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  The Chatter Box : Travel
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Anyone got a near death experience? by Samoan Sam on 15 October 2002 11:45pm
OK well maybe not near death in the truest sense but....Whilst travelling in Peru with a bunch of musicians, we played in a little town called Chosica situated on the foothills of the Andes. The land is mainly rocky and barren (beautiful). One gorgeous morning I decided to go for a walk in the mountains. Once as far as I wished to go, I began to retrace my steps. Half way down the path I noticed a person walking up the hill a fair distance away. At this point I made some very stupid errors. I reached for my pair of binoculars to get a better look at the person. It was a man dressed in army trousers, with a rifle over his shoulder, he looked straight at me and my immediate instinct was to duck! (Mistake number 2!). I then decided to walk out of sight, smoked a cigarrette (yet another dumb move), and waited half an hour. Believing that the man had gone I continued my descent, at which point I heard a gun shot very close. The man was now closer and lying on his belly aiming straight at me. What followed was a night which became dark extremely quickly, more shots, voices in the dark and eventually myself hiding in a scree praying I would be OK. In the morning I climbed down a different way.
It turned out that the army were doing their normal daily patrol of the electic pylons serving the capital, and believed that there were terrorists (me) hiding out planning to ?blow up the pylons!!!
Saying that Im planning on returning in the future, beautiful place and wonderful people, just learn spanish before you go!
Would love to hear from anyone else4 with similar stories.
Mike x
Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by propertyofnowhere on 29 October 2002 3:42pm
As part of our recent round the world trip my wife and I spent a month in Vanuatu. It was a bit of a diversion from our route but having a bit of a facination with volcano's it was one of my ambitions to climb Mt Yasur on Tanna. Apart from a close encounter with a few lava bombs all went well but our problems started when we arrived back in Port Vila on Efate. We had already had a couple of small earthquakes which (coming from England) we thought were pretty cool, but at around 4:30 one morning I was woken up by the room violently shaking and an incredible noise. As soon as I opened my eyes they were filled with bits of the ceiling. I dragged my wife out of bed and we cowered in a doorway. The whole thing lasted over a minute and part way through the power went & we were left in the dark. When it finished we went downstairs to see all the locals heading for high ground to avoid the tidal wave that luckily never happened. As soon as it got light I was off climbing around landslides at the base of cliffs that my wife kept pointing out "could collapse at any minute" A huge boulder had embedded itself about 6 feet in to the road. It turned out to be their biggest earthquake in living memory measuring 7.3 on the richter scale. There were landslides all over the Island & a couple of bridges collapsed but amazingly no one was killed. During the following week there were over 400 aftershocks measuring up to 6.9. The same night we had the 6.9 quake at about 21:30. Everyone spent the night in the carpark sleeping on loungers from the pool "just in case". It's a bit difficult trying to climb down stairs when they are moving around so much! Needless to say this was one of our more memorable experiences and I still have a rather unusual souvenir - a small piece of the hotel wall that fell down during the quake.
Given the finances I would go back tomorrow as I miss the volcano and it's not often that the ground moves for me 400 times in a week!
Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by jay on 8 March 2003 5:15pm
Yes, stand on the ledge of a high building. That's a near death experience. Don't step forwards, that would be an actual death experience. Subtly different, but it's an imporatant difference. If you're asking whether anyone has HAD a near death experience.. well that's a different question isn't it.
Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by caliviajero on 16 April 2003 1:48am
OK so me and my girlfriend have begun a 3 month tour with the aim of visiting various relatives in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, but first we want to see a bit of america.
New York is suitably quirky and we've had a great deal of fun trying (and failing) to be as rude as the locals, next stop L.A.
The morning travel news indicates a small hurricane en route may make the flight a little rough, this causes no concern. After all the plane wouldn't fly if it was that bad, would it?
A couple of hours into the flight and we are lurching up, down and sideways. the pilot informs us periodically that he is attempting to fly under / over / around the offending weather occurance. You have to pay for drinks on internal flights, my bill will keep the airline going for years, If I must die I'll do it blitzed.
Needless to say we survived though possibly my tale could have been nearer death if I'd eaten the plastic wrapped Calzone style pizza, the only food option that day.
Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by pandk2 on 18 April 2003 4:46pm
I was flying over the Swiss Alps and a massive thunderstorm was in progress. The pilot tried to climb above the storm but couldn't get high enough so he flew through the top of the storm. The plane was struck by lightening and plummetted a few thousand feet....very scary...DID think for a moment or two that my time was up!

ALSO, removed from an aeroplane in Dubai due to a bomb scare....another VERY unpleasant experience.
The worst bit was having to reboard the same plane to continue on to London!

Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by peripatetically on 18 April 2003 5:24pm
I missed the tragic Lockerbee flight by just a day. I was on thesame plane , a day earlier, coming out of London.!! The airport was crawling with security and questioning everybody. We didn't know the details, but we knewsomething was going on.... The airport had been warned that something was going to happend, but we didn't know exaxtly what it was until the next day. TRAGIC. But I will never forget how close it was for me.

Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by mitch on 20 April 2003 9:13pm
The year was 1976, the place was Tehran, Iran (while the Shah was still in power). My passport was pickpocketed in a market place in Shiraz. I got a new one at the American Consulate in Isfahan. Passport control in Tehran refused to allow me to leave the country without a valid entry visa. I was with a Greek diplomatic group. The members of the group started arguing with the guard. During the chaos, the aid to one of the diplomats hussled me through some back corridors to the gate of my now departing airline flight. The armed guard warned me to stay while he checked out whatever the aid had told him in Farsi. I dutifully remained put. However, once the guard was gone, the aid told me to run for the plane and under no condition look back. He urged me again and started to run. As I ran toward the plane I noticed that the flight attendents and the passengers on board hit the floor. As I got aboard, the plane took off and I rolled down the center aisle. After we ascended and I got to a seat other passengers told me what a risk I took with several guards at my back with their rifles pointed at me!
Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by KevM on 20 April 2003 11:20pm
Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by chris123 on 24 April 2003 7:23pm
In 1996 there was a bomb planted in the waste bin in the gents toilet of the departure lounge in Reus Airport, Spain. When the bomb exploded a toilet assistant was killed instantly, the glass ceiling of the departure lounge shattered and rained down on the people inside, 35 people were injured, 17 seroiusly. I got up to go to the bathroom about 3 mins before the bomb went off but I decided to go for a cigarette first. Had I not gone for a cigarette I would almost have certainly died on the toilet!
Re: Anyone got a near death experience? by Katin on 21 May 2003 1:01am
I was working in Teheran when ayatolla komedi passed away on been confronted by a unruly mob was spat at and asked you american? you british?I replied Iam Irish Iwas at once greeted as a brother
during this time I believe theIRA were assisting with advice in Iran and Libya
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