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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

So This Is What It’s Like to be Kidnapped in #Ecuador #Kidnap #memoir #travel #RPBP

It was time for visitors. My dad arrived from England with my thirteen-year-old nephew, Kieran. We met the bewildered and tired travellers at Manta airport after some sight-seeing along the way. This was their first trip together, and Kieran’s first trip abroad. From the airport, we taxied from one bus terminal to another, seeking the right bus to transport us to Bahia, about eighty kilometres away. At one station the four of us stood in a huddle, disorientated. Noel and I were embarrassed by our lack of Spanish, Dad and Kieran worried that they were in a strange country, in the care of two so-called travellers who couldn’t find their way home! Bahia - where we were moored Bahia - where we were moored

As we shuffled on our feet, kicking up dust and lost within our own desperate thoughts, suddenly, the four of us were grabbed by the scruff of our necks and manhandled into a taxi. Meanwhile, the driver’s accomplice loaded the suitcases into the boot. Hurtling through anonymous streets, the boys asked me what was happening. I wasn’t really sure, but I felt comfortable enough to indulge in some fun. ‘Well, we’ve been kidnapped, and I think they’ll be sending Mum a ransom note!’ I was the only one who appreciated this humour. A few moments later, all at once, we were propelled forward as the car screeched to a halt. I watched my wide-eyed nephew, hoping that my joke wasn’t the truth; my dad fidgeted in his seat, his responsibility for his grandson weighing on his shoulders. Lurching to a halt, behind us we swung our heads around in unison to watch another large vehicle skid to an emergency stop; exchanging nervous smiles, pretending we weren’t frightened. As the dust settled we climbed out of the car and saw a square yellow bus with the words across the front: BAHIA. The taxi driver at the bus station had figured it out; he knew where to find the bus. His English was as bad as our Spanish so he didn’t waste time with words and simply shoved us in his car, tracked down the bus that was already en route to Bahia, and flagged the driver to a stop! Feeling like extras in a James Bond movie, we lugged our cases into the bus’s hold and hopped on board, bemused and thankful. ‘We’re on the ‘chook bus’ Noel laughed. ‘How lovely,’ I said, nudging a chicken away with my foot as it filled the bus with an indignant squawk. The bus rattled us to pieces for the next hour-and-a-half, while chickens fought to steal our seats.
  Kieran and Noel messing about in the sand on our Amazon trip!
Kieran and Noel messing about in the sand on our Amazon trip!

We all had lots of fun together
We all had lots of fun together                         

That's just the way they do it in Ecuador - what exciting adventures have you faced?

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Listen to me chat to Carol Graham (Never Ever Give Up) about sailing, pirates, adopting horses, and surviving life!

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