Rescues, rows and crimes sometimes vacations dont go according to intention. Tell us your own holiday nightmares in the comments or via GuardianWitness

The Whitsundays: What sort of holiday necessitates directions?

Our firstly holiday as husband and wife was a disaster. This is not counting the honeymoon plainly, because honeymoons must be resolutely recollected as joyful, otherwise the union is fated. But our first holiday afterwards, still newlyweds, still get used to life in tandem: disaster.

No one actually mentioned the word divorce so early in the piece but when youve got one sailing boat, five days of unseasonably scandalizing preconditions and two chieftains overinflating their voyage know and underreporting their bossiness, thats security threats hiding behind every curt instruction.

What sort of holiday necessitates rules? Well exactly. A vacation in which person or persons shall be required to take charge in a bossy-boots kind of room is no vacation at all. Add to this disgruntlement it is necessary yell to listen to over roaring gusts while you stray dangerously off-course, and “youre starting” dreaming of a holiday to get over the holiday.

This is what we suspected: the becalmed glamour of the Whitsunday Passage, that splendid accumulation of islands protectively nuzzled within the Great Barrier Reef, safe from prevailing winds; bright blue languid days gliding over turquoise waters, taking turns at the tiller in our togs; ascertaining our own private creek as the sunshine goes down; diving into heated pristine waters; the tinkling of intimate laugh; the fizz of champagne and the sizzle of prawns on the barbie.

This is what we got: driving horizontal downpour( freezing ); cyclonic gusts( icing ); nasty, choppy, steel-grey liquid( solidifying ). A heaving boat, the relentless smacking, blow, slap of the hull , no relief in quiet creeks, and shrieking from stern to bow. Ill look at the map, you steer! No, Ill steer, you look at the delineate! Liberate the cleat, I said, the CLEAT.

Our mixed minutes of sailing suffer brought us destroy when we stumbled a ridge on day 2, with a sickening crunch and careen onto that pallid chip on the map that youre supposed to avoid. Cant you hear the ruby-red wires? The Ruby-red LINES!

Ill save you the ache of epoches three and four and take you straight to era five: a mayday label, a save assignment, and a midwater give from lurching craft to careening boat.

A friend of quarry formerly said he guessed the best test for any new tie-in is the camping trip, but the yachting in cyclonic preconditions with next-to-no sailing suffer tour will do the trick more. If you can make it through that, calmer seas await. Lucy Clark

This is something we supposed: the becalmed attractivenes of the Whitsunday Passage. Picture: Maureen Dettre/ AAP

Tokyo: Please do not be sickened by my appearance

Before I got on the plane from Barcelona to Tokyo I emailed the friend I was staying with. Please do not be appalled by my appearing. I appear a little different. Likewise, I wont have any fund when I arrive, so if you can help me sort it out appreciate.

My appearance was offending. I gasped with fright whenever I accidentally peeked at myself in the mirror and that was before I even registered that it was me looking back. My face went worse on the plane journey to Tokyo whether it was just the cabin pressure or the time that bruises required in order to blush. But my friend, meeting me at a Hilton in Tokyo, blanched when he saw me. My seeings were pitch-black and swollen closed, one surface of my face was also distend and bruised and a long line of black, naughtily stitched weave ran down my right synagogue to my brow. The stitching looked like someone had killed a very pitch-black spider on my face but left the body there.

I had been assaulted and cheated in Barcelona a few days before, which resulted in two black eyes, a swollen-headed mouth and fractured skull , now dented and stitched together by an exhausted intern who would never acquire a loot for the neatness of his craftwork.

My friend in Tokyo was a lawyer who dealt with the intricacies of transnational airline rentals and wore immaculately tailored suits. We made an odd-looking pair as we extended from bank to bank with my passport, trying to get money out or get money cabled or exactly access it somehow. In his flawless Japanese he negotiated on my behalf as I stood there my face a grotesque concealment. But each time we were rebuffed. In a chilled Starbucks my friend produced me an iced coffee, which I drank through a straw( my mouth still hurt) and said, The people in the bank likely conceive I thump you up and am trying to drain your bank account. Thats what it looks like.

