Read Part 1 here
Next issue; choosing the date….
This proved to be quite the conundrum! I guess that most normal folks when choosing a date to go on a trip like this, would likely jump on to Google and research local weather. Or, maybe do a quick Google search, using a clever phrase like; ‘best time to visit Ecuador’!
Remember, we plan to make this trip on a motorbike. We will be outside, riding the roads, all day. Every. Single. Day. You could deduce from that, that we would be aware that the weather could make or break the success and enjoyment of this trip. You also wouldn’t be far wrong in wondering if our marriage would still be intact if I got wet, cold or blown away every day.
So, seriously, wouldn’t you think I’d be busy tapping away on my keyboard, doing some super smart research and working out the optimal time of year to partake in this adventure.
Ermmm, no, not us….there were a couple of other, super important factors that would affect when we planned to go 😉
Traditionally, we have taken our ‘Big Bike Trip’ in September. Not so hot you “boil your nuts off“, as my husband so eloquently puts it. Not so cold you “freeze your (boobs) off“, as I say ~ actually I don’t say boobs but, previously referred to smarty pants daughter, wouldn’t let me write the real word! Our staff had already planned their trips and September was looking to be a good time to be going as they would all be back in town. So I happily went about making plans and looking at flights, hotels, bike rental etc.
Now, if you have read my ‘About Us‘ page, you will know that I’m a midwife. From time to time, you get a client that you build an attachment to, someone who you would change all your plans for if they announced they were pregnant again. When that person also happens to work with you, you definitely do whatever it takes to ensure that you will be their midwife again! Just as I was about to pull the trigger and make the bookings, my wonderful birthing assistant, Ashtin, announced she was expecting her 2nd baby. Well, aside from the fact that, not more than a couple of weeks before this, we had a conversation about not getting pregnant again (!) I was overjoyed for her and also overjoyed that I hadn’t yet made any bookings. Imagine trying to explain cancellations to Iain, ha! So, slight change of plans needed……..
I brought the dates forward a bit, to be sure we’d be back in plenty of time for me to catch Ashtin’s baby. Planning and researching commenced again. I happened to be perusing flights and was getting ready to book (again) when that sweet baby girl of mine popped round for a visit. Ok, really she came round to do her laundry and steal my food!
“What are you doing mum?”, she asks feigning interest and distracting me while she rifles through the fridge.
“Just about to book our vacay”, I respond. “Oh, when are you going?” she asks, with her head stuck in the freezer.
“August 25th”, I tell her.
HOLY COW!!!! The noise that emanated from the freezer draw and the speed with which she extracted her head from it had me fearing an invasion of rats had somehow taken up residence alongside the ice cream!
Let me back up a few years to 2003. My husband and I joined ourselves in Holy Matrimony on August 23rd and happily jumped on a plane to Las Vegas to celebrate and to see if we could recoup some of the costs of said nuptials at the tables! Well, August 27th happens to be baby girls birthday. Not to worry, we thought, she’ll have her aunts and uncles staying with her (thanks Kev, Sue, Gary & Les). She’ll be entertained well. She’ll be so busy getting fussed over that she won’t even notice we’re not there.
Sweet baby Jesus! NEVER was there ever such an underestimation of a child’s response to a parents absence made. Every year, starting around early July, through to September and re-inforced very vehemently on August 27th, we are reminded of the near fatal mistake we made way back when we were on our honeymoon and “missed my 5th birthday”. Every person she meets, every friend she’s ever made, her tutors and her employers, even many of my clients, all know that I was a terrible mother and abandoned my poor sweet baby on her 5th birthday!
Fast forward fourteen years and here I am planning to make the same heinous mistake again. In my defence folks, she is 19 years old this year. Doesn’t even live at home (she’s at uni). On top of that, last year we saw her for about an hour before she grabbed up her birthday loot and hightailed it off out with her friends. I really could be forgiven for thinking that she didn’t really care any more. Who was I kidding? Once the banshee wailing had calmed down some and I was able to get a word in, I reassured the poor deprived angel that, of course mummy and daddy wouldn’t dream of missing her birthday again and agreed to review (again) the dates of this trip.
Seriously, I was beginning to feel this was never going to happen!
Finally, I wangled down the dates that would suit everyone and managed to get everything booked. Got a great deal on the plane (thanks Amex reward points!). Had all the hotels preliminarily reserved – Booking.com is an excellent resource. The bike we’d settled on was also booked, shout out to Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental and I was ready to get on with the next stage….route planning.
Last word, we’re leaving on August 27th. Cutie pie gets her gifts and a hug.
Happy Birthday Beth…..now take us to the airport 🙂
I plan to update the blog with details of the days ride, including photos, as often as I can. To be sure not to miss out on any of the fun, sign up here, (scroll to bottom) you will receive an email when a new update is posted. You can also follow our journey by ‘liking’ us on Facebook at Bikes, Hikes and Waterfalls