YOUR HOLIDAY DISASTER
Jamaica is a holidaymaker's paradise - unless you happen to be Steve Bywater
Sunday 10 August 1997
I was fairly pleased with my pre-holiday planning, remembering to buy a fat wad of travellers cheques before I left the country. However, on the second day I managed to make my face even redder than the first day's sun had turned it, remembering that the cheques were still in London. Of course, the great thing about travellers cheques is that they're replaceable so I ordered some new ones over a hotel telephone. I returned to the blinding sun of the beach in a triumphant mood - and walked head first in to an imposing wooden parasol.
On the following evening, a mixture of strange-tasting lobster tails in a Chinese restaurant combined with far too much sun led to what I thought was sun-stroke. The main symptom of which was the most exaggerated case of diarrhoea I have ever experienced.
After a heavy course of tablets, I felt strong enough to face a tour of the island by car, in fact I felt ready for my first cold beer and still have a photograph celebrating this event. The appetite was returning and I managed some deliberately bland food. However, on the way back to the guest house my period of remission came to an untimely end and I was horrified to find myself running along a Montego Bay tourist street desperately searching for a secluded spot to "relieve my discomfort". Such were my symptoms that my partner and I agreed I should seek hospital attention in the morning, should I make it through the night. I was quickly seen by a very reassuring doctor and things gradually improved from then on.
Unfortunately this gave me the opportunity to indulge in activities such as diving from rocks into the sea at Negril. The first time I tried this I cricked my neck. The resulting pain became more severe over time and I adopted the unorthodox posture of somebody who cannot look left or right without rotating their entire body.
A few days later I hired a mask and snorkel for some underwater exploration. The man who loaned them to me suggested a pair of flippers because they would protect me from treading on sea urchins. Knowing nothing about the appearance or defence mechanisms of these creatures I ignored his advice. I wonder if you can guess which of the four divers surfaced with long, black, painful spikes sprouting from his big toe?
My partner and I often look back at the photographs from our holiday, but I have some photographs which she hasn't seen. They're X-rays stored at a London hospital showing the top of my spine and the vertebrae I later discovered I had crushed while diving in Negril.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...