In the day, when I should have been exploring Tokyo( depicted ), I lay on the sofa in the cool, dark flat and watched reruns of Dawsons Creek. Photo: Steven Beijer/ Getty Images/ EyeEm

We tried one more bank, and when they said no, rips abound with specific difficulties from my swollen attentions, and the batch might have been so weird and lamentable that they eventually said yes.

The rest of the time in Tokyo I didnt leave your best friend flat. I was anxious and depleted, and were beginning to dream of the assault in shattered and jumbled scraps. In the day, when I should have been exploring Tokyo, I lay on the lounge in the cool, dark flat and watched reruns of Dawsons Creek. Brigid Delaney

New South Wales: Puking and a blizzard

Holidays with children are wonderfully unpredictable. Our three-week international stroll with a four-year-old and two-year-old, which included about 50 hours of moving period, was a dream, despite the repugnance stories involving toddlers and long-haul flights. It was a week-long errand to the snow that turned out to be the family holiday that would bring us to our knees.

We had it all proposed. This would be a skiing vacation that would not break the bank. We borrowed gear, waited all year for Aldi specials on kids snowboots and booked a family room in the student lodging.

The journey from Sydney to the snowfields takes about six hours, is in accordance with Google, but by the time we had stopped multiple times to interfere in youngsters contends, change nappies and for bountiful snack breakings, seven hours had overtaken and we were only in Canberra. We booked a last-minute area at enormous expense in a inn where there was a meeting of charge listeners or something, so the whole home was full.

The next day, we attained it to our cosy room at the hostel. Then the projectile upchuck started. Our two-year-old had developed a high fever within instants of us putting our pockets down and was quite ill. Instead of marvelling at the snow whirl across the mountains outside, we were stuck in a room about the dimensions of the a small vehicle trying to administer Panadol to a convulsing toddler.

I stayed up the majority of members of the night worrying about how to drive in the snow to a hospital if concepts get worse at one point he started threshing. Vomit was on all of our clothes, the bedsheets, everything. We couldnt turn the light on because it would wake our daughter so we had to use mobile phones to try to see what was happening( we hadnt parcelled a lamp ). We couldnt open the window to get rid of the smell because there was a blizzard outside.

The next morning, the conditions on the mountain were perfect but the little bloke was still very ill. Fresh white-hot powdery snow was everywhere but we had to induce the call to pack up and head home, panicking another darknes of temperatures in the 40 s and no access to a doctor. While my partner packed up, I took our daughter to the snowfield to build a quick snowman and move on a toboggan. In the end, we invested three days hurtling, thousands of dollars likely( I didnt want to add it up) and about 30 times total at the snow. Patrick Keneally

Sicily: Even wailing, we couldnt discover one another

Id pre-booked the majority of members of the accommodation for our driving expedition around Sicily because with a five-year old-time the working day of lets just see where we be brought to an end is very well behind us. But there was one day when I wasnt sure how far across the southern coast wed drive so I figured united exactly find something that night. How bad could it be? I contemplated. As it is about to change, very bad.

Everything was full when we started ogling in the late afternoon. Hours afterward, as the Im starving squeak from the back seat be converted into a meltdown, the tourism power in Sciacca said they had a private rental. We followed a bloke on a motorcycle to a neat little terrace home near the port, paid him, promised to leave the keys on the living-room table, and strolled across the road to a trattoria for dinner, feeling fairly pleased.

But as we returned we observed the terrace next to ours was setting up chairs and tables on the sidewalk outside its front door and ours. Well-dressed young Italians were get out of cars and a very loud bang check seemed to be emanating from our living room.

The terrace next door was a night club. The music began around nine, shaking the walls and vibrating through the floor. The sidewalk outside our front entrance was parcelled with screaming, moving revellers. The beer garden included our back quadrangle. Even wailing, we couldnt hear one another. We sucked some beers and tried to entertain our son who was hysterical with fatigue. Lastly, at 4am, the music stopped, but then the clean-up staff crushed bottles and sing football songs until dawn.

