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Travel Insurance Claims - True Stories Just some of the weird and wonderful things that happen to World Nomads travellers while on the road

True Travel Tales - Kissing the Road in Rhodes

GREECE | Sunday, 27 February 2011 | Views [4712]

What happened? Tell us your tale.

I was on the Greek Island of Rhodes. I’d gone alone and a friend was meeting me 2 weeks later. I met some people and got to drinking. At 3am I got on the back of a motorbike with a drunk Greek guy called Dimitri. I was wearing shorts, a singlet top and no helmet.

My two new female Irish friends followed on 2 other motorbikes. They told me later how they saw us flip and roll 3 or 4 times on the gravel road and how they thought I was dead. All I remember is opening my eyes and seeing about 8 people looking down at me, their heads forming a circle above me, like a scene from a movie. I said “Why are you all looking at me?” and then I brushed what I thought was rain out of my eyes. But it was blood. When I was next conscious, there was an ambulance on the gravel road beside me and I remember thinking, “That looks like an old postal van. Is that really an ambulance?”

At the small hospital, a doctor apparently stubbed out his cigarette and then picked up the needle to stitch my head wound while my newfound friends watched. This was only the beginning of my pain. I stayed in this small hospital on the Greek Island of Rhodes for one week. Only one nurse spoke English and I only saw her twice. The rest of the time, I was at the mercy of a bunch of medical staff who did horrendously painful stuff to me and we couldn’t communicate with each other because all I knew how to say in Greek was “One beer please”. 

My most painful wound was the raw flesh on my right butt cheek. There was gravel in my wound and the medical staff had to scrape it out. I nearly hit the ceiling with the agony. I had to lay on my stomach for most of my hospital stay. Each day for seven days, a nurse pushed in a mediaeval looking metal trolley with an array of glass bottles on top. She would painfully rip off the dressing on my butt (which was too small to cover the wound, so that the adhesive of the bandage was actually sticking to the wound and peeling off small bits of me with it each time) and then apply some liquid to my wound. It was THE most painful thing that I have ever experienced in my life and it happened once a day for seven days. On the 7th day, Dimitri was in the hospital visiting me and he witnessed this process. When the nurse left and I was using the pillow to absorb my yells of pain, he said to me, “You know why you are hurting so much? You know what they have been putting on your open wound? That glass bottle – it says ‘acid’”. 

What was the outcome of the event?

In the meantime, things were getting rather dramatic. My uncle who worked for an airline, was in the UK and he flew out to see me. He had arranged two seats on an aeroplane for me to fly back to Australia. However, when he spoke to the one nurse who spoke English, she told him that there was no doctor in the hospital and he couldn’t take me home without the doctor’s permission. My uncle said that was ridiculous and he was going to check me out. After an argument with several staff, my uncle was told that if he took me from the hospital he would be charged with kidnapping! My uncle left Greece without me.

My wound became infected but it was only after leaving the hospital and laying on a bed for a few more days, naked, baring my ass to the warm Greek breeze, that it finally formed a scab and eventually healed. 

What advice would you give to other travellers to avoid or survive the situation?

So, advice to other travelers? Firstly don’t get on a motorbike when you are drunk. Secondly ALWAYS wear a helmet and protective gear coz it bloody hurts for weeks after you’ve crashed. And most importantly, NEVER EVER think that ‘nothing ever happens to me’ and travel without travel insurance. I learned the expensive way.

Important Travel Insurance Information

World Nomads travel insurance policies (as with most travel insurance policies) do not provide cover where you are deemed to have exposed yourself to a needless risk and where you have not taken reasonable care. Being intoxicated and/or under the influence of drugs and/or not following the local riding laws  will also mean travel insurance policies will not cover you.

In the event of an accident, whether you are found to be riding legally or not, a policy may not cover you for a liability claim (if you damage someone else’s property or injure another person) while riding a motorised scooter, moped or motorbike as not all policies include liability cover and where they do, have specific inclusions and exclusions around the insured events.

If you are unsure about cover for any activities you want to do while travelling you can always contact your insurer to discuss.

Travel Safety Tips From World Nomads

We think we will highlight this point again. In capitals and in bold.

DON'T GET ON A MOTORBIKE WHEN YOU ARE DRUNK. WEAR A HELMET AND PROTECTIVE GEAR.

We shouldn't need to tell you this. Surely you have seen enough ads on television to understand that drinking and driving don't mix. And putting yourself in the hands of someone who is drunk at the wheel is like handing them a gun and playing Russian Roulette.

We understand that drinking and partying are all part of the travelling experience. But sometimes you need to listen to that voice in the back of your head that says "should I really be doing this", and really, really pay attention.

We recommend you do - it might just save you having sulfuric acid poured on your bare ass!

Related Articles:

True Travel Tales -In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

True Travel Tales - Disaster Response

About WorldNomads.com

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Tags: drinking, driving, europe, experiences, greece, motorike accident, partying, safety, terrifying travel tales, vehicles

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