my purse I decided not to risk it and just check the bag. The copilot on my flight was late because his bus broke down on the highway. We waited for him, and then when we pulled away from the gate we had to de-ice the plane because Boston is part of the frigid arctic tundra and these things happen. We finally left an hour and fifteen minutes late. You would think I would’ve been nervous about missing my connection in Miami, but no. I just slept the whole time instead.

We got to Miami 40 minutes before my next flight took off, which was conveniently from the gate next to my arrival gate. I got on plane number two a-ok. However, my backpack did not. This I realized upon arrival in San Pedro while I watched everyone and their mother grab suitcases and boxes and what could have qualified as a body bag for Andre the Giant. There I stood, bag-less. The American Airlines guy was fantastic though. He took all my info, said they would send the bag on the next plane from Miami to San Pedro, and then to the local airport in La Ceiba, where I was headed. And then he gave me a conciliatory toiletry bag. How sweet.

After the 4 hour bus to La Ceiba, I was supposed to have a cabbie pick me up and bring me to a hostel downtown. Again, there I stood, this time bag-less AND cabbie-less. The bus driver stayed with me until the cabbie showed up 15 minutes later. No biggie. I’d been traveling for 18 hours so I was too tired to bother caring.

SO off we go to the hostel and during the whole drive my cabbie friend tells me he doesn’t like working at night because cabbies get killed for their money. There was a 30-day period when 15 cabbies were murdered. YIKES. Lucky for him I don’t even have my small pocket knife because it’s still hanging out in Miami.

My new cabbie friend agrees to drive me to the airport the next morning to check on my bag, so we head out at 9:30am. After asking each airline who might possibly have my bag, we figure out it’s probably Taca, but their flight from San Pedro doesn’t arrive until 10:50. Cabbie friend doesn’t want to wait and pay for parking so he says he’ll pick me up at 11. At 10:50, I go back to the Taca desk and the woman brings me the back way into the customs office after a very pregnant woman does a very cursory check of the bag I do have with me. We walk in, the three people there stop their conversation, and with big smiles on their faces they point to the suitcase on the floor. A suitcase which does not in fact belong to me. Smiles immediately turn to frowns and apologies. Welp, looks like I’ll be buying some new clothes! I’ll miss that knife though…

Just kiddinggggg the bag was still on the plane! Everyone was so excited to locate it, and also baffled that I checked such a small bag. Whatever, just give me that knife! I use it all the time!

After all that jazz, I got back to the hostel, shared some Pizza Hut with the random dudes hanging out in our common area, and then hitched a ride to go whitewater rafting. It was SO much fun, mostly because I was the only one going so I went with three rafting guides from Jungle River Lodge. We had Class I-IV rapids, I only flipped out of the raft once, and I consider it a success! Plus I got to jump off the high rocks on the river bank. They promised me I wouldn’t die in both English and Spanish, can’t ask for more than that!

Sorry no photos! I haven’t even pulled my camera out of my bag yet. That trend will likely continue so don’t hold your breath.

About the author

Amanda Walkins

Serial expat Amanda Walkins is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lived in 7 different countries, traveled to many more, and loves helping people explore the world through slow travel and living overseas.