The Eve of Departure!

It has been a whirlwind of a past 2 weeks.

Because we’ll have various renters in our house, I’ve been organizing and cleaning everything, making sure they’ll have everything they need, and making sure that all our stuff is safely away that needs to be. This in addition to running my business, which was crazy while everyone said, “Oh hey! Before you leave…” (which was FANTASTIC, of course). In all the madness, I didn’t think to pack.

Honestly, thank goodness my massage lesson was canceled on Friday morning. That’s when I went over to Nicola’s and borrowed from her a proper backpack and a nice windbreaker. I’d already been over to Derek’s to borrow some interesting lenses for my camera. And then I started laying things out on the bed.

Here is a picture of the appropriate items I have, for a trip to Ecuador, where we are likely to hike in the mountains, trek through the jungle, visit towns & cities, take a boat ride, spend time on the beach, and who knows, maybe even a motorcycle ride. Oh, I’m not packing the motorcycle gear, which is the only thing I would have been properly outfitted for… it’s just too heavy and bulky, and who knows if we’ll really use it. Hopefully, if we do, we can rent things.

In case you can’t make it out, that’s:
-a hat, which I usually wear on my roof but also in the rare events when I go to a beach or a lake
-a windbreaker, courtesy of Nicola
-a pair of sporty capris, bought on sale last year because I thought they’d come in handy and never worn
-a cute 50’s style swimsuit in leopard print, bought recently with the christmas money from my mom
-an orange sarong, bought in croatia at the beach a few years back & used on trips as towel, beach blanket, anything really.

Later, I realized that my motorcycling gear might include some useful items, and found a thermal shirt, a cooling shirt, thermal leggings, and some ski socks.

Then I loaded up Nicola’s backpack with a whole bunch of other stuff (clothes, toiletries, first aid, camera gear, malaria tablets, mosquito repellent with 30% Deet, my “allergy emergency kit,” which includes laundry detergent and other things that wouldn’t make sense without explanation, etc.) and went to the Grauzone Festival at Melkweg.

Grauzone was really good, but I’ll admit to having been both exhausted and distracted. I can’t believe how many people were there whom I seldom see! Wonderful! I really wanted to see IceAge, but they were playing at 12:15, and by 11:30 I’d lost the will to live. So had Matt. We went home.

Today the plan was to go to the MassageDagen beurs (trade fair) in Utrecht while Matt delivered Cat to the cat hotel in Almere. Poor Cat. He’s been fitful for days, and I am sure he knew what was coming. While Matt picked up the car from Abbie and Derek, I loaded him up. He looks absolutely miserable:

By the time Matt got back to collect him, I had realized that I just wasn’t up for the schmoozing I needed to do at the trade fair, so I went with him to the cat hotel. The proprietress seemed a little dismayed at his age (around 19), but I’m sure he’ll be fine.

On the way back we stopped at a Burger King for lunch (nasty road food, a guilty pleasure) and discovered that we were next to a sporting goods store having a massive sale. We bought a few items. Now I have a really ugly pair of lightweight, quick-drying jungle pants with convertible legs. Ugh. I’m going to have to use them now. I’m sure they’ll be very practical; all the guides said they were the best thing for both the jungle and the mountains, but I hate having to buy things for one trip.

We came home, handled a whole bunch of other last minute affairs, and now, at 21:30, I’m sitting in bed. Matt is doing who-knows-what downstairs. Probably checking on Ingress portals in Ecuador. 🙂

Tomorrow morning, our first flight is at 06:50, to Brussels. That’s a short flight then a layover. Then there’ll be a 10 hour flight to Atlanta followed by a 5 hour flight to Quito. We arrive in Quito just before midnight tomorrow night. Woo hoo!

I’ll try to blog tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes!