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Camping on a dried-up river bed, we discovered when it rained during the night and half of our equipment and clothes were already most of the way to the Irish Sea why you shouldn't camp on a dried-up riverbed. Tell us about crappy holidays.

Suggested by Zuowon

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 10:32)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

It was all going so well.
Venice. Girlfriend. Balmy weather. Delicious food in outdoor cafes. Romantic walks. The canals. Gondola. Girlfriend lying back in gondola, totally blissed out. Pigeon shat into her open mouth.
(, Mon 18 Aug 2014, 20:18, 19 replies)
when I was a nipper, we went on a camping holiday up in the mountains, but after 4 days of torrential rain we gave up, packed up, and headed home
The river was flooded, so a local farmer had to tow our car across it with his tractor so we could leave. After fours hours driving, all of us tired in wet clothes, still two hours from home, my brothers asleep, I asked "Mummy, where's Belle?"
We'd forgotten the dog.
When the farmer took my dad across the river again four hours later, there was Belle the fat Beagle, sitting in the rain where we camped.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 1:43, Reply)
Brown trainers
The Cameron Highlands afford a welcome relief from the sweltering heat of the Malaysian coast and were used for precisely that back in the days when the map was coloured pink. Today they're part of the Asian backpacker trail and you can go hill climbing and visiting tea plantations if you go there.

Unfortunately, getting there requires a bus trip and I was feeling distinctly uneasy when I settled into my seat at 10pm for the bus ride up. One reason I was feeling uneasy was the curry I'd just eaten in Ipoh, which I could tell was planning to cause havoc with me in due course. The other reason I felt uneasy was the presence of the sick bag attached to the back of the seat in front of me. A sick bag? On a bus?

It turns out there are something like 470 hairpin bends on the road up to the Cameron Highlands and in the dark you can't fix on the horizon.

After half an hour of those bends I'd already filled one bag with vile-smelling puke, I was drip white, shaking like a leaf and drenched in sweat. But the bus was just beginning. I lost count of the number of sick bags I swiped from other seats, they were quite small and I was heaving up soupy-lumpy vomit like a discount Mr Creosote. Because of the constant lurching of the bus as it went round corners, a not inconsiderable amount of said vomit was deposited on the floor, on the seat and on myself. At least three other passengers were inspired by my performance enough to join me in wretching their own guts up but we had the sympathy of the driver who was grinning his brown leathery face off in his rear view at us all.

He deposited the acrid-smelling bunch of us off in the middle of Tanah Ratah village at 1am. Everybody wandered off to their various guesthouses they'd had planned. Unsurprisingly nobody was eager to share a room with me so I went to a separate guesthouse and roused the grumpy owner who grudgingly allowed this shivering, carrot covered foreigner to have one of his rooms.

Just in the nick of time too. The trip up had been that long that the curry had worked it's way through my digestive tract as if it were a ticking bomb passed hand to hand. I'd just squat down on the Asian hole in the floor bog when the Krakatoa of liquid shits erupted from my arseparts. Fucking hell, it was like I had a pressure hose on a tanker of diarrhoea and my thumb partly over the nozzle. About half of the pungent slurry made it into the crapper, the remainder went over the floor, my calves, my shorts and my trainers. I shat for a good few minutes, feeling fainter by the second, wiped, flushed then stumbled into the shower in all my clothes.

I was ill for four days. Climbed no hills. Saw no tea plantations. I saw a squat toilet and the shop which sold toilet rolls and that's it. The clothes cleaned up and you could only faintly smell the puke.

The trainers were still brown though. They had to be chucked.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 22:11, 3 replies)
My First Surfing Trip: An Australian experience. (long, but hopefully not dull)
Many moons ago, in my spotted youth, one of my best mates (Dave) was the first bloke in our social group to get his car licence. He’d scraped together enough coin to purchase a battered old 60’s wagon, and so began a new found freedom at around 16 years of age. At the time, we were all into surfing, and this meant that rather than relying on the goodwill of our parents to drive us to the beach, we could now pool our money, buy a few litres of petrol and drive (all by ourselves!) to a remote beach for a day of paddling through pounding surf, trying not to drown and with some luck, catching a wave.

Happy times. Innocent times.

We also made some new friends through surfing – we got to know some older blokes who we’d regularly meet at the beach. We’d chat, share a few waves, and generally be in awe of their surfing skills. They were a bit rough, but seemed very grown up and cool to a pair of innocent 16 year olds. They did cool things like smoke cigarettes and tell stories of getting shitfaced at nightclubs, and you know, pulling chicks, to like, fuck and stuff!

Anyway, this one time, the older surfers invited us to an overnight camping trip. Oh man, we’d graduated to the “cool” group. We’d arranged to all meet up one weekend at a remote beach & stay overnight. We’d have a fire on the beach, sleep in our cars and have a jolly good time, swapping lurid stories of imaginary sexual conquests.

I’d been camping before, but this was going to be different – there would be alcohol, and perhaps some chicks. This was going to be so cool. It was all very exciting to be invited, but Dave and I were worried that we’d be labelled as dorks if we turned up without alcohol or cigarettes. We had absolutely bugger all money, so budgetary constraints dictated that we had to nick a few bottles of cheap port from my Dad’s wine cellar, and “borrow” a packet of smokes from Dave’s Mum’s handbag.

All very povvo, and in hindsight, a bit sad that we valued drinking and smoking as prerequisites for social acceptance to what was, in essences, a group of fucking bogans.

Anyway, after a few hours drive, we meet up with the others. There’s about 10 old cars parked throughout the dunes, a big group of blokes, we all hit the water and paddled around for a few hours, and just as dusk fell, we returned to shore and got busy building a fucking huge bonfire in amongst the dunes. It was Winter, and fucking cold.

Eveyone got stuck into the booze, Dave and I entered into the spirit of the occasion with the enthusiasm and gusto of the awkward novice.


Now at this stage in my life, I’d never really had much to do with alcohol, so in hindsight, it probably wasn’t such a great idea to rapidly neck 2 litres of cheap port on top of a feed of cold baked beans.

Inevitably, before long, the sky started spinning around my head and I stumbled away from the fire to seek out the quiet coolness of the dunes, away from the raging bonfire, just as great gushes of purple port-soaked baked beans started violently exiting from my body with great heaving retches, mostly through my nose. (Remember your first alcohol induced chunder? It’s quite scary the first time, isn't it?).

I must have passed out for some time in the quiet darkness, as next thing I know, a couple of very drunk, but well meaning blokes were dragging me by my legs, back to the warmth of the fire, asking if I was ok. They dumped me almost into the fire, and through a crust of sand and vomit, I could see a scene of utter carnage.

Everyone had been getting into the grog and probably some harder stuff, and the stupid shows of bravado had already started – a couple of blokes were been tearing around the dunes in an old car, headlights swerving at crazy angles, engine screaming, sand flying, little regard for the proximity of drunk people. The car swerved to avoid one drunk bloke (but actually clipped him and sent him flying) hit a tree and came to a rapid stop.

Everyone cheered wildly, helped the battered bloke to his feet (cigarette still clamped between his lips) then another car started up the same performance. It seemed to go on for hours. I finally twigged that this was actually a primeval bogan method of harvesting more wood for the fire – smash down a tree with a car, then drag it onto the bonfire.

Jesus, this was getting scary.

Inbetween dry retching, I saw blokes fall into the fire, blokes fighting each other, the sickly waft of cigarette smoke would set off another round of retching. Someone had their car stereo at top volume. It was noise, smoke, vomit, violence, all around.

I wasn’t having a very nice time.

I sought the refuge of Dave’s wagon, hoping to roll up in a blanket and quietly pass out, but, as I discovered, Dave hadn’t bothered to seek the refuge of the quiet dune to chunder. So yeah, Dave had laid down in his car, as he felt a bit "woozy" and had spent quite some time power-chundering bile and port flavoured baked beans throughout the entire interior of his nice old car. The stench was overpowering, and there were no dry blankets on account that he’d also pissed himself.

So, I spent the night curled in semi foetal position near the fire, avoiding the drunken lurching cavemen, trying to not be killed by witless piss heads engaging in vehicular tree felling.

As dawn eventually broke, the daylight revealed a scene that would rival the Somme Battlefields of World War 1 – shredded vegetation as far as the eye could see, bloodied bodies, a haze of smoke drifted across the landscape, the occasional broken vehicle. Broken souls wandered through the carnage, looking cigarette butts, or a last swig of grog from a discarded bottle.

Oh, and this was in a designated National Park too! So...if a Ranger happened to come along (which was highly likely on a Sunday morning) we would all be up for some hefty fines on account of the significant environmental damage. It was just a massive level of depraved base devastation in one stupid evening. (I’ve never experienced anything quite like it since).

I wanted to get the fuck out of there, away from these cretins.

So, with all my 2 hours of driving experience to count on, I shoved Dave aside, brushed off most of the dried baked beans, and bunny-hopped his shitty old car (no synchro in 1st gear – a good time to learn to drive) all the way back home. He lay on the back seat, intermittently moaning and retching out the window.

All the way home, I prayed that we wouldn’t get pulled over, as I had no licence, and Dave was in no condition to think and breathe, let alone drive.

I eventually came to a shuddering stalled halt outside my Mum’s house. Thankfully, she working a weekend shift, so Dave slept all the rest of the day on the front lawn, while I quite literally hosed out the interior of his car. Eventually he recovered sufficiently to drive home.

So yeah, that was my first "big" surfing trip.

It was really quite shit.
(, Wed 20 Aug 2014, 14:55, 11 replies)
Caravan.
When child 1 arrived, we had a few things go wrong around the house - washing machine and central heating packed up with 2 days of each other and with a new baby at home, we needed both of them. So our little holiday pot was used.

So my nan, without our knowledge saved the vouchers from the paper for the "holidays for £10" and then booked it. For February half term.

We drive down to some shitty Haven holidays called Devon Cliffs, getting there about 4pm, and first question is do you want to upgrade for £20. I jokingly say "Are we in the shit caravans then"?

I'm sure she wanted to say yes. Due to the baby we did upgrade, and then were given a map to where our van was.

This deluxe van was one of the best on site. but that didn't include any form of heating at all. Or a door on the toilet. And no gas in the bottle. And a hole in the roof. No plates/cutlery/glasses. It had a TV, but no ariel.

We went back to the front desk and complained, "no other deluxe ones available - all booked". I hadn't seen another person on the site. Swimming pool was closed. Entertainment was cancelled due to not enough people on site that week. Restaurant had closed at 6pm due to having no staff.

That night, we discovered the bed came with sheets, but no duvet. The hot water was powered by an on demand heater, that didn't work. It was -4 the first night outside. And the same in the caravan. We went to bed fully clothed. Found frost in the carpet in the living area.

At 6am we woke to give baby food. I went to see about moving to any other accommodation on site and was basically told it would cost £350 to move to another van, and they would also charge me for the repairs on the van we were in (Their words - "No-one else mentioned a hole or heating not working, so you must have done it").

