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Our idyllic Bali honeymoon was a dream come true but was derailed by a near-death experience – it was devastating

A HONEYMOON is meant to be the most magical holiday of your life.

You are in a bubble of newlywed bliss and ready to enjoy a sexy, sun-soaked getaway with the love of your life.

Three women tell Sarah Morton how their honeymoons went horribly wrong

But what happens when that dream break turns into a nightmare?

One in ten had the “honeymoon from hell”, according to recent statistics, with everything from freak weather to travel problems leaving couples crying into their cocktails.

And it is little wonder they are so upset.

With the average honeymoon costing £3,800, there is more pressure than ever to make every moment perfect.

Three women tell Sarah Morton how their trips went horribly wrong.

‘I could barely breathe as water covered us’

LEANNE Woodward was in Bali with new hubby Matt when their idyllic break in April 2019 was derailed by a near-death experience.

Leanne, 35, an event planner from Lincoln, says: “Bali was a dream come true.


Leanne Woodward and hubby Matt’s idyllic break was derailed by a near-death experience[/caption]


On a boat cruise in Bali, a massive wave drenched the pair leaving them fearful for their lives[/caption]

“The first two weeks were paradise. We soaked up the sun and spent lazy days in bed together without a care in the world. But one day, everything changed.”

After a visit to the stunning Gili Islands, around 20 miles from Bali, Leanne and Matt, 43, a programme manager, boarded a solid-looking two-storey boat to travel back to the mainland.

She says: “I was immediately on edge. There were no safety measures in place — no head count and nothing about using the lifeboats.

“But I brushed aside my fears, as the sea was beautifully calm.

‘Pics of paradise at bottom of the ocean’

“As Matt dislikes confined spaces, we headed up to the top deck with our luggage.”

For an hour and a half, the journey was a breeze. Leanne recalls: “Matt and I held hands and laughed as we gazed at the ocean.

“But suddenly, out of nowhere, a massive wave engulfed the top deck. It was like being in a washing machine.

“I could barely breathe as water covered us.

“The force of the water also sent all our belongings — my prescription sunglasses, phone and GoPro camera — overboard.

“In a split second I had lost all my honeymoon photos, as I hadn’t backed them up. My stomach dropped when I realised what I’d lost. It was not just memories, but £1,000 worth of equipment too.”

Stunned, soaking wet and fighting back tears, Leanne then managed to regain some of her composure and remember their luggage.

She says: “It was still there, thank God, but our passports, money and clothes were sopping wet.

“The Louis Vuitton bag we had bought Matt’s mum was soaked through.”

Incredibly, the passengers on the lower deck were all bone- dry.

Leanne says: “The wave was so high — at least 30ft — that it had not touched the bottom deck at all.

“I was so angry and tears began rolling down my cheeks. The rest of the journey was spent reeling from shock.”

Matt and Leanne had five days left before they were due home. But without her prescription sunglasses, she struggled to see properly.

She says: “I bought a cheap pair at the local market but I could barely see anything because they didn’t have the right lenses.”

For Leanne, now mum to 16-month-old daughter Neve, the boat drama soured what had until then been a magical honeymoon.

She says: “I didn’t claim for the items I’d lost on insurance because the excess was too high and I couldn’t pay it at the time, so I lost the lot. It was devastating.

“All those pictures of our time in paradise are now on a phone at the bottom of the ocean.”

‘He ditched safari for 15 guys on motorbikes’

KIRSTY Baxter married HGV driver Victor in November 2021 and had her heart set on a honeymoon in Kenya, taking in a stunning safari.

The 32-year-old administrator from Leicester says: “All honeymoon conversations with Victor led me to believe this would be the plan.


Kirsty Baxter married HGV driver Victor in November 2021 and planned to honeymoon in Kenya[/caption]


Victor stunned his new bride in his wedding speech, announcing they’d be honeymooning with 15 bikers in Ireland instead[/caption]

“We spoke about putting money gifts from our wedding towards going to Africa and were both on exactly the same page.

