Category Archives: Tales of a Tour Guide

Party on a Steam Train

Whilst in Cuba we rented a whole steam train for my group of 26 and traveled through the sugar plantations. Some of the group sat with the driver and blew the whistle. The carriages were open topped and we not only had a whole steam train but also a band just for us. Marracas and other strange instruments were issued to my group Continue reading

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Cancelled Flight

My whole group were cancelled off a flight during a tour of India, we had checked out of the hotel in Delhi and were due to fly to the city of Udaipur. I had all the flight tickets, went to the check in Continue reading

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Heart Attack in China

People often ask me what is the worst thing that has happened on a tour! Things can often go wrong on tour and can be quite frustrating but as long as the clients stay well and healthy we are ok.

The absolute worst thing that happened on one of my tour was whilst in China, a client had a heart attack on the coach. We had checked out of the hotel in Xian and were heading to the airport via the Yang Ling tombs, when he complained that he had chest pains and his arms were going numb. I realised immediately that he was probably having a heart attack so got him to hospital ASAP (by coach – the ambulance was too slow).

The hospital was busy, dirty and squalid but I did get the Doctor to see him within 10 minutes of arriving there. It was soon confirmed that my client had had a heart attack. I had very little time to deal with this as the group and myself were due to fly to Guilin in a few hours and whatever happens, however bad, I am supposed to stay with the group.

I saw the consultant at the hospital who informed me that if they didn’t operate on my client, he would die. The hospital was dirty and squalid so I advised the insurance company to get him moved to a better hospital. The consultant kept telling me this hospital was very good and in the end I asked her where the politicians went if they needed a hospital.

The insurance company did move my client to that hospital and he survived.

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Drunk Texans on Plane

I went to Frankfurt airport on a cold March morning at 5.30 am to pick up a group from, Dallas, Texas for a 10 day tour of Central Europe. This group of 38 people were travelling together and had group leader, Bob, who had organised the trip. I was waiting in the arrivals hall when a big man with a cowboy hat appeared and said “Howdy, are you Anita?” This was Bob. His next words were “Anita (or maybe he said Houston), we have a problem!!!”

I was sure the “problem” would be something easy to solve as it is amazing how many Group Leaders or clients say those words on arrival. But as Bob explained the problem to me, I realised this problem would be more tricky….

2 young guys in Bob’s group had had far too much to drink on the plane and started to annoy the other passengers. They had by all accounts been very obnoxious and even brought their own alcohol onto the plane – this is not allowed. The cabin crew had a hard time controlling them so called through to the Frankfurt Airport police prior to landing – the result being that these 2 guys had been arrested as they got off the plane.

So my first task on this tour, at 6 am, was to get 2 drunken Texans out of jail. I sweet-talked the police and explained that we would hardly be in Germany and were heading for Austria and Switzerland. I also promised that the 2 guys would behave. It worked and Russell and James, the 2 drunks, were released and had a great tour – I couldn’t resist teasing them during the whole tour about the events on the plane and the fact that they obviously couldn’t take their alcohol.

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