We were packed and on our way home 8 minutes after I got back to the caravan. We took pictures and sent it to Haven head office and to the paper my nan had booked it from. We got a full refund and a free stay in the summer. We did not take it.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 20:33, 11 replies)
I live in Sydney.
My folks live in Worksop.

I live 5 minutes from the beach. We get about 300 days sunshine a year. Temperatures in the high twenties throughout summer. A plethora of beachside pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes. Good food, excellent wine, decent beer (some of it). Ocean swims. Harbour cruises. Beach barbecues.

Every couple of years I save up and take my family on holiday to Worksop.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 0:46, 7 replies)
i used to nick wallets from losers who went on holiday in rhyl

(, Mon 18 Aug 2014, 16:05, 11 replies)
Another vote for Scottish independence
We should really have expected iffy weather, going in November, but it's the only time me & the wife could get off together that year.

Driving up the M6 my car developed a slow puncture, requiring a full reinflation of the offending rear tyre every 50 or so miles and when we eventually got to Fort William, we found there was no garage open, so I had to nurse it until we got to Skye on the Monday.

We found a B&B which was nice, except for the half-mile walk up the road in the pissing rain to the nearest hotel for breakfast - the old dear who ran the B&B didn't do breakfasts off-season and contracted them out.

We went for a walk to the base of Ben Nevis, in the pissing rain, but the summit was in cloud, so we went back to the B&B and watched telly.

The B&B in Skye was run by Basil Fawlty's long lost cousin, who wore tartan trews and loudly proclaimed his Scottishness, despite exhibiting no trace of a native accent. There were no restaurants open after 6pm and the pubs didn't do food out of season, but the chippy was OK.

A trip to watch otters in the wild required a mile walk in the pissing rain to a hut where we sat for 2 hours and saw 1 otter about 500 yards out to sea.

The only plus point was the lack of midges at that time of year.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 16:15, 2 replies)
Week on a caravan site in Scotland
With my parents when I was about 10.

We were on a site in the middle of fucking nowhere, albeit conveniently located for driving to Edinburgh and Glasgow. The site had a bar which had country music every night and a comedian we couldn't understand, and a chip shop. I was the only kid on the site not wearing a football shirt which proclaimed my sectarian affiliation. There was also a pool but it was so ridiculously cold that when mum and I went for a swim one morning, the bloke in the caravan next to it went and woke up his whole family to come and laugh at us.

We drove to Edinburgh on the first day and parked up in the street. On opening her car door my mum stepped out of the car and stood straight in a large human turd that was sat on the pavement. It still had a bit of toilet paper stuck to it.

Not a single member of my family has ever been back to Scotland.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 11:58, 10 replies)
I went to Skegness , but it was all crowded with one conference for orthodontists and another seminar for emergency structural scaffolders
Still, it was quite bracing
(, Wed 20 Aug 2014, 14:36, 4 replies)
I've lived in Scotland most of my life.
I've never been camping in Scotland, and I don't know anyone else from Scotland who's ever been camping in Scotland.

I'm beginning to think that tourists are fucking idiots.
(, Tue 19 Aug 2014, 21:22, 4 replies)
Pregnant and abandoned
When Mrs Moon Monkey was about to spawn, we decided to go on a holiday with my elderly parents - since we didn't think we'd have time/energy for holidays once the sprog had arrived. Now my folks have very simple tastes, so we booked a caravan in a park.

Just for a change, there was nothing wrong with the caravan, the park, the weather or any of the usual disasters. Everything was set for some quiet but pleasant family time. Then Mrs MM started to feel unwell.

Not "Oh my god, the baby's coming" unwell, thankfully, but given her advanced state of knocked-upness, we decided that professional medical advice would be a good idea. Since she didn't feel up to driving, my dad - a typical 75 year old Little Old Man in a flat cap - drove us into the nearest city, and we found a hospital with A&E. He dropped us at the door, and went off to park, arranging to meet us outside later.

After the doctor had done the requisite poking and probing, and concluding that there was nothing serious going on, we made our way down to the main entrance, hoping that dad would be somewhere in sight. But no luck.

We waited. And waited. And waited. We tried his phone - no answer. We tried mum's phone - she hadn't heard from him, and he wasn't answering her either. We're starting to worry. An hour goes by, and we're still standing in the lobby of the hospital. Well, at least we're in the right place if her waters break.

Eventually, well over two hours later, he appears. It turns out that after finding a car-park, he'd got lost attempting to walk to the hospital. Eventually he gave up, and flagged down a taxi. Then he realised that he had no idea where he'd parked the car, so they drove around the city for ages before finally stumbling upon it. Having retrieved the car, he then got lost again trying to drive to the hospital.

You'll not be surprised to hear that normally mum does the navigating. Nor that we never, ever let him forget it.
(, Tue 19 Aug 2014, 9:25, Reply)
France
In general I've had pretty good holidays, but one in particular stands out.

I'd just become a stroppy teenager and my family decided we would all go to France to stay in a friend's villa in La Rochelle. This meant me and my sister squishing into the back of my Dad's brand-new Ital with my fat aunt for a long drive south in the heat.

The villa itself was quite nice but there wasn't a lot to do in the area and I considered myself too old to play on the beach. I found out that windsurfing is a lot harder than it looks, and that French girls aren't interested in spotty English teenagers. My sister smacked me on the head with a golf club and my dad refused to pay for any decent meals. Things got better when my mad, chain-smoking cousin turned up on his motorbike with his hippy girlfriend, became tense and embarassing when they shagged noisily at all times of the day (the villa had a surprising echo) then got worse when he had a huge argument with his mum (my aunt) and stormed out.