We left as elderly neighbours arrived home on the back of scooters, having undoubtedly fled to sleep somewhere quieter. My husband may have hurled the keys into the hide. Lenore Taylor

Sydney: A ordinary weekend day( in a bad way )

Our previous expensive family holiday had ended in adversity, so we decided to be smart and vacation at home this time. It would be cheap! It would be fun! We would save age tripping to our destination and only … be.

We acquired it to the peach farm and successfully picked two bags of fruit! It was to be the highlight of the holiday. Image: Attila Balazs/ EPA

I would like to write that thoughts went well initially, but they didnt. On the eve of our staycation two daughters got a temperature and was up all darknes saying her tummy hurt. Exhausted, we scrapped plans to go fruit picking the next day and bided local. It was like a normal weekend date. We even went to the supermarket.

The following day we realized it to the peach farm and successfully picked two bags of return! It was to be the highlight of the vacation. Gastro struck the rest of the family down in the following epoches. Oh, it was a staycation all right in the bathroom.

When we are at last rose, thinner, paler and jaded, we had one day left of vacation. We went to the supermarket. The car broke down on the way dwelling. Bonnie Malkin

The Netherlands: Car fus

At one point on this vacation we visited the Vaalserberg, a neighbourhood where their own borders of Netherlands, Belgium and Germany meet. So you can standing in three countries at the same era. That did not make it the most difficult vacation in itself, but I say that as a foreword for a detail about this history. Which is that when we my daddy driving, my mum alongside, a 16 – or 17 -year-old fractious me in the backseat, my younger sister and friend headed down a remote country road, I cant recollect what usage the road signal saying DO NOT ENTER was actually in. Or maybe it was just a signaling with no texts. Anyway, the mean was fairly obvious, in retrospect.

I remember the next chip, which was about 100 m away: the pedals of the Nurofen-coloured Talbot spinning round in the clay, countryside hovering everywhere like an outtake from Carry on Camping. Us getting out of the car while the local farmers Dutch? Let say they were Dutch watched amused and distrustful. My daddy in his lines, out of the car, drawing goons from tyres. I conclude then a tractor, and a rope. And exchange experiences with the Dutch farmers about that signed back there, you know the one saying DO NOT ENTER in one( or maybe two, or none) of four communications. It wasnt raining; I guess that was a silver lining.

We saw not so much of Milans Piazza del Duomo( painted) but a lot of the Talbot dealer in the less-fashionable outskirts. Picture: Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP/ Getty Images

And it also meant that when I became a driver myself I had learned my exercise. Ive only so far since “mustve been” pulled out twice by a tractor, when I was a reporter in eastern England, both times within weeks of each other. No one told me there was a trench there. Or there.

Everything was wrong with that holiday. Night frights. Family dynamics. Me. Flat as a pancake the property and the sky. It was the family holiday you swear not to go on again and you dont until you get older, when you find that your parents are just the sort of people you want to spend time with like that. Strangely enough it produced one of the best all-family envisions we ever had taken, us all smiling. It enclose a broader truth but in that week was a horrific lie. My daddy had a very dry witticism and was not great with autoes.

A year later, or before, we got off the motor-rail in Milan and slam the exhaust gases fell off. So we realized not so much of the Piazza del Duomo, quite a lot of the Talbot dealer in the little fashionable outskirts. And he had a line about developing a brand-new Olympic sport: Battery-carrying on the Pembrokeshire coast. We didnt think it was much of a goer, but that was before they granted synchronised float, and golf. Will Woodward

The Whitsundays II: Sea rescue in neglecting illuminate

Tears of fear reeling down their own children cheeks are the most enduring recall of my worst holiday ever a sailing excursion in the Whitsundays in April 2014 that be converted into a ocean rescue in fading light.

We likely should have twigged that something was wrong when the outboard machine on the rowboat failed on day one. An engineer was dispatched to restore it and we voyaged north towards Hayman Island in a blustering 40 -knot easterly.

After lunch the catamarans port-side engine failed. Strong gusts or missiles as they are known locally researched our anchor overnight as we waited for another technologist. Surely period three would be better.

