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11 August 2012 / leggypeggy

When companies and plans go belly up

Nothing like cooking with a couple of live-wire nephews to take your mind off your travel woes.

We had a travel blow a couple of weeks back.

Brittany, our Flight Centre agent in Canberra, sent us the bad news—Kumuka, the company we were going to travel with through South America, had gone bust. Their trips departing before the end of July were still good to go, but everything after that was cancelled.

Our trip was supposed to leave today—Friday, 10 August. Hmm! Now that’s a nuisance.

Fortunately Brittany also sent us two possible solutions—trips with Tucan or Intrepid.

We were familiar with both companies. We saw Tucan trucks in Africa in 2009, and friends have travelled with Intrepid in Southeast Asia.

We opted for Tucan first. Their trip was a similar length, itinerary and price. The next day, Brittany got back to us to say that Tucan’s trip was for 18- to 35-year-olds only with NO exceptions. Actually I was rather pleased about the NO exceptions. Trips for that age group tend to be drinking extravaganzas. I enjoy a drink, but don’t need to for days on end.

Intrepid wasn’t as desirable a replacement. Their trip was shorter, had very few camping days (three in total) and didn’t include the bottom third of South America. Brittany came up with an add-on that covered the southern part of the continent, but that still didn’t offer us more camping.

But we were in luck—Intrepid’s trip was fully booked.

I asked Brittany if she knew anything about Oasis. No, not really. But I knew about Oasis. It’s another overland company—one that started up with some help from African Trails, the company we travelled with for almost a year in 2009.

I hit a big snag when I went hunting for Oasis. Their website was ‘down’ or had they too gone broke? A couple of people asked the same question on the Oasis Facebook page. But Natalie from Oasis answered fairly quickly to say the site was back up.

Within a few minutes we were discussing possibilities on their instant chat line, and about an hour later we’d paid and were all set up to do almost the same trip we had planned with Kumuka. Yay, Oasis!

We leave about five weeks later than originally planned (not until 17 September), so we’re spending more time bumming around the USA and fitting in some great travel and stops in Canada. Hope to sneak in a trip to Columbia and the Galapagos too.

So what could have been a disaster has turned out to be a bunch of bonuses.

And the best news of all—Kumuka was part of a Travel Compensation Fund. We’ve already got back 91 per cent of what we paid, and the other 9 per cent is looking promising. And a big thanks to Brittany who worked hard on our behalf.


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne T Ferguson / Aug 11 2012 12:55 pm

    Well done Peggy! I always believe as a result of not so good things in life, GREAT thing happen!! Will look very much forward to hearing all about yours and Johns travels! WHOO HOO!
    Happened to us when we were going to Egypt! All plans were set with Malaysian Airlines and then they pulled out of flying to the region!


    • leggypeggy / Aug 11 2012 1:07 pm

      I remember your hassles with the Egypt trip. So glad it all worked out for all of us.


  2. Derrick / Aug 11 2012 1:02 pm

    Every cloud has a silver lining
    I used Oasis in Africa, they were a pretty good outfit
    Looking forward to the blog again


    • leggypeggy / Aug 11 2012 1:07 pm

      Thanks Derrick. Always a relief when things work out well!


  3. skippersy / Aug 11 2012 1:32 pm

    Hello Peggy,

    With all your traveling around the world, you are used to curve balls and plans changing… but still annoying never-the-less. Great, that you found Oasis to carry on with your adventures in South America. And now you can spend some time in Western Canada, which is not that bad at all!
    And five weeks to find friends to cook up a storm with and entries into “Whats Cooking P32 !

    Happy Cowgirl Dale Evans travel trails in Canada and maybe some cooking and entries into “What’s Cooking P32 !

    Sy S.


    • leggypeggy / Aug 11 2012 1:57 pm

      You’ve got that right, Sy! I am used to curve balls. I’m also in search of page-32 recipes—got quite a few in Minnesota. Even got one from a book in a truck stop. 🙂


  4. lmo58 / Aug 11 2012 2:42 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    Commiserations and congratulations. I’m really pleased that Oasis is able to deliver a similar itinerary and that you haven’t lost any money. It’s good too that you’ll be able to go to Canada and to other places in the States. So, although a hassle, it’s worked out which is the main thing.

    Best wishes


    • leggypeggy / Aug 11 2012 9:18 pm

      It worked out very well. Better than we ever expected or could have hoped for. Only downside — we miss having Christmas at home. We’re going to have a replacement event in January.


  5. Your loving daughter / Aug 11 2012 4:10 pm

    Let’s not forget to mention the effort your darling daughter went to to get in touch with you after Brittany called me! 🙂 glad it all got sorted tho!


    • leggypeggy / Aug 11 2012 9:20 pm

      Yes, loving daughter, you get full marks for helping to sort things out. Heck, you get full marks for just being you. Love you.


  6. Chris / Aug 11 2012 6:22 pm

    Have fun in South America. Keep an eye out for my Tatra soon. If I ever escape this job that is!


    • leggypeggy / Aug 11 2012 9:24 pm

      Thanks Chris. I’ll be watching out for that Tatra—Poor John and I aren’t done travelling yet. 🙂



  1. Our overland trip starts tomorrow—finally « Where to next?

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