“But by the time the wedding came around, we had been so busy that we still hadn’t booked anything.”

Then Victor, 43, stunned his new bride during his wedding speech, announcing that they would be honeymooning in Ireland instead.

And it would be with 15 other men on motorbikes, going from Northern Ireland to the south.

Kirsty reveals: “He said he had organised a road trip from Belfast on the Wild Atlantic Way, with a group of bikers.

“My stomach sank. Surely he was kidding? But as the night went on, I realised it wasn’t a joke. He’d planned a charity bike ride and was so excited I didn’t have the heart to dampen his enthusiasm.”

Over the next few days, disappointed Kirsty tried to hide her upset, knowing how much work Victor had put into planning the trip.

She says: “He calls me the Incredible Sulk anyway, and I did sulk for a long time afterwards. I was sad my safari dream was over.”

The “honeymoon”, in July 2022, was far from the romantic escape Kirsty had dreamed of.

She says: “Instead of spending time with my husband, I was stuck in a cramped support vehicle.

‘Any nookie was out of question’

“We were in a tiny van that travels alongside the riders for their safety — for two weeks, with two blokes who I barely knew.

“Any night-time nookie was out of the question as our evenings were spent packing for the following day, or counting up donations.”

But the group, called Riders Of Charity, ended up raising £7,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society, in honour of Victor’s late mum, and Kirsty says she is proud of their achievements.

She adds: “It was worth it in the end, to raise that sort of money.

“We’ve not been away since and currently have no plans to.

“But I haven’t given up on my safari dream just yet.”

‘We went camping in bitter minus-14 degrees December’

SARAH Smetham had a winter wonderland in mind when she and husband Brian headed off on their break in December last year.

But even snow-loving Sarah, 54, a therapist, could not have imagined the Highlands hell ahead.


Sarah Smethan and husband Brian headed off on honeymoon last December[/caption]


The couple took their trusty camper van, with their two dogs Douglas and Beau and began their six-hour journey to a campsite in Aviemore in the Cairngorms[/caption]

She and IT architect Brian, 57, boar-ded their trusty campervan with dogs Douglas and Beau and prepared for a six-hour journey.

They were off to a campsite at Aviemore, in the Cairngorms, following a beautiful wedding in Tarbert in the west of Scotland.

Sarah, from Castleford, West Yorks, says: “Friends said we were mad going on honeymoon in northern Scotland in December. But we wanted to bring our dogs with us.

“The morning we set off, it was crisp and sunny and I felt so optimistic about the adventure ahead.

“We kept an eye on the weather forecast and we had some idea it was going to be cold.

“But the reality was very different. By the time we reached the campsite, I was starting to panic.

“The temperature had dropped dramatically, it was minus-14 degrees and bitterly cold.”

And things were about to get worse.

Sarah says: “We’d only been there a few hours when the water pipes froze in the campervan. And the snow was so heavy, we were in danger of getting stranded.

“We had no hot water, no shower, no toilet flush.

“Every time we needed to wee, or have a wash, we had to go out to the campsite loos in minus-14 degrees.

“We even had to wrap the dogs in blankets to keep them warm. All I could think was, ‘I wish I was in a warm bed in a nice hotel’.”

But Brian was not about to give in to the elements, quite so easily.

Sarah says: “I begged him, but he was adamant — we’d paid for the campsite and there was no way that he was losing that money.

“We’d been together for 12 years before we got married and he’s so stubborn, so I knew there was no point putting up a fight.

“Although I was annoyed, I kept smiling. And, to be fair to Brian, he was the one who braved going outside to do all the chores.

“If he’d been able to wee for me, he would have.”

After moving to another campsite farther south, where it was minus-12 degrees, the couple finally decided to cut their honeymoon short by a couple of days.

Sarah says: “It wasn’t the cosy, romantic winter wonderland that I had envisaged. But we made the best of it. If nothing else, it now makes for a great story.”


Sarah said: ‘The snow was so heavy, we were in danger of getting stranded’[/caption]
September 18, 2023 at 02:58AM

from The Sun

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