Accident prone travel - Is it just me?

Oct 2nd, 2019, 12:21 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,618
Accident prone travel - Is it just me?

I have often wondered is it is just me being accident prone, or whether other have experiences similar to mine when travelling. Here are some of my more memorable moments. Anyone else have similar experiences to recount? Better still any tips for safer travel?

1. Whilst retrieving my back-pack from a minibus in Hat Yao , Thailand, I walked into the corner of the open rear door ó result an inch long gash on my forehead and copious amounts of blood. Even with my basic Thai I could hear the concern of the driver as he told his buddy that " I almost killed a farang!"

2. Walking under a ladder and scaffolding in Bangkok I got showered in red hot pieces of metal from a workman using an angle grinder - result minor burns and a tee shirt with a lot of holes (maybe it is unlucky to walk under a ladder?)

3. Crossing an empty street on a pedestrian crossing in Saigon I got hit by a guy on motorcycle- result gashed and bruised leg - result - disappointment that my well thought out method for crossing Vietnams roads had failed me and extreme extreme anger that the little s*** riding the bike didnít stop.

4. Walking in the old quarter of Hanoi in the rain I jumped out of the way of a delivery driver, slipped on the angled kerb, fell and knocked over a run of 4 parked motorbike - result more bruises (including my ego and feeling like a prat) . Quickly left the scene to avoid any arguments with the owners of the bikes!

5. Attempting to take the 'perfect photo" at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, I was walking backwards framing the shot, tripped over so stone blocks - yet more bruises, grazes and, once again, considerable embarassment. No cameras were damaged during this incident.

6. Riding on an elephants neck (before I knew better) in the jungle in Koh Chang, I managed to dislodge a nest of fire ants in a tree branch. Angry ants fell down my back and left an angry and painful, S shape of bites across my back. Painful for days - divine retribution for riding an elephant perhaps.

7. Riding a small motorbike up a very steep hill, the bike was struggling to cope with me and my wife. My wife decided to get off, with the throttle fully open the bike shot off up the road with me hanging on getting dragged along. Result a fair among of skin and flesh removed from my feet and a cracked rib. We spent an hour at an emergency medicine place which doubled as a STD clinic. The walls were adorned with galleries of photos showing genitalia in various stages of degeneration. I guess there are worse thing that can happen when travelling!

8. On one of our camper van trips in New Zealand in winter, on our first night at a campsite we were allocated a not very nice space by a not very nice receptionist. I decide to return to reception to get a different space because ours was surrounded by hard packed ice. After some argument we got a different space. Returning too the van, I slipped on said ice, did a comedy fall and hit the ground with the small of my back. Result - severely curtailed our driving for the next few days and several visits to a chiropractor ( thankfully there are loads in New Zealand .

9. Horses and me have never seen eye to eye. I love the idea of riding and have tried it in many times in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, I canít think of a single occasion when riding a horse has not ended with me and the horse parting company in spectacular fashion. I thought I almost made it once in Bolivia. I was feeling cocky after riding without incident for several hours. On mounting the horse for our return ride, right foot in stirrup, I swung my left leg athletically over the saddle. A little too athletically as it turned out. The momentum caused me to continue over the horse and land on the ground the other side.

10. Finally, natural disasters. Thankfully this is where my luck holds out. We seem to have a knack of just missing major disasters. We were in Thailand when the Boxing Day tsunami happened. The previous Boxing Day we have been staying in a bamboo beach hut on Khao Lak which was decimated by that tsunami.
Two attempts to visit Colca Canyon in Peru were thwarted by earthquakes. On our third attempt in 2016 a major earthquake happened two days before. That time we did make it and witness the devastation unleashed on the town of Yanque https://accidentalnomads.com/2016/08...s-and-condors/ .
After hiking up a few volcanos in Java, Indonesia we left for Bali and our flight out. Shortly after, another volcano close to where we had been erupted, causing all flights to be grounded for a couple of weeks.
crellston is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 05:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,297
That's an impressive list, crellston! I can't match it, but here are mine (or those I can remember):

1. Coming down stairs in an Istanbul restaurant I thought the bottom step was the floor - because it was painted the same color as the floor and not the other steps! - and fell and badly sprained my ankle. I spent the rest of the Turkey trip (fortunately with a group) on crutches, and had to cancel the Greece leg as I was the designated driver for that.

2. Just arrived in Murren, Switzerland, I was trying to read a signpost and tripped over a curb (once I lost my balance my backpack pulled me down). I broke my left wrist, badly, and had to go home (medivac insurance worked fine).

3. In Vancouver, I managed to sprain my ankle again, although I'm not sure how. It was the beginning of a six month RTW and I spent the first few weeks limping.

There have been other, less dramatic, foot problems, although fortunately very few intestinal issues. And my knees went out on me mid-way through last year's trip to the UK, and I had to change part of it.

