I was on a solo trip to the Canary Islands to the island of Tenerife.
I was on a solo trip to the Canary Islands to the island of Tenerife. I had read about these pyramids that were on the island and wanted to see what these pyramids were like.
I set off with a map in hand, the name of the pyramids and a good set of directions how to get to the pyramids on the local bus. After transferring to the bus, I sat next to the bus driver and in my best “broken Spanish” I asked him to let me off at the bus stop closest to the pyramids. After about 1/2 an hour, he motioned to me that the next stop was mine. I looked around and all I could see were warehouses and emptiness. I asked twice and he nodded that this was the right stop. Something didn’t feel quite right, but I got off the bus and proceeded to find any directional signage towards the pyramids…NOTHING !!! I started to panic as it was a weekend and there was no activity in this warehouse district.
I walked for a 5 minutes in one direction to see if there was any people around….I walked back to the bus stop and the panic increased! After 10 minutes of rapid breathing and a sense of being helpless, I thought..”.Alicja you have this. If the bus came up this route, most likely there would be a bus going back to the terminal somewhere on the opposite side”. My confidence grew as I spotted a bus stop on the opposite side. I waited at the bus stop, and soon, the same bus that dropped me off in the middle of nowhere, came around the corner.
My thoughts at the moment were, I’m so done, I want to go back to the hotel. After arriving at the terminal, I had determined that the pyramids were worth the trip to try again. I boarded another bus and this time, I showed the bus driver the photo, and my notes. He spoke a little English and instructed me to sit right behind him and that he would let me off at the right stop. After 1/2 an hour, we passed the same stop which I was let off in the first place. I got up to get off and the driver motioned to sit down.
The driver continued to drive to the end of the line, which was literally next stop and motioned me to get off. There in front of me was the sign for the pyramids!! Although the site was another 2 kms uphill, I was convinced that my determination and perseverance would be worth it. I was NOT disappointed! The experience was beyond my wildest dreams – who would have thought there were remains of pyramids on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands !!
Getting lost in Annecy, France, while trying to circle Lake Annecy on bicycles
Getting lost in Annecy, France, while trying to circle Lake Annecy on bicycles was on the verge of causing a fight. I was insisting to my husband it was possible to circle the entire lake on a bike trail, while he was getting worried because we were getting farther and farther away from the town instead of circling back. Nonetheless, the weather was gorgeous, the landscape of this French region of France near the Swiss border a vision of lake, hills and forest, and in the end, knowing I was capable to cycling twice as far as I thought I could (although not by choice) gave me a sense of accomplishment, we were able to explore much more of the surroundings of Annecy and my husband got the satisfaction of knowing he was right.
While visiting the town of Pai in northern Thailand
While visiting the town of Pai in northern Thailand, the hotel manager told me about a very famous temple located just two kilometers west of town – all I had to do was turn left at the hotel entrance and follow the road until I ran into it. I walked along, enjoying the green and misty countryside around Pai, with its rice terraces and blooming purple and magenta Bougainvillea. About a kilometer beyond the hotel, the road turned to dirt and I came to a large crossroad, also dirt. The manager had made no mention of this so I pulled out my map of Pai – no crossroad was shown on the map either. I was looking quizzically from the map to the crossroad and back again, when a man pulled up beside me on a bright red motorbike. He was dressed in crisply creased dark gray trousers, a loose fitting light gray tunic top, and plastic sandals. His salt and pepper hair was neatly cut and combed back from his forehead. He flashed a wide smile; his brilliant white teeth contrasted starkly with his deeply tanned, rugged face. I liked him instantly.
“Are you lost, luv?” he inquired in the most delightful British accent.
“I don’t know which way to go from here to reach Wat Nam Hoo,” I replied.
“Ah, well you go straight – this is the new bypass they are putting in around Pai. I’m headed that way; can I give you a lift?” he asked.
I declined, explaining that I’d rather walk because I needed the exercise. In truth, it was one of those situations where if I accepted his offer I could be putting myself in harm’s way. On the other hand, if I said no, I might be missing out on a wonderful experience. My gut was telling me he was very OK, but I hadn’t spoken to him long enough to make a decision.
Fortunately Ron was in no hurry. He sat astride his motorbike while we chatted. In just a few minutes, I knew Ron was safe, so I hopped on the back of his scooter and spent the afternoon with his family. Not only was it a wonderful experience, we stayed in touch via email for years until he passed away some years ago. To this day I treasure those emails, which were so full of humor and sage advice.