We stopped off at friends on the way home where the friend's son (a bit older than me) tried to sexually assault me before dinner. They gave us a case of wine and some bottles of home-made spirits (the friend was a pharmacist) so my mum was terrorised all the way home in case we were stopped by Customs. The car broke down about 50 miles from home. I don't think we ever left Britain on holiday after that.
(, Mon 18 Aug 2014, 9:32, 7 replies)
Surfing Safari
My best friend Brian's family had a static caravan on camp site an hour or so away, next to a man-made lake. The plan was that he and I would spend the first week of the school holidays up there, where he would teach me windsurfing and there would be the distinct possibility of meeting girls.

And so it came to pass that I purchased a wet suit, and his parents deposited us there.

Windsurfing had created images in my mind of Californian sun and blue water. The reality was somewhat more subdued. After a couple of hours, I decided windsurfing was not something I was capable of.

For the rest of the week, when the weather allowed, Brian went off surfing, and I would remain in the caravan. There was no TV. No radio, no stereo, no phone. The only entertainment was reading his mum's womens magazines.

One day, a van load of Germans turned up and pitched a tent. They built an impressive wall of beer crates around their pitch, and then drove off for more supplies. We watched in glee (or should I say schadenfreude) as their tent blew away. They returned half an hour later, and much puzzlement ensued.

The highlight of the week was when we cycled to the adjacent camp site, which had a shop where we purchased hot dogs in a tin.

There were no girls. It later dawned on us that we had chosen the first week of our school holidays - and since school holidays were staggered across the country, the locals were still at school.

The caravan had a small gas heater. One day I was standing wondering why I could smell roasting pork, and it took a couple of seconds for me to realise it was my own calf on the heater. I ended up with a nice criss-cross branding, which luckily didn't scar permanently.

Each evening, our attire heavily inspired by Miami Vice, we would walk around the camp site wearing canvas deck shoes and sunglasses, looking in vain for fit birds.

In a last ditch attempt to see some T&A, it was decided we should paddle across the lake on surfboards to where Brian insisted there was a nudist beach. We never made it.

Having learnt nothing, we did exactly the same thing the following year.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 20:30, Reply)
Having lived in Cornwall, I have seen many families pass through on holiday, having a shit time.
Yada yada, family circumstances, ex wife, for whatever reason I had family ties down in Cornwall and because of this I ended up living there for nigh on 6 years. Idyllic? Whimsical? Rustic? Well as I am fond of saying, nice place to raise a child but I wouldn't wan't to try getting a job there again.

For indeed it took me 6 months of living down in Fukkin' old Helston town to even be able to get a job (trade in those parts was not geared up to my skillset) so I ended up having to work at the town's greatest employer, Flambard's Theme Park. I think the theme was 'it's the only amusement park in 600 square miles. Come and be fleeced for not very much amusement'.

Despite the perception that Cornwall has glorious weather all year round, that particular patch was a bit of an oddity as weather that rolled in from the Atlantic first touches the SW peninsular it often backs up and does weird things with fog, low cloud, sudden downpours etc. which 5/10 times means the annual flying display at RNAS Culdrose is a waste of fucking time as well.

So oftentide a family that thought Camping Was The Way (with the promise that even if the sleeping was a bit rough, beaches and golden sunshine would be their reward by day) would usually be found stomping around the town during a cloudy drizzle wearing only the shorts and flip flops and t-shirts they had packed, shielded from the mist by a single solitary kagoul apiece and dispiritedly shuffling along the pavement nibbling at a pasty while the patriarch became increasingly pissed off with the lamentation of the kids (who were missing Playstation, Sky TV, indoor toilets and heating) until Bingo! He would blow his top and issue the standard exasperated statement "LOOK WE'RE TRYING TO HAVE FUN TOGETHER! AS A FAMILY!".

Back to Flambards. I suppose at its inception the 'Aero park' with static exhibits of 50s/60s prop and jet fighter aircraft was worth 50p admission. Then they expanded into a 'Model Victorian village' exhibition that soon got added to with a 'Britain in the blitz' walk-through area. OK, maybe charge £1.50.

Then fairground attractions started creeping in, then go-karts, then crazy golf, and before you knew it a whole 'amusement park rides' theme became prelevant. Except they were piss-weak. And for what is probably now £17.50 an adult, a bit fucking steep.

'Family based fun' meant that even when the 'Hornet' roller coaster was commissioned, it was watered down to - in their own words - a 'pink knuckle ride'. It was not uncommon for outspoken 4-year old brats to get off the ride - sporting 'Nemesis at Alton Towers baseball caps'- stating "That was the rubbishest thing I've ever been on".

The log flume did at least give you a thrill of gravity-induced freefall and so in the quiet days there would be a hardcore of bore-crazed teens going around and around and around getting stupidly soaked as AT LEAST IT MADE THEM FEEL ALIVE. Also my personal favourite, the balloon race elevated basket dangle whizzathon, because there was a genuine thrill of fear that a bolt would snap and you would be catapulted into the field of cows next door.

If by chance you end up down Helston way, my advice is simple. Take the kids down Poldark Mine, then go to the Blue Anchor and get some Spingo real ale. If there is a storm on go to Porthleven and watch the shit fly in and batter the coast from the Atlantic Inn or Ship Inn. Go to the beach at Praa Sands if it's a nice day. There is a cinema in town if all else fails and the town museum does have a nice gift shop with polished minerals and jewellery.