On the natural disaster front, I, too got lucky with the 2004 tsunami. I had been thinking of spending that Christmas on a Thai island (I was on another long RTW) but I was traveling solo and decided I'd rather spend it in Laos. Then I arrived on Taiwan just ahead of a typhoon in 2010, but fortunately I had planned to start on what turned out to be the safer side of the island.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 07:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,238
I don't think it can be matched, and believe this may be just a partial list?

I had a trip and fall thanks to walking too quickly, outside the bus station in Valparaiso. Nothing broken, other than pride. Bought some anti-inflammatory pills and a bag of ice before I got on the bus to Isla Negra. I was carrying the bag of ice between buildings. Spent part of the next day looking for an ankle brace or tape. I survived with lots of ice in between port stops. The worst was over cobblestones into the wind outside of Punta Arenas but was okay by the end of the cruise.

I developed a cough in Ecuador during the first outbreak of H1N1. The pharmacists weren't allowed to sell any cough medicine. They told me I would have to go to Quito to the hospital if I needed treatment, where I would be tested. I figured I would be quarantined in a public hospital so had to make do with hot soup and steam.

I do far worse with leaving things behind and losing things. Famously hats. There have also been some spectacular packing fails.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 08:31 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,681
Boy, do I feel fortunate after reading about these tumbles, etc. Have youall considered wrapping yourselves in Bubble Wrap before travelling ? Seriously, glad none of these misadventures led to permanent damage or cessation of travel adventures.
MarnieWDC is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 08:32 AM
  #5  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,275
I am a klutz, so yes, I know this all too well

At Versaille, I missed a step and went flying. Ended up with knee surgery once back at home. Thankfully the French pharmacists have good stuff to ease the pain in the meantime. I was with our daughter for her high school graduation trip, so I sucked up the pain as much as possible for over a week. I could not bend that leg at all, so had to walk like a pirate the rest of the trip.

On a hike here at home in the US, I slipped and face planted into some algae, with my backpacking pack on.

Getting out of the shower in our hotel in Bayeux, I somehow managed to slice a toe really bad. Headed straight to the pharmacy for bandages etc.

There are many more, but these are a few. I am still debating whether to return to Versaille
mms is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 09:31 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,618
"I don't think it can be matched, and believe this may be just a partial list?” Sadly, mlgb you are correct, it is only a partial list. I left out the Malaria contracted in Vietnam and the abscess I had to have cut out in Tanzania following a bite from a spider. I also left out the time I badly broke my toe but that was at home so perhaps doesn’t count (doing the ironing of all things! That’ll teach me!.

Ankles seem to be a recurrent theme here. Fortunately, I seem to have escaped that (unless you count a ruptured achilles tendon in New Zealand).

Apart from scuba diving, its not as though I participate in any dangerous sports anymore.

Sorry for all your mishaps but it is a little reassuring that I am not alone.
crellston is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 11:01 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,668
Holy *hit crellston! You make me look positively graceful (and believe me I'm not).
Melnq8 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 01:50 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,238
I will continue to avoid horses and bicycles. That's just asking for trouble.

On the natural disaster front, my first night in Costa Rica was the night that Tomas hit. Landslides everywhere. I was lucky to be able to get through to my planned hotel on night 3, but had a bit of an "Amazing Race" adventure on Day 1. Asking to use a trucker's cellphone to call the hotel who said "don't come" and then finding one of the few remaining rooms behind the road closure for Night 2. Calling planned hotel for next night in the morning and they said "leave now, we don't know if they will close the road again".

I flew into Lisbon on the same night that the "vampire hurricane Leslie" arrived. We didn't know why the Ryan Air pilot aborted the first landing attempt. He did make the second pass or I think we would have flown to Madeira and spent the night at that airport. Apparently all of the hotels there were already full. Fortunately I had a reservation at one of the Lisbon airport hotels and got there before the desk closed at midnight. Turned on the telly and found out what had happened! Trees down all over Lisbon. We still had power and services.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 2nd, 2019 at 02:02 PM.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 03:07 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,622
Not me but our son is a bit of a klutz. He has broken something in just about every country we’ve been to. .

For his college graduation we got him a very nice watch. He was so surprised he called his gf, now wife who knows him well, She said “don’t drop it, “
jacketwatch is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 05:40 PM
  #10  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,865
OMG, crellson (and others) -- remind me never to travel with you!
I'm with Melnq8 .
Makes me believe in cognitive dissonance. As in: You must have concluded that you enjoy travel because if you travel so much despite all the injuries and horrors (you've posted about quite a few recently, crellston), it must be because you really enjoy travel!
kja is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 06:01 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 930
"Whilst retrieving my back-pack from a minibus in Hat Yao , Thailand, I walked into the corner of the open rear door ó result an inch long gash on my forehead and copious amounts of blood."
Bro, I've seen pictures of you. You're cropped pretty short in the hair area. Me, it's nature. But even a few wisps of hair are like cat whiskers. Like an early warning system for encounters with sharp, protruding objects. I've got the scars to support my theory. So I always travel with 2 hats, since I'll typically leave one on a chair or perchero in some restaurant or bar. They help compensate for being follicle impaired.
Wife nearly fell to her death coming down from Huayna Picchu. She stepped to the side to let an older Oriental woman pass her by and lost her balance and slid off the trail but survived by grasping weeds and brush and dirt.
baldone is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 11:38 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,618
Melnq8 - I make anyone look graceful!

