Bucket Laundry & Big Adventures

Monday July 8, 2013

bucket laundry

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ll know that Matt and I are pretty cheap.  Stingy might even be a good word.  If we don’t have to spend money on something, or there’s a cheaper way to do it, that’s usually where we’ll turn.  And with absolutely no incoming flowing in, we need to be that way.  Whatever we have saved up in the bank account has to last us through the next couple of years, and neither of us is ready to cut this trip short so we can blow our money on extra trips out to restaurants or really happy Happy Hours.  Sometimes we happen to be ‘those people’ which others look at with disdain and mutter “Why don’t they just spend the extra couple of bucks”.  Today may have been a case of that while I sat dockside, taking up the art of bucket laundry.  That’s right.  No $8 a load, wash, dry, and fold, for this girl.  I’m doing it by hand.  ‘Why be that incredibly stingy?’, you may ask?  I’ll share that with you in just a moment.

First, in case anyone is curious, and since the #1 question (I kid you not) from friends and family before we left was “How are you going to do your laundry?”, I’ll share my method on this.  Usually, there is a coin-op facility, or in the case of our marina here, a service that will take care of it for you for a fee.  Or….there’s bucket laundry.  I hadn’t read up on any tips or tricks on this pocket, I just taught myself to think like a washing machine.  I divided our clothes up into loads, with each load containing five items.  Then in our big bucket, I filled it about half way with fresh water from the spicket, and took one article of clothing at a time for an initial rinse.  I didn’t know if soley dunking it in a few times would do the job, so I sat there with each t-shirt, pair of shorts, or set of pajamas, and plunged every item individually 50 times.

When I was sure the initial grossness was off, I emptied the bucket, rinsed it out, added a little detergent, filled it half way again, and then started the process over again.  Each item received 50 dunks or swishes just to make sure that the detergent fully seeped in to every thread.  It has to be close to how a washing machine works, right?  After the cleansing came one final rinse, again at 50 dunks per item, and then I was satisfied enough that they were clean.  Up on the clothes line they went, ensuring our hillbilly status here at the marina.  It was a time consuming process, close to 45 minutes a load, but the extra few dollars every load saves will come in handy.

pajamas getting washed

clothes hanging to dry


If you’ve guess the reason as our saving every penny is because of a boat baby on the way, you’d be wrong.  Sorry, but not this year.  We’re saving pennies where we can, because, we’re throwing some land travels into our mix!  Not that the Rio Dluce isn’t a great place to spend your summer.  The town of Frontera is quaint, there activities going on at a number of marinas every day, and you’re only a bus ride from visiting ancient ruins in Tikal or Copan.  We just want a little more from the free time we have on our hands while sitting here.  Talking about the next step, as we spend much of our time doing, we lamented about the fact that we’re so close to South America, and it’s too bad we won’t get the boat there to do a little exploring.  Then it hit us that we don’t need a boat to explore South America.  So over the past six weeks or so, we’ve been discussing a visit there while the boat is sitting safely at the marina in Rio Dulce.

Then came the question of how much time we can afford ourselves, what we want to see, and how much land we could cover.  We knew we wanted Peru on the list, just because of the number of sights to see in that one country: Machu Picchu, The Nazca Lines, Lake Titicaca; as well as it’s diverse terrain.  After looking at other areas such as Angel Falls in Venezuela and Iguazu Falls in Argentina, we ruled that they would be just too far to travel to from Peru without a plane, and we couldn’t afford the extra tickets.  So now the new plan is to fly into Lima Peru and then one month later, fly out of Medellin Colombia.  There should be plenty to keep us busy while in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, so we don’t feel like we’re missing out too much, and still hope to hit the eastern side of South America sometime in our travels.

We don’t know exactly what we’ll do or where we’ll go, but the beauty is, we don’t have to.  As long as we can make it to Colombia for our flight out, we’re good.  No dependency on wind or weather windows, we’ll be free to travel where we want, when we want.  There is also one more surprise in this trip that is making us super excited!  Since we’re using Spirit Airlines because it’s the cheapest we could find (see, I told you), and Spirit is forcing us to Ft. Lauderdale before we can take a connecting flight to Lima, we decided that since we’re going to be shuttled into the States, why not go one step further and make a visit home as well?  Yes!  We’re now adding a 10 day stop in Michigan to our travels as well!  Friends, family, fast food.  It’s more than I could have hoped for for our summer.  Matt just purchased our tickets for an August 13th departure.  Five weeks until we get to go home, and the countdown starts now!

Matt booking our flights

We have a notebook full of airline dates, times, and prices.



I can’t wait to see sights like these!


Guatape Lakes – outside of Medellin Colombia

Botero Sculpture Park

 Botero Sculpture Park – Medellin Colombia

(Photos courtesy of Tamarisk, Round The World)



PE Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

PE Nazca Bones

Bone cemetery in Nazca Peru.

(Photos courtesy of Bumfuzzle)




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