…on the joys of travel – and the importance of a pedicure!!!

Top of the list – most people’s list – we’re packing for the Galapagos – How lucky are we!

But I’m distracted…

With an early flight out of Dublin, we’ve the luxury of a whole Tuesday in Amsterdam en route to Quito. It’s been years since we visited the city – the Galapagos can wait! I spend hours with the plan – I’ve a great walking route sorted (all outdoor – we’ll omit galleries etc.), I’ve downloaded the maps, picked a place for lunch, marked a few options for coffee and beer stops (no – I’m not overplanning !) and finally book an Indonesian restaurant for 6.30pm for the mandatory rijsttafel.

Monday is going well – the packing is pretty much done, fridge emptied, neighbours reminded, our pride and joy has been issued with the usual list of must dos…

Email from KLM

We regret to inform you that your Dublin -Amsterdam flight has been cancelled.. blah blah blah….. we’ll update you with alternative options…

Two hours later we’ve a new flight – 1.20pm… It’s still ok – we can manage most of the walk if we move along and cut down on the coffee and beer – I change the restaurant booking to 7.30pm…. It’ll be grand.

Tuesday – of course the flight is delayed – we lose 90 minutes and eventually check in to the airport hotel at 6.00pm…

Come on says himself – it’s still bright and we’re just 15 minutes from the city. He’s right – I stop sulking and move.

The train link from Schiphol is so easy – we’re walking around the city centre before 7.00pm. By 7.30 we’re at the restaurant.

The place is buzzing – a newcomer passing our table knocks over our water carafe – it’s already shattering as it hits the corner of the table. Of course I make a grab for it! Two cut fingers – bloodbath for a while. Staff tender First Aid and mop up the mess. They present me with extra finger plasters (I’d have preferred a free pint!). Anyway, the food is great, we’ve a lovely walk around town and back to the airport.

Wednesday – Schiphol Airport is one busy place! We’ve each a small overnight bag and a backpack. Our Gate is crowded – it’s going to be a full flight….

Our zone is called and we gather our bags –


We’ve only THREE bags!!

There is literally no time – we tell the flight attendant at the desk and she tells us to board and email Lost and Found immediately. We manage that and then assess the situation and damage.

We both know that we didn’t drop the bag. But as the flight was being called and passengers were beginning to move, a girl/woman came through the seating area ‘looking’ for something she’d lost under the seats. All eyes were on her of course – that had to have been the moment –

We were scammed.

I’m gutted! The backpack wasn’t full – It had the bits intended for for day out in Amsterdam – you know.. hairbrush, cap ….


My Nikon and camera accessories! Gone..

I’m off to the Galapagos without my camera!


Well what can I say about the Galapagos – just wonderful – and busy! 7 full days of walking, snorkelling, kayaking, dinghy rides, great food and great company …..we’re having a ball.. For every activity, we leave the boat by dinghy…..


Day 5 I’m getting into the dinghy and ‘misstep’ – I hear a lovely crack….. Yep .. I’m f—ed!!!

To cut an extremely long story short, I’m back in Dublin with 2 fractures – foot and ankle – we had to cancel a 5 day trip down through Ecuador after the islands. I’m in a cast for 6 weeks. We’re cancelling our 3 weeks in Turkey in July…

And YES — the POINT of all this is …

With so many people inspecting my foot in Galapagos, Quito and Dublin – THANK HEAVENS I’D A PEDICURE BEFORE I WENT AWAY!!!! You never, never know!!!!

Galapagos Airport, June 17th

Holed up in Quito, after first hospital visit

Post script – I’m trying to keep this short – BUT – back in Amsterdam airport the other day, Tom dropped in to the Lost and Found office and would you believe – they have my backpack! Intact!! We reckon the thief was looking for money and just dropped the bag when there was none to be found. Of course the bag wasn’t actually in the office – it had been moved to the storeroom. So I get an email the following day that it was ready for delivery – at a charge of €190!!!!

The joys of travel!

52 thoughts on “…on the joys of travel – and the importance of a pedicure!!!

  1. Holy smokes. There was good and bad. It’s great to have the camera back but bad to break bones. Keep it super elevated to keep that swelling down. Travel will obviously wait.

      1. It will still be there once you are healed up. A recent rib fracture just about did our trip in, a week later, and I would have had to miss it so I know the feelings.

  2. I’ve probably just broken my own record for the number of times I’ve said “bloody hell!” (or similar) whilst reading a blog post. So many things to go wrong on the same adventure. Bloody hell.

  3. OMG what a tale of misadventures! As you say, a visit to the Galapagos without a camera is pretty disappointing (I feel for you, mine packed up in the Antarctic but at least I was able to buy a compact that was better than nothing). But a broken foot meaning part of the trip was cancelled on top of that must have felt like the last straw! And that’s without mentioning those smaller ‘straws’ of missed time in Amsterdam and a cut hand. I’m left wondering – is it better to have all (hopefully) your potential disasters in one trip like this and then to have a clear run for a while, or to do what most people do and spread them out across multiple trips?!! Seriously, I hope your foot heals quickly 🤗😘

    1. Ha!!! Now that I’m home I’m hoping for a clear run for a while … I was SO mad when the first flight was cancelled – absolutely raging ….. little did I know…..

