Seeing The Pope
In travel you can be unlucky, like the times people have attempted to mug and rob me this trip, but thankfully nothing was taken and my health was left intact. But, and more often than not, you can be lucky. Things always seem to have a way of working themselves out, and you begin to create a bit of your own luck by learning from previous problems encountered.
We were told during our Galapagos cruise that the Pope was in South America and in fact Ecuador. Victoria and I were pretty bummed to find out that he’d pass through Quito two days before we were due to arrive, but that’s just life, I thought.
However, with Lady Luck on our side we arrived into Quito and to a hostel to be told that El Papa, as he is affectionately known in Spanish, was in Quito and would pass directly by our hostel at 6pm! We were ecstatic!
I’m not Catholic, but seeing the Pope was always on my bucket list. For me, he is a symbol of the world and is someone who brings the people together especially the incumbent, Francisco, who is seen as a progressive Pontiff.
With the sound of helicopters passing overhead, we knew he was going to be en route and my watch read 5:45pm, so given South American time we were well and truly ahead of schedule. But as we turned the corner, I saw at a 500-meter distance the famous Popemobile and the Man clad in white speeding past. We had missed him.
In a desperate measure, we ran after him, holding onto hope that was fading rapidly. The dissipating crowds confirmed our fears but a police officer helped to ease them a little by telling us that there would be one final opportunity to see him after his mass in the capital.
We walked and walked and waited and waited and finally after the crowds had gathered, we got to see the Pope up close! It was pure chaos as the military and police tried to keep the throng of Ecuadorians from rushing forward and impeding the path of the Popemobile as it sped past. The disappointment, the anticipation, the wait and the chaos were all worth it, and I’ve got the photo to prove it.