/done with that town.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 8:51, 13 replies)
Elm Guest House. Not good.

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 20:46, Reply)
'We're going to meet the family you didn't know you had!'
Folks wrangled us into a car and drove up from Stourbridge to Morpeth in Northumberland, as this was where my mum's mum was from and she had aunts and uncles up there. It turns out me and my siblings were to be 'presented' to these aged crones and doddering old gits (for whom we always were compelled to send Christmas presents even though we had never seen them).

Now I have not been there in 35 years so perhaps things have improved but at the time it was a grey town with little joy or amusement to the place, grim austerity (well it was the 1970s) and the people we went to 'visit' were incomprehensible (Geordie-like accents), everyone smoked, the properties were like the typical 'clogged with all manner of bad memorabilia and ceramic ornaments', faded 1940s wallpaper and furniture and carpets and broken lights/dark corridors......WOO HOO! A HOLIDAY TO BE LAPPED UP.

Concession time to cheer the kids up- ooh, let's go to the seaside?

YEAAAAH! Beach, swimming, candy floss, arcade machines, donkey rides!

*Arrive at seaside. the North Sea Side. In October.

It's fucking freezing, the wind is cutting through my clothes like a knife, the grey clouds cover up the sun, there aren't even any interesting shells (some sea coal, that's about it) and everything is closed because it is Sunday and it is out of season anyway. the jolly yachts and pedalos promised by my 'Racing To read- A Day At The Seaside' book illustrated was instead populated by distant container carriers and supertankers, slicking up the weakly breaking surf with globs of heavy oil leaking from their tanks.

Final concession to amuse the kids- would you like to visit your auntie Pat at work?

Oh that would literally be ENDLESSLY FASCINATING.

She works in a sweet shop?

TAKE ME. TAKE ME TO THAT PLACE NOW SO THAT I MAY VENERATE THE ELDERS.

You can have 12p to spend.

*Deflates visibly.

So the high point of that holiday was a tube of 'Double Agent' sherbet sweets. 10 minutes later, all done.

Well we better go back home now. You start school again on Monday!

AWESOME.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 20:41, 12 replies)
Grandma went senile
When I was 13 my grandad dropped dead, the result of which my Grandma came to live with us, we had to move house and everything became quite stressful at home. None the less after 6 months of this hell happiness it was decided we would have a holiday.

A boy can dream of some of the fun places we may go, but as "this might be grandmas last holiday" it was decided we'd go to Scotland and visit some of her friends from over the years. We lived just outside London and her friends would all be in their 80's.

I knew the holiday would be shit, but I caught a glimpse of just how shit within 30 seconds of sitting in the car ready for an 8 hour drive.
Grandma was clearly bothered by something, "Whats wrong now!?" asks my Mum in a less than friendly manner.
"I can't find my hat pin" say Gran.
"Well we have to go!" Yells mum.
"But I can't bear to be parted from it!" whines Grandma.

We then had a 8 hour drive most of which was to the soundtrack of Grandma muttering, whinging, crying and then any mix of those combined.

Add to that Scotland is cold, wet, full of flying midges/gnats etc and for some reason all Grandmas friends live in remote shit places with nothing to do plus the only drinks on offer that weren't tea were water or occasionally weak lemon squash.

The best part of the whole holiday was visiting one old couple who lived in a retirement complex which had something to do with that crap old soap "Crossroads", however they had a snooker table and seeing my desperate boredom the old fella left the old ladies to catch up events since the war and took me and Dad to play a game of snooker where I was allowed a can of coke and a bag of frazzles. In hindsight if thats the best bit I can remember it must have been really crap.

EDIT: Just remembered, I did see a German fall off his motorbike while attempting to read a map.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 11:49, 3 replies)
It'll be three weeks of camping near the coast I was told...
Back in the mid 80's my dad took a job catering for a charity that worked with under-privileged kids from the inner cities, giving them a countryside holiday they would otherwise never experience. The gig was for him to spend three weeks cooking for the kids at a camp site close to Bognor Regis.

I was 10 years old at the time and was pretty excited when Dad suggested I come along for the stint. We would camp at the site, and I could take part in the daily events with the other kids.

The first sign that this would be a holiday to forget was when we first pulled up in a barren field in our Ford Capri, and opened the door to be greeted by the most acrid smell of shit imaginable. Locating the source of the odour was fairly simple, it was coming from the sewage pumping station in the adjacent field. It was a smell that I would acclimatise to remarkably quickly.

The kids started arriving later that day, and my excitement evaporated when I realised that each and every one of them was likely to beat me to a pulp at the first available opportunity. I retreated sharply to the kitchens where dad was working, and rarely ventured out for the next three weeks. Rather than fishing and playing ball-games all day as I had hoped, my time was spent peeling potatoes, removing thousands of earwigs from the kitchen floor and doing my best to avoid having to use the toilet at the same time as any of over one hundred other boys.

My lingering memory of that hellish time though is spending hour after hour in that hot kitchen, with nothing for company other than a tiny radio that was only able to pick up the local commercial radio station. I don't know who compiled the playlist for that station, but they were certainly a bit partial to the Eurythmics. I feel scared whenever I hear "There must be an angel".
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 11:11, Reply)
Phimrallax Alpha
A few weeks ago, when the question was ‘bad ideas’, you will all no doubt fondly remember that I posted that it was a bad idea to go to Phimrallax Alpha:

www.b3ta.com/questions/badideas/post2332906

However, I gave no reason not to go to Phimrallax Alpha other than: ‘it’s shit’.

