Backpacking Truths : That Time We Paid For Laundry Service

Leticia, Colombia

Backpacking Truths : That Time We Paid For Laundry Service

LOCATION : Leticia, Colombia

Two months into our trek through South America, we were starting to look, and smell, like seasoned backpackers. Washing a few pieces of clothing here-and-there in hostel sinks and buckets wasn’t cutting it, so we decided to pay our hostel for their 24-hour laundry service. Leave it to the professionals. Excited to finally have clean, folded clothes that smelled of warm cotton or fresh-cut flowers, we dropped off a large garbage bag filled with our musty clothes, and went out for the day.

We returned later that evening and walked out back to shower. The bathrooms in this particular hostel were tucked behind the building and through a courtyard. It had been storming all day, the rain was coming down in sheets, and everything was slightly flooded. I tucked my head down and hurried through the backyard. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something heartbreaking. All of our clothes; shirts, pants, underwear, socks, were all pinned to clothing lines strung throughout the courtyard. Hanging there to dry, in the torrential downpour.

We were scheduled to leave the next morning, but packing didn’t seem feasible considering every piece of clothing we owned (aside from what we were wearing) was sopping wet. In my mind, I cycled through the logical questions: Shouldn’t they have taken them down, or inside? Shouldn’t they have hung them out of the rain?

We asked the lady at the front desk, “Our clothes are hanging out in the rain. We need to leave in the morning, is there any chance they will be ready or dry?”

Her response, “Maybe, if the rain stops.”

In conclusion, I’m glad we paid extra for laundry service. I have this wonderful memory to look back on. For those wondering, our clothes were still very wet the next day and we had to pack them up anyway. Anyone that has ever left a wet swimsuit or damp pair of shorts in a bag for a few hours can surely understand our pain here. The following night when we unpacked at our next hostel, our clothes were even more wrinkled and pungent than when we handed them over. $10 well spent.

Photo Credit : The Frugal Goddess

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