The soothe before the commotion: Alison Rourke and her daughter Ella sailing towards Hayman Island, before the engine set afire, they breached the ridge and “mustve been” rescued. Picture: Alison Rourke

In the late afternoon we set off for a sheltered overnight mooring. After 10 times, the starboard engines gauge flow hot. My son came up from the cabin saying he could smell inhaled as pitch-black gloom billowed out of the stern hull.

If a ship is on fire, you get off they tend to go up( or down) very quickly.

I deployed the ardor extinguisher as my husband lowered the rowboat into the ocean. The kids, aged eight and nine, sat silently, frozen with suspicion. I dont think they had ever seen their parents in emergency mode.

I asked them to find their treasured bed teddies pieces I knew we have not been able to live without. They say thats when they knew we were really in hardship. The scraping announce that followed was unmistakeable. We had floated onto the ridge in a falling tide with no meaning how much impairment had been done … by the ardour or the coral.

Eventually the harbourmaster at Hayman Island came to our aid as night descended but catamarans were permanently struck off our holiday directory the working day. Alison Rourke

Corsica: It is forbidden to pee in your wetsuit

Corsica, Zonza in particular, was, according to every person I knew whod been( two beings ), a bright place for canyoning. You couldnt go to Corsica and not canyon.

Our tour was jam-packed with outdoorsy categories, the real genu not the category who are do outdoorsy for one day on one vacation per year. They seemed fit, had hiking gear and, unlike us, had brought lunch. As the only non-French loudspeakers, we felt alone and outcast. We went off to find a sandwich, contemplating for the first time that we may have got ourselves into a semi-dangerous situation. Or worse. A just plain dangerous situation.

When our template told us to try on our abseiling paraphernalium and that he would check it for security, I weighed up in my sentiment the pros and cons of the working day as I now interpreted it.

Pros: Zonza was a great place to try canyoning. And the guidebooks were cute!

Cons: we look like absolute gulls, or worse croak! And that would be in front of the cute guides.

Perhaps had I been a bit more careful while hiking down to the canyon, instead of practising in my manager all the words I knew in French that I could possibly put together to impress upon the navigates and fellow traveller that I was not a complete chump after all, I would not have tripped on those stones, lost counterbalance, descended over and then reeled sideways down the rocky hiking path.

We hadnt even got to the hazardous proportion yet. I started to wonder if my 10 m jaunt insurance policy would envelop a helicopter coming in to get me right about now when my friend Helen enquired 😛 TAGEND

Why didnt we find out exactly what canyoning was?

I dont know.

A guide started giving instructions in French. He seemed to be saying damned important nonsense. Parties were watching him and looking serious. Every now and then some nervous laughter broke out. Eventually he looked at Helen and me and said: Mathieu will tell you in English.

Gabrielle Jackson on the day, but shortly before, she realised what canyoning was. Image: The Guardian

After approximately five to seven minutes of watching him talk, Mattieu did. So in canyoning you rush like this. You take one step forward and push off with the other hoof, almost like flowing. Use your forearms to get your offset and then do this.

He crossed his arms across his chest. That was it. The other guides pep talk to diminish three sentences.

Before we left, our navigate stirred one more notice in English: It is forbidden to pissing in your wetsuit.

We contacted our first plunge pretty quickly, and were there met with a selection: a two-metre or four-metre startle. So this was canyoning: jump-start off rock-and-rolls into sea you cant recognize and abseiling down rock-and-rolls at ever-greater heights.

My first jump turned out to be quite refreshing and I began to believe the hike may have been the scariest part of the day. Then Helen said there was no way she was jumping off a nine-metre high waterfall. I maybe should have thought that my suspicion of heights may have affected my ability to do this, pondered Helen, as she swam through the canyons fresh stream, face grey and nerve pounding.

Lets just say, the next five hours were long. Im glad Ive done it, but Ill not be canyoning again any time soon. On the plus area, we never had cause to call in that helicopter. Gabrielle Jackson

Tell us your experiences in the comments section below and with videos and fibs via GuardianWitness

Contribute with


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here