Well! Thanks to this week’s question, I can now tell you exactly why it is a bad idea to go to Phimrallax Alpha, and exactly why the place is so utterly shit! Ooh, it’s an arc!! Clever me!!!

It was many moons ago and I was in another body, but I remember it well. Stupidly, in retrospect, I had decided to go to Phimrallax Alpha myself to see what all the non-fuss was about. I left my TARDIS on the orbital platform around the planet and took the shuttle down, so I could get the full experience of shitness, as it were. The shuttle was a rickety old thing powered by negative mass flux absorption – I know! – and as I strapped myself in, I instantly regretted my decision not to travel by TARDIS. As the shuttle blasted off – steady on there – I distracted myself by reading the brochure. ‘Rellax on Phimrallax!’ announced the garish cover in a font illegal on all civilized worlds, above a photo of a Draconian, a Zygon and a Slitheen frolicking on a beach, playing volleyball. The ball was the head of a Mutt. Lovely. Inside, I was disconcerted to see that a substantial portion of the contents was given over to a listing of brothels with prices and reviews, catering to all sexes and all races. If you wanted to have group sex with the Rutan host, frottle yourself on an Ogri, skullfuck a Monoid, or watch a shrieking human female be devoured by a Drashig whilst you watched and wanked – you could. Unfortunately, I was in a rather prudish incarnation at the time – other of my personae would have relished this carnival of depravity. So, disconcerted and feeling rather sick, I closed my eyes as the shuttle landed – bumpily – at Phimrallax City Spacedome.

As I exited the shuttle with all the other life forms – which included a bunch of drunken Sontarans, of which more later (and see here

www.b3ta.com/questions/britsabroad/post2269202

for my experiences with drunken Sontarans) – I was blasted by a wave of intense, crippling heat. At first I thought I had been exterminated by a Dalek or something, but it was just the Phimrallax climate. Now, I knew it was going to be hot, but not THAT hot. I managed to crawl out of the terminal – fighting off legions of prostitutes including a particularly persistent Exxilon – and into a taxi which, fortunately, had air conditioning, but which, unfortunately, was driven by the smelliest Ogron it has ever been my displeasure to meet.

I stared blearily out of the window at the Phimrallaxian landscape – it was just desert, shimmering under a throbulating heat-haze. Phimrallax is bathed in the light of three suns and it is never night; just perpetual, bright, blistering day. Worse, there is one hour of the day when the heat of the combined suns is so intense that any flesh-and-blood creature that happens to be outside at the time is roasted to a crisp. The Phimrallaxians are meant to have ‘sun alarms’ which sound well in advance of this period – but these are mostly broken, or missing. So woe betide any human-basics, though silicon-based life forms are all right.

The taxi dumped me at my hotel and I paid the Ogron, who kindly only ripped me off financially and not physically. I had booked myself into the poshest and best hotel on Phimrallax Alpha – the Mantrabon – but it was still a fucking shithole. Worse, an expensive fucking shithole. I was shown to my room by a morose native Phimrallaxian, who seemed to be permanently on the verge of tears. Phimrallaxians are like humanoid stick-insects, and are the most dejected, miserable, worthless, most abject beings I have ever encountered outside of b3ta.

My room – the Presidential suite – was spacious, I’ll give it that, but that was the only thing in its favour. It was shabby and filthy, and dust hung in the air like the stars of a dying galaxy. There was a strong odour of sweat and putrescence, as if something had crawled away in a corner to die several months previously. As I stood there, my clothes soaked through with sweat, I heard a tiny alarm bleat and a few seconds later, a gale of white light poured in through the window which instantly darkened so as to save me from being roasted alive. It was the only thing in the room that worked, I was soon to discover.

I went into the bathroom with heavy hearts, dreading what I might see. The toilet was a fearsome affair, clearly designed to support the buttocks of heavier life forms such as Ice Warriors, and was fitted with a ‘T-Mat Flush’ which teleported the waste away. I had heard gruesome stories about people dying horribly in these contraptions from having their lower regions accidentally zapped away so no way was I using that. Additionally, it was full to the brim with diarrhoea, so it clearly didn’t work. I closed the lid softly, almost reverently, over the foulage, and went to the sink.

I glanced into the mirror above the sink, and gasped in shock. Instead of my reflection, I saw the savage stone face of a Weeping Angel glaring back at me! I stood there not blinking for ages until I realised it was just a hologram some cunt had put there as a prank. Charming. I tried the taps – of course, they didn’t work. The cold tap let forth a trickle of sand, then nothing; and the hot tap produced nothing but a series of shuddering, desultory moans and groans – rather like b3ta. Ha ha! Satire!

Worse was to come. On the wall next to the sink was a laminated sign bearing the message ‘Do Not Smear Bogeys Over This Notice’, with bogeys smeared all over it.

Next to this sign was a collection of graffiti: ‘Broton, War Lord of the Zygons, woz here’, ‘King Peladon is A Gaylord’, ‘Davros suck Ogron dick”, ‘I fucked River Song up the ass here, and sprayed my semen all over my face, hair and tits’, etc, etc (actually, that last one will be a future incarnation of me – I recognised the handwriting - though why I will return to Phimrallax Alpha, I have no idea – I certainly don’t intend to).

I wandered back into the bedroom. The bed looked fine but when I pulled the covers back I saw that that the sheets were plastered with thick, black, sticky hairs. It looked the aftermath of a particularly enthusiastic rutting session between a pair of Taran Wood Beasts. I replaced the covers and walked over to o the window through which I could just about make out the forms of a half-dozen Ogri and a couple of Kastrians frolicking on the sands in the pulverising heat of the three suns.