Mlgb - your experiences remind me that I have been remarkably lucky in avoid weather related problems - so far. I can’t recall ever experiencing serious travel delays, although it did take us three attempts to visit Colca due to earthquake activity.

Marnie - I am thankful that I have never experienced any injuries that have curtailed our travels. Quite a few that have slowed me down a bit though. Your knee exploit in Versailles reminded me of crossing the road in torrential rain in Jakarta. Holding hands with my wife, we tried to run across the six lane highway. I slipped and because my wife was holding on trying to save me, I fell on to one knee. Excrutiating and it was several weeks before I could stop "walking like a pirate" ( an apt description!) fortunately I managed to escape surgery but it was several month before it returned to normal.

And yet we still travel despite all this - the triumph of hope over experience I guess.

MMS - fortunately, I have never had the need for surgery ( although I have been stitched up a few times).

Re "I will continue to avoid horses and bicycles. That's just asking for trouble." Indeed. I have drawn the same conclusion re horses. The mention of bicycles remind me of year another mishap. On a bike trip in the Mekong Delta, I was cycling happily along a dyke in the countryside when the handles bars came away in my hands - I veered of the dyke into a ditch and shot off the bike through a cactus hedge. All witnessed by the dozen or so other people on the trip. I limped the remaining miles to the homestay where they tried to charge me for damage to the bike!

JW - I have never ever dropped a watch. Although I did smash mine a few years ago when swinging my arm when walking around a corner and catching it on the wall.

Kja - "OMG, crellson (and others) -- remind me never to travel with you!" Believe me, you are not the first to draw that conclusion. Re cognitive resonance - absolutely applies to me.

Baldone ( BTW still wish I had snagged your screen name!) - not sure any wisps of hair would help me, though wife has suggested taking my crash helmet on our travels.
Your wife’s experience on Huayna Picchu must have been terrifying. "No good deed goes unpunished" as they say. I have a fear of heights (or, more accurately, a fear of falling from heights). Whilst this has never prevented me from doing anything, in South America it has always been particularly challenging. I drew the line at Huayna Picchu. The rest of Machu Picchu. Pisac Etc. was quite enough.
crellston is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 05:09 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,622
Crellston sounds like you need a Casio G shock
jacketwatch is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 06:20 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 616
Thankfully my mishaps are no where near those of crellston, did slip and fell on rocks resulting in fractured ribs and in X-ray 3 hrs before a flight, nothing serious - just uncomfortable while traveling thru Italy via train, cracked tooth that resulted in abscess while in Egypt (in hindsight I should have gone to a dentist in Cairo and had it removed) several missteps off curbs here and there due to not looking where I was going.

However, I did step off a small curb in front on Notre Dame and fell, was alone and had to find a hospital, luckily there was an Urgencies banner for Hotel-Dieu De Paris, walked in, they saw my twisted arm and hand, did xrays and assessment and scheduled me for surgery the following morning at GH Cochin-St Vincent De Paul, resulting in a plate and 9 pins and screws. No payment was made nor asked for and I received 2 bills via email 3 weeks after I returned to the US, payment was made online and total
was 1850€. Excellent care and I can’t say enough good things about healthcare in France for this.

Since then I tend to miss what’s going on around me sometimes as I’m always looking at the ground
wunderbar2 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 06:56 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,297
Had forgotten about a natural disaster in Japan. Was planning to spend a night in Fukuoka on the way to Nagasaki (it was long day), but arrived to find that a huge sinkhole had opened just outside the station! Power was out to part of the station, and nearby hotels were closed. Wound up going on to Nagasaki. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-...e-city/8006404
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 08:48 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,618
That is one seriously big hole!! and though I had some issues on my daily commute on the northern line!
crellston is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 07:27 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,955
Wow, you guys are real pros!

I’m out of my league here, but I once fell out of bed in Mexico. I put my hand out to brace the fall and landed it on the rim of a margarita glass, whose contents had perhaps contributed to the fall. The glass shattered. Next day I had it stitched up at the local health clinic. The doc did a great job and it cost me five bucks.
Nelson is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 11:05 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,618
Margaritas in bed. I like your style Nelson!
crellston is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 11:07 PM
  #19  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,865
Originally Posted by crellston View Post
Margaritas in bed. I like your style Nelson!
I'm already seeing crellson's next injury.
kja is offline  
Oct 4th, 2019, 05:55 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,955
Originally Posted by crellston View Post
Margaritas in bed. I like your style Nelson!
Originally Posted by kja View Post
I'm already seeing crellson's next injury.
Funny! There's more to the story but we'll leave it there. I still have a one-inch scar on the palm of my hand that comes in handy when sharing injury stories.
Nelson is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:47 PM.