Top Five Travel Injuries

It’s true, I’m finally back from my trip and gracing the travel blog world with my presence again! I wanted to start my travel posts with something fun so that you can enjoy my trip as much as I did. Here they are, the top five injuries I acquired on my trip through Spain and Portugal!

Anyone who has known me for more than five minutes can very well vouch for my clumsiness. It’s not just the typical trip over the wayward cobblestone, that’s just part of my everyday existence (thanks Europe). I mean I make some full-on foolish, clumsy mistakes. Being away for eighteen days was a guarantee that there were going to be some good stories, so I saved them all for you guys! Here goes!

1. Broken-ish Nose:

The second night in Alicante, and the second night of the entire trip, I suffered the most devastating and influential of all my travel injuries.

The effects of a little too much alcohol and two very badly timed head movements landed Lorenzo’s forehead directly on the bridge of my nose. The cracking sound was just for dramatic effect seemingly since no blood came pouring out. Looking back now, maybe it was the alcohol talking, but I figured it couldn’t be broken and all was well.

The next morning I woke up with a headache that was inching it’s way down my face, which I accredited to the copious amounts of Sangria, wine and beer consumed the previous night and popped some Advil before the flight to Mallorca.

I started noticing that my whole face was really throbbing, I was forced to nap for my first two hours in the city of Palma and if a hand, head, elbow or beer bottle came within 5 inches of my nose, a little yelp escaped. I decided that it would get better then next day but couldn’t keep my fingers off of it, certain it was caving in.

The second day in Mallorca, we spent the day at the beach and by the end of it (blame the sun if you want to) the headache was back with a vengeance. Driving through the suburb Magaluf, a well-known British holiday spot, we were not too hard-pressed to find an English doctor. We stepped right in and the receptionist immediately said that my nose look sore and like it could be offset at the bridge, but we would have to pay 75 Euro for the doctor’s professional opinion. We paid the fee and you know what the doctor did? Asked Lorenzo if my nose looked crooked to him!!! Ok, I know he’s Italian and all but he’s not Mr. Medschool, and she was the doctor! Anyway, in the end she prescribed me some anti-inflammatory, gave me an ice pack and made a total of three calls to other doctors for advice. We decided that it wasn’t bad enough to fork out the 3,000 odd pounds (oh hi no insurance plan…) that an X-ray would cost and we high-tailed it. The anti-inflammatory helped and the alcohol didn’t affect it at all, which was my major concern. I’m still convinced it’s caving in.

2. Allergic Reactions:

On our last day in Madrid, we ventured on over to the Prado in hopes of catching up on some art history. Only to find that it was not free entrance until after 5pm, by which time we would be on our merry way to Portugal. Instead we took advantage of the lush grass hills that surround the museum. We don’t see much dog poop-free grass in Italy.

After some lazing and chatting I began feeling itchy. Remembering I had a slight grass allergy I decided it was probably best to shield myself or move on. Well, I didn’t decide fast enough as my legs quickly spread full of itchy hives.

This all subsided after an hour or so off the grass but it haunted me the rest of the trip as at random time hives and itches red patches appeared on my skin for no apparent reason. Of course because I know how unlucky I can be, I worried that for some reason this would all flare up into a full on allergic reaction, which I’ve never had. Not cool.

3. Stubbed, Split and Bloody Toe:

When finally we were blessed as the first sights of the beautiful beaches of Lagos we were ecstatic. It was better than we could have imagined! We found the perfect spot on one of the beautiful beaches and settled in. Immediately we wanted to take a dip to cool off and be a part of the crystal clear waters of the Algarve.

Don’t get me wrong, the beaches of Lagos are really beautiful and the crystal blue water can be even more appreciated from an aerial view where you can actually see the swimmers under the water (don’t get any ideas there huh?). The thing is, the shorelines are covered in rocks, and I don’t mean those little pebbles that scatter the Italian beaches. No these are big nasty, spiky, barnacle-covered rocks.

I tried to daintily make my way through the waters into the clearing for a much anticipated swim. Well, again, if you know me you are now laughing your ass off since ‘daintily’ is not even fathomed as a world to describe a single action I am involved in. Needless to say I slipped, stumbled, tripped and stubbed my toe. In two places. Is that even possible? Anyway, I had to hike my bloody mess up to the beach and watch as it became caked with sand and eventually stopped bleeding. No harm done really, until my next misadventure…

4. Indescribable Injury #4:

This may be the best travel story, no best story period, I have yet. We signed up for an early morning surf lesson on the West Coast of the Algarve but had to meet up at the local surf shop around the corner from our hostel. Anyone who has been to Lagos knows that if you don’t go out at night, you don’t belong in Lagos; that said we were in desperate need of a coffee and croissant. The corner bakery is no Starbucks so the flimsy, lidless plastic cups they gave us weren’t meant to withstand much. Shockingly the upcoming event wasn’t the cups fault.

We arrived at the surf shop to be greeted by two of our fellow surf newbies. Greetings mumbled, Lorenzo and I made our way off the front deck of the shop to enjoy our breakfast on the curb. Let me rephrase that; Lorenzo made his way off the deck to enjoy his breakfast on the curb. Don’t you worry, wet marble stairs are no small feat for arguably the clumsiest girl alive. Right. I took one step onto the freshly washed steps of the surf shops and my reliable little Haviana slipped right to the other side and with it took my injured little toe straight into the wall. Now, the re-splitting of my prior toe-wound is not even the climax of this story. I did what any clear-minded, off-balance person would do. I took the arm holding my lidless latte and threw it forcefully at my face. The result was something similar to the feeling you get when you are unexpectedly pushed underwater, but hot and with a burnt smell. Nowhere in the depths of my brain can I understand how that was a plausible reaction to losing my footing. I stood for a good five minutes with a (new) coffee-soaked t-shirt, hair stuck to my head and tears running down my face. These were not tears of embarrassment or even pain but rather caffeine-infused coffee tears, as the liquid made it’s way to a more stable place.

I really can’t top it, I can’t even explain it and when I finally composed myself and turned around our Aussie surf mates had moseyed on inside to avoid to awkward laughter that was sure to ensue. Lorenzo couldn’t even help me he was so devastated at my thought-processes. He did give me his coffee though, still a good boyfriend.

5. Bruised Hand:

I almost made it through Lisbon and Porto with little more than a few well-caught slips on the cobblestone (seriously, who paves streets like that!?). But of course that would just be silly. As we hastily made our way through the streets of Lisbon to the Metro station I slipped gracefully through the metal posts that I assume are meant to keep cars off the sidewalk. There’s that word again. Gracefully? Not so much. I managed to catch my hand between the metal pole and my tote bag which was tightly locked into the buckles of my nifty new backpack. This resulted in some sort of skin on metal ‘sliding’ of my hand and a lot of pain. Again, this is not such a significant injury, the thing is that it’s just one of many and besides that big round bruise on my hand is haunting me everyday while I type away. Like right now, there it is.

Trust me these are not the only injuries I acquired on this trip and they won’t be the last, I hope some of the most drastic has been taken care of though. Travel safe everyone and keep hard objects away from your nose!