  4. The pedicure looks great, and glad you got your camera back. Hopefully, that’s all your misfortunes for this year, and you can begin planning the next adventure. Reminds me of our 2017 Japan trip via Singapore. Busy taking pics in Singapore, I realised MJ, well ahead of me, had reached a taxi rank to get us a cab back to our hotel. So I began to rush, missed seeing a weeny step, and went head over heels, desperately trying to save my camera as I went down. Camera was ok, but I fractured my shoulder. Though I didn’t know it, and well fortified with painkillers, forged on with our trip – even going cycling in Japan! The things you don’t know won’t hurt you? Well, it hurt a lot, and finally saw a specialist when I returned to OZ for the diagnosis. Same specialist is currently dealing with my new total knee replacement after my knee finally gave up trekking around Japan last year! But – I know you will say what I say – it’s all totally worth it. Wishing you a good recovery.

    1. Ouch😖!!!! I can’t believe you managed to cycle! Best of luck with that new knee of yours…. And YES – you’re absolutely right – it’s worth it!!!

  5. Well well well Marie , you tell a story very well. Delighted you had that pedicure .. keeping up appearances 😘

    1. Hi Marie, greetings fro Noirmoutier. We’re having a relaxed few days before the Kearney clan land in Ile de Re. Great story as always but unfortunately the plan didn’t work out as expected. You just had to go and put your foot in it, a well pedicured foot I might add.. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. BR.

      1. Glad you appreciate the toenails Bar! Have a great time – calm before the storm – although sure you wouldn’t have it any other way ☀️☀️☀️

    1. Thanks Lyssy – I was devastated about the camera – we’ve both got samsung phones with just ok cameras – we got some great shots of course but not what I’d planned… I’ll certainly be taking it easy for a while..

    1. I know Sherry … but it wasn’t all bad – we’d a wonderful time before the accident and some great memories….

  6. Aw, what a great attitude you have! I would’ve been mourning the loss of my backpack and use of my leg. It looks like you made the best of it though, and I hope your ankle and foot are healing quickly.

    1. Thanks Kellye – I was bawling on the plane – just couldn’t believe it but knew that others on the boat would probably share photos with me anyway – At the time of the fall, I’d already experienced SO much – saw everything I’d wanted to see – so was lucky that way at least. Yes we missed out on the rest of the mainland trip but by that stage I was more anxious about getting home than missing a few days travel – and we experienced something of the mainland for the first few days of the trip anyway … it’s a trip we won’t forget anyway!!!

  7. What an adventure, but you lived to tell the tale and will laugh about it one day…probably! I went to Ecuador / the Galapagos over 30 years ago, and loved it…no pedicure, though, and no broken bones, but I did manage to get a spectacular dose of food poisoning that still sticks in the mind (I’ve not eaten a shellfish since!).

    1. It must have been so different then – it’s quite an industry now! On the other hand, we had the best of food!! I’ve the worst travel tummy on the planet – I reckon this must be the first long haul trip ever where I didn’t get sick!!! Maybe it was planning on attacking me later and didn’t get the chance😖 😅

  8. So sorry you had such a mishap! Hope all is getting better and you can travel again soon. 🙂

    1. It was very far from home so just really appreciating being back at the moment… I always love planning for my next trip so hopefully things will work out ok and we’ll get away somewhere before the end of the year. XXXMarie

  9. I think my blood pressure went up just from reading the first few paragraphs of your post, Marie, by the time I got to the part of your fractured foot and ankle, I had to take a break from reading just to gather my thoughts! I am so sorry you had to experience so many misadventures on your trip, not to mention all the cancelled trips and visiting Galapagos without your camera. I’ve heard of a few Airport and Inflight scams (the one that I am most cautious of is known as a security staller), but not where someone would intentionally snatch your bag like that! I hope your foot heals fast enough. Cheers. Aiva xx

    1. We were so annoyed because we’re so careful – especially when away – but equally fascinated that someone would have the nerve to do it in such a crowded confined space – and within the terminal beyond security.. It’ll be a summer for the back garden – even during Covid we managed to get to the west!! Actually a classmate from college long ago fell at a wedding a few years back and fractured her ankle leaving her laid up for the summer – she took up jewellery making and has continued with it so who knows what hidden talents I may uncover in the coming weeks! Meanwhile, have a lovely summer Aiva – are ye heading away or staying put with the new baby??

    1. I’m not too bad Maggie – but that’s because I’ve left the insurance mess to Tom!! He’a already losing the will to live!! The cast weighs a ton so can’t wait to get rid of it – although it’ll be a while….

  10. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Marie..Never a dull moment..Glad to hear that your camera was found.

  11. Oh Marie this is just a nightmare. I’m so sorry…losing baggage is always such a pain but I’m glad you’ve got it back. Your foot though, oh my goodness I’m so sorry. I hope you make a speedy recovery xxx

    1. Hopefully back hopping, skipping and jumping in no time Hannah! (well – I am hopping a bit – but just around the house!!!)

  12. Thank you for making me laugh although I know I shouldn’t have! Your experience was just too much but I’m pleased you were able to see something humourous in your situation, awful though it was. I read this on the plane to Italy – yes, I finally got to travel again – and I read it aloud to my travelling companion who giggled all the way through it. You deserve a medal, Marie, you really do.

    1. Ha! Thank you Marie – I’m delighted you are finally on the move again – Have a wonderful trip … hope you got the toenails done though!!!

  13. Oh no. This just reinforces my belief that travelling is for others to undertake and report back on. Hope you make a quick and full recovery Marie.

    1. Ha… thanks Roy … I’m doing ok – the weather has been rotten of late so can’t even sit out in garden but the days are flying by – I’m back to consultant this week so hoping for something definitive re timeline and recovery… Hope you enjoying the summer XXXMarie

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