Have you experienced a travel episode that made you pray and think about your loved ones back home? One where there were moments of great anxiety and uncertainty that you thought you would not have survived? But it ended not in tragedy and is an experience that would make you remember it for a long time.
It was supposedly an awesome break in Morocco with family and friends. But because we missed a flight out of Boston, we were delayed for two days to meet up with the group and we had to play catch up quick if we wanted to join them into the desert. From Marrakesh, our mission was to travel non-stop to Zagora about 10 hours drive through mountain passes.
It was night time when we traversed the length of the Atlas, a curse and blessing, as flash flood engulped the narrow roads. The gushing sounds of the rapid floods and the visible rising water ahead under the beam of the van's lights were just enough to unnerve us all inside the van. It would be pitched black, we traveled slowly to cross the strong currents and at times sweeping us almost to the edge of the road. Our thoughts, which we did not able to speak then, were that we would be easily sweep off the cliff anytime soon. My 18 year old nephew, who confessed later, was thinking of his demise and saying a prayer. My concern was in another area, every time we passed a village, thongs of men, Berber men, were on the roads talking, motioning, and pointing even shouting. A scene one encounters in the movies when a fight or stampede was about to occur. Not comprehending, we were not assured. The roads were becoming impassable as deeper holes were created by the floods. We were ready to quit and to convince our driver to find us a place in the village for a night stay and to continue the journey the next morning. How we managed many times over when we thought we were stranded was a testament to the 4x4 technology and the apt leadership of our driver, Mohammed. Later, we found that the villagers were guiding the travelers to cross the roads to safety, pointing out holes and ensuring help if anyone was in trouble. This went on for almost 2 hours until we reached a high ground.
Finally, family and friends were reunited at 2:00am in a small but pleasant riad at the edge of the desert. We were just glad that nothing happened as we were very closed to the precipitous of disaster that night.
I was once on a flight that almost ran out of fuel because there was so much turbulence (it never occurred to me before then that a plane uses more fuel when there's more turbulence). Everything was flying everywhere and we finally made an emergency landing to refuel--in Las Vegas of all places. The whole thing was pretty creepy and now turbulence totally freaks me out!
Short version: On my first solo road trip, I slid off the road in a blizzard. I was on the Olympic Peninsula and my cell phone didn't get service. For about two minutes, I thought I was going to be stranded all night and freeze (as you read about happening in the west about once a year), but luckily, a local couple came by almost immediately and gave me a ride to a local bar where I was able to call AAA.