Torquay or not Torquay? – Our nightmare of a holiday

By Josh Bovington

Getting away together is always an important thing for couples to do.  Enjoying quality time in a novel  location can ideally can make the bond between you even stronger.

My girlfriend Gemma and I had been on a few great holidays before, but when the time came for our two-year anniversary we found ourselves wondering how to celebrate.

“How about Torquay?” a colleague suggested. “They call it the English Riviera, it’s lovely!”.

We decided to go for it. “We always have such good holidays!” Gemma said excitedly as we booked our hotel.

She had spoken too soon.

After being stuck in traffic that turned our two hour journey into a three hour one, we began to watch the rain pour down out of the car windows.

Our journey was made worse by the fact there was no radio signal for the majority of the trip and we only had one CD, and as good as Craig David is, his greatest hits do get repetitive after three hours.

Once we found the hotel (located up a worryingly steep hill…) we decided to look around the area.  Going past kebab shops and several dingy bars, we ended up on a slightly disappointing seafront.

We had heard there was a Ferris wheel in Torquay, so we headed there, only to find it being dismantled as we were arriving.  Timing was clearly not on our side for this trip.

Frustrations were growing between us as we struggled to find somewhere nice to eat, but we tried to keep it together.

There were several nice looking pubs, so we decided to venture into one, which we quickly realised was a mistake.  As soon as we entered, all the talking stopped and the entirety of the pub had turned to the door to look at us.

It was clear they didn’t take kindly to tourists here, so we decided to leave sharpish before a lynch mob was formed.

Looking over the road we saw a Wetherspoon’s, so we decided to play it safe – you can’t go wrong with Wetherspoon’s.

After a few drinks we decided to find a nice restaurant to eat in.  “Ooohh Mexican food might be nice, that place looks interesting!” Gemma said, pointing to a restaurant which I can only describe as being decorated colourfully.  The food actually wasn’t bad and things finally started to look up.

Only a few hours later however, the pair of us started to feel a bit dodgy. To top off a disastrous day we were up all night long being sick.  This is not what I had in mind when thinking about being “up all night” on holiday…

The next morning we were feeling a lot better, and with a good night’s sleep behind us, we decided to try the award-winning breakfast the hotel offered.  Sitting down at our table we ordered our food and then waited for what seemed like an eternity for the breakfast.  What came out were some scrambled eggs which for some bizarre reason were bright pink.  Not the most appetising breakfast I’d ever had.

It seemed another rainy day was on the cards but we persevered with our planned trip to the zoo. A few bee stings later and we really didn’t know how it could get any worse.

By this point all we really wanted to do was hide away in a dark room, and luckily for us we drove past a cave on the way back to the hotel, so we decided to look around.  Following the cave visit we headed back to the hotel and after a few drinks at the pub, we had a much needed early night.

Finally, the next morning, we awoke to see that the rain had stopped. So we decided to go on an open-bus tour to make the most of the weather.  The tour boasted of how we would be able to see the famous hotel from the TV show Fawlty Towers, so we decided to give it a go.

The bus route began to feel familiar, and we soon realised it was taking us back to the zoo from the previous day.  The next stop on the route was the caves that we had also already seen.

Eventually though, it came for us to see the Fawlty Towers hotel.  We arrived at a construction site and were informed by the tour guide that “this was where the Fawlty Towers hotel stood before being demolished last month”.

We couldn’t believe what we had heard.  We had paid £10 to not see the Fawlty Towers hotel! Right on cue the rain began again.

Amazingly, despite such a disaster of a holiday we didn’t argue (well, not very much!). Life is too short to point the finger and now we can look back and laugh. I guess it doesn’t need to be the perfect holiday to make your bond stronger!

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