I felt a sudden compulsion to run outside with them and run through the rest of my regenerations in burning, excoriating agony.

I then unpacked, and in putting my things away, found the source of the rotting smell – at the bottom of the wardrobe, a Shrivenzile had curled up and died, clearly many weeks ago. I didn’t blame it.

As I stared at the rotting corpse, from the room above came a relentless stomping as of many drunken booted feet. Stentorian cries of ‘Sontar-HA! Sontar-HA!’ filtered down from above.

My urge for oblivion peaked, and I made my way down to the bar, ignoring the legions of prostitutes that flung themselves at me at every opportunity. At the bar, I ordered two bottles of the most evil alcoholic beverage I could find – Ribosian vodka fruit wine – and set to them with gusto. I then started on the Space Stella, and sank about 15 pints of that. My memories of that night are hazy, but I think I drank myself almost to the point of regeneration.

I woke the next morning with the most stinking hangover I have ever experienced, with the Sontarans STILL thumping and chanting from the floor above. That’s two holidays the cloned cunts had ruined! I had shat the bed, I noted with grim satisfaction as I rose.

I went down to the restaurant for breakfast, only to be told by the miserable Phimrallaxian maitre d’, ‘Sorry, breakfast finish.’

That was IT. I summoned my TARDIS and got the hell away from the place without paying my bill.

So now you know why Phimrallax Alpha is shit.

Phimrallax Beta, though – now, that is mint! But that’s another story.

LAIGH8T£RZ!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
(, Wed 20 Aug 2014, 22:47, 18 replies)
A nonce laden pea (which old have been much worse)

The greatest entertainer of all time - on holiday

When I was a little fella of about 7, I, with a bunch of young mates saw Rolf Harris in the General Store on Rottenest Island, just off the coast from Perth.

Now many of you may not know (probably because you are in such awe of his true entertaining genius) that before being famous Rolf used to be a camera man for a Perth television station in the early days of Australian TV. I know this because my mum was an amateur actor who appeared several times on TV in Perth in it's early days and none other than the Big R Harris was the camera man.

Pea edit - he did not nonce upon her - as far as we know....

Anyway, I felt that it was my duty to rush up to Rolfy boy with half a dozen 7 year olds in tow and tell him that he knew my mum. I could tell he wasn't really that interested when he replied at full volume (to children mind you)

"OH fuck off you little cunts, I am trying to have a quiet weekend with my family!" - I swear it is true.

I was horrified, I was mortified, I was angry. How dare this legend of the didgeridoo, the wobble board, kangaroo molesting and three legged pedophiles who KNEW MY MUM, be so rude to me.

Now for those who are not familiar with Rottenest Island, there are no cars, the only transport is push bikes or walking. My mates and I decided that the only real course of action was to follow old Rolf home with his shopping and stand across the street from his holiday cabin and shout intelligent abuse at him such as "Hey Rolf you are a stinky poo bum" and lob sand bombs onto his roof.

And do you know what the bearded fucker did?

He called the fucking cops................ on 7 year olds.

Pea edit - in hind sight, a very restrained action to take against kids by this chap.

I must admit the young constable did look a little bemused when he arrived to this hardened gang of criminal 7 year olds, and clearly fearing for his safety decided not to enact an arrest but, suggested,

"I know Mr Harris can be a bit of cranky old man but, you have had your fun now, so its time to leave him in peace".

Which we did, and begged the cop to give us a ride in his paddy wagon, which he didn't.

THE CUNT!
(, Wed 20 Aug 2014, 15:09, 15 replies)


(, Mon 18 Aug 2014, 10:00, 10 replies)
I had a bad time in Wales.
Some people there really don't seem to like the tourists. Now I admit I ought to have planned my trip better, rather than leaving key details of a holiday to chance; but I have to take time off as & when possible, and that means staying wherever I can find on arrival.

In what I suspect was an elaborate joke played on unsuspecting visitors, I ended up wasting 3 hours on a hundred-mile search following signs for the elusive Hotel Gwesty.

In the end I gave up and slept in a hedge. Cold and damp, but it had en-suite berries.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 17:38, 2 replies)
Jolly japes on Exmoor
In the late 90s a group of 8 of us decided to club together and hired a beat up transit van and go camping for the week on the Exmoor coast.
We found a cheap campsite that was fairly close to the beach and also good for hikes further out onto the moors.
The van kept overheating so we had to keep stopping, what should have been a 2 hour drive was nearer 5, by the time we got there is was already getting dark and tempers were getting a little bit frayed.
At the campsite all the tents were bunched together at one end of the field and we thought we were lucky to get all that space to ourselves at the other end.
Discovered during the night it was because there was a rather large slurry pit the other side of the hedge and we moved all our tents away pretty sharply in the morning.
One the second day Chris slipped on a rock at the beach and was convinced he'd broken his ankle, cue most of day 2 at the nearest town that had an A&E.
Its only sprained but that puts paid to his hiking and swimming.
We offer to drive him home but he wants to stay, so for the rest of the week one person has to stay behind each day and keep him company, that caused a few arguments.
I got bitten on the derriere by a horsefly when answering the call of nature on the moors.
Martin got kicked in the shins by an exmoor pony he tried to pat.
We all got the squits after eating takeaway pizza.
I got shouted at a couple of time when I got the hysterical giggles , it was so bad it was funny.
The drive home was a little bit tense.

On the plus side though it never rained once
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 19:34, Reply)
Tattooed grannies
I ended up on a shit camping holiday in South Wales.

