San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. This is the hotel that started the running joke that's the title of this post. Almost every day you had to ask if there was water and/or lights. And more often than not, the answer was "no".
It's amazing how many of life's luxuries you can live without. Water and light? Yep! It might even enhance your trip.
Today there was no water in the entire town of Playa Zancudo from 8:30am until 2:30pm. Two days ago it was the electricity that was out from around 1pm until 9pm. And let me tell you, it gets really dark here when the sun goes down at 5pm and the jungle looms overhead! It's times like these you're grateful that you didn't skimp on your flashlight lumens.
Hmmm, what to do in the dark? Walk the half mile to the bar and see if it's open. Sure enough! A few candles are placed around and they are even serving off the menu! Nice. There is no panic and nobody is upset. They simply adapt to the situation and serve what they can.
The power went out on Koh Samui for a while so we enjoyed a lovely dinner by candlelight.
Shoot, I remember the Great Soutwest Blackout of 2011 where the power went out in San Diego for 12 hours. Streets were gridlocked, millions of dollars in food was spoiled, and people didn't know what to do with themselves. It was a huge deal! Where I am now in Costa Rica, the power went out for 12 hours a few months ago and nobody even batted an eye.
Every day you had to ask if there was water and/or lights. And more often than not, the answer was "no"
When you travel, particularly to more remote places or poorer countries, you are immersing yourself in a more simple life. A life where power and water outages occur and are not a big deal. The title of this post came from a running joke we had in one town in Nicaragua. Every day we would ask at our guesthouse "Is there light? Water?", because quite often there wasn't.
Even with all my technological gadgets, I have personally found that going without electricity is easier than a water outage, especially if I'm not prepared with a bucket of water to use for essentials like washing my hands or flushing the toilet. I got caught recently with a sink full of dirty dishes that I was unable to wash all day but I can only blame my own laziness for that.
This was my first hotel on the island of Moheli in Africa. They have solar and run the electricity for a few hours in the afternoon only.
It's not just outages that you might expereince. Depending on country and region, you acommodation might not supply 24/7 electricty or water, but that's your choice if you want to travel that rustic or not. It's surprisingly easy to get used to though!
Maybe a little tougher now that we tarvel wtih so many electronics, but it's nice to know how little you really need to live.
Usually budget accommodation will have electricty and water no problem. You might have a shared bathroom in a separte building, but that's about as rough as you might see.
Sure, I've traveled to places where there is only electricty part of the day and have even stayed in places with no running water. The hardest part is not having a fan at night in the swletering heat, figuring out how to keep your camera charged, and learning how to unplug from having your cell phone charged all the time.
Kerosene lamps, candles, and large buckets of water take the place of typical modern conveniences.
I stayed at a homestay in Zimbabwe and also at a hotel on a gorgeous beach in Comoros that had neither electricity nor running water and it was shockingly easy to adapt to that way of life. We had candles at night and the staff would fill a large bucket of water for the bathroom / shower each day. The people there are used to it and I must say that eating dinner by candlelight when there's not a bright light in the whole town, is pretty atmospheric.
Super rustic and a super experience - a homestay in Zimbabwe with no running water or electricity.
Perfect little beach on Comoros. I'll put up with the lack of water and electricity for this!
So the point is, what might sound dreadful and too rustic to deal with without going insane, is surprisingly bearable! You'll even be proud of yourself in the end and you might come away with stories to tell your friends like "oh yeah, the entire town would be without power for the day, but I was fine." "Wow," they'll say, "I could never do that." and you can just grin and pat yourself on the back.
Dinner by candlelight since this particular town has zero electricity.
Well, the town has no electricity except for the solar at the local school, so everyone drops off their cellphone and tablets to be charged here! LOL