4,000 miles to NOWHERE

Ana Davies, 60, from Cardiff, was look­ing for­ward to sun and sea, but the weather had other plans…

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Flick­ing through the brochure, I ad­mired a picture of our ho­tel.

‘We’ll be there this time to­mor­row,’ I smiled to my hus­band Paul, 71.

We were all set for our hol­i­day to Fun­chal, Madeira.

With sun, sea, and gor­geous green­ery, it was a far cry from the den­tal surgery where I worked.

Paul and I both needed a hol­i­day in the sun, so we’d booked this mini break to the sunny Por­tuguese is­land to cel­e­brate my 60th birth­day.

The next morn­ing, we woke up at 4am, all ready for our journey to par­adise.

As we drove from our home in Cardiff to Bris­tol Air­port for our 7.30am flight, ev­ery­thing was running like clock­work. ‘Won’t be long now!’ I smiled.

And, be­fore we knew it, we were up and away.

I nod­ded off dur­ing the flight, but as the plane neared the is­land, I felt a sud­den jolt.

‘It’s just a bit of tur­bu­lence,’ Paul com­forted.

But the vi­o­lent jolts con­tin­ued – and got worse.

Soon, the pi­lot an­nounced the bad news – strong winds were prevent­ing us from land­ing so we were di­vert­ing to Lis­bon. My heart sank. ‘We’ll get there even­tu­ally,’ Paul said, try­ing to stay pos­i­tive.

Land­ing in Lis­bon, we at least had a chance to stretch our legs while the plane re­fu­elled.

An hour later, we were back in the air, but as we cir­cled Madeira for the sec­ond time, the fa­mil­iar shud­ders be­gan. ‘Not again,’ I sighed. Again, we weren’t able to land in Madeira, and this time we’d have to land in nearby Porto to re­fuel the plane. But it got worse. Con­di­tions be­came so bad, we were given a choice: ei­ther fly back to Bris­tol or get off in Porto.

By this point, we’d been trav­el­ling for 10 hours, and I was so ex­hausted.

‘I just want to go home now,’ I sighed to Paul.

Three hours later, we were back in Bris­tol, and 17 hours and 4,000 miles later, we were right back where we started – sat in our liv­ing room in Cardiff. I was so dis­ap­pointed. The next morn­ing, in­stead of sip­ping de­li­cious Madeiran wine in the sun, I was back at work at the den­tal surgery.

We’re cur­rently in the process of get­ting our money back for the pack­age hol­i­day, ready to spend on our next trip.

Hope­fully noth­ing will go wrong this time!

No hol­i­day for us

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