The camping part of it was fine, always enjoyed it when I was a kid and still do - though these days we posh it up with a campervan instead, less "leaky" and much more comfy.

The mistake I made in South Wales was that money was a bit tight so we had to stay in the more affordable sites, plus of course we were in Wales.

So I found myself watching the exciting events of a charity auction being run at the site, there were a whole host of prizes from the best pound shops in town and of course the grand prize - a voucher for the local tattoo shop. Yep, you could win a tattoo - classy.

The event was an assortment of plastic chairs and small stalls with your typical rubbish attempt at a DJ using a karaoke machine for a microphone and a home stereo - think worlds worst school fete.

I watched as the crowd seemed to consist of grannies with skin like an old leather arm chair and overweight bare chested men already covered in tattoos and sufficiently smashed on Stella that they couldn't really stand or raise an arm to bid in the auction anyway.

So it came about that the auctioneer come DJ was desperately trying to drum up some bids from the canny eyed grannies, most of whom sat on mobility scooters despite "fat" not being a disability worthy of such transport. The bidding was slow, £2... £4.... £6.... eventually plateauing off around the £15 mark.

Faced with this terrible lack of enthusiasm the auctioneer bellows into his argos microphone "Oh come on! It's got a £60 value!!!". It was like someone lit a fire under the grannies feet, how could they let such a bargain get away!? No way Mavis would scoop that bargain of the century thought Betty as a flurry of bids were made.

I watched open mouthed as the biddies (lol, see what I did there?) sought to out do one another and the bid climbed and climbed, as if by magic the hallowed grail of a £60 value must have been in their minds as the price tailed off and it sold for £58.

I cannot imagine the thought process that goes on to inspire someone to bid £58 for a £60 tattoo voucher which must be used in the one and only tattoo shop by a shitty Welsh camp site - for all they knew the tattooist could be cross eyed with 6 fingers on one hand and thalidomide arm the other - but hey, they saved £2 eh!?

By teatime the undercooked sausages from their fast food stall had given me the shits. All in all it really put me off Wales and I've made a good job of avoiding the place since. Must be why they charge on the bridge to go into Wales as they know you'd tell them to fuck off on the way out.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 11:30, 1 reply)
Hello my name is Jacob dyer. I sound like barnaby bear. I like barnaby bear. I live in Bristol. It is fantastic. One time I went to France. Some kid burned my neck. I didn't like it.

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 11:23, Reply)
first
i've never really had a shit holiday. so i'll go with the duke of edinburgh camping trips that we had to do, because my friend persuaded me that "regular detentions for wearing eyeliner and skiving sports for the whole of sixth form" wouldn't look great on the extra-curricular sections of our ucas forms.

it was fucking horrific. slogging heavy rucksacks around, walking in 20 mile circles in a bloody april snowstorm when the straight road would have taken 1 mile, pitching our tent in a field full of stones on an incline, with a cow giving birth in the next field and bellowing all night. my friend needing a shit in the worst way possible and having to walk for 8 more miles because there wasn't a single toilet anywhere in the peak district. when we reached a pub and it was closed, she actually cried.

i got bollocked because we had to bring 10 chocolate bars for emergency energy rations, and my mum bought me those 100 calorie halo bars. then i got bollocked again because we ate them all.

my friend smoked a cigarette in the tent, dropped it on a plastic plate, and we were one bottle of cola away from going up in a miserable camping inferno. except that the fucking thing was probably too wet to ignite anyway. then she "got lost" in her sleep and ended up sprawled on top of me, trying to push me through the cold clammy tent wall.

the tent was small, cramped, smelly, and cold, it was uncomfortable, everything was wet and full of spiders in the morning. and yet people who aren't doing d of e do this for fun? why? how?
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 10:35, 45 replies)
The water quality in one Spanish hotel I stayed at was so poor I was forced to piss in my own mouth when cleaning my teeth.

(, Thu 21 Aug 2014, 11:43, 4 replies)
All you need to travel the world is a black umbrella.
If Johnny's feeling too bloody lazy to learn the Queen's, simply prod him firmly in the chest and say loudly "Now LISTEN HERE!"
(, Wed 20 Aug 2014, 10:15, Reply)
Ah, another excuse to trundle this one out again...
When I was a mere slip of a lad, maybe 13 or 14, I went on a summer "Outward Bound" camping week with my school. This was in the Sussex countryside, and we did all the usual things: climbing, canoeing, orienteering and so on. One night, we did Night Manoeuvres - orienteering in the dark.

Now I freely admit that, as team leader, I cocked up and we got rather lost. It was a misty night, and we were a little way from where we should have been. Perhaps half a kilometre or so, nothing major. But this was a mistake that nearly cost us dearly...

We were tromping through a field. A fence loomed out of the mist, so we clambered over it. As we continued, I noticed that the grass seemed to change colour up ahead. Curiously I wondered what was causing the change. Right up until I realised that the grass hadn't changed colour, it had in fact stopped. About a metre away was the edge of a rather well-known cliff known as Beachy Head.

Yes, Beachy Head. 162 metres (530 ft for the Merkins) of sheer, ball-shrinkingly terrifying verticality. Which I'd come within about two steps from reaching.

What the FESTERING LEFT-HANDED WANK were they thinking, sending a bunch of kids out on night manoeuvres, in poor visibility, on BEACHY FUCKING HEAD????

Still gives me cold shivers, 35 years later. On the plus side, I'd have probably made the evening news.
(, Tue 19 Aug 2014, 11:16, 10 replies)

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