11 February 2013Jonnie Peacock's holiday heaven and hell
Great holidays . . .
Which was your best holiday?
I don’t really go on that many holidays but the one I remember most fondly was a trip to Disneyland Paris, organised for me by the Make A Wish Foundation which grants wishes for kids with serious medical conditions. I lost my leg when I was five after contracting meningitis and my wish was to go to Paris and eventually by the time I was about seven or eight they took me and it was a really good holiday.
More recently, I had a great holiday straight after the Paralympics. I took a road trip to France for a week with my best mate Martin and the best part of the trip was when we popped over to Bruges, in Belgium, on the last day. I’d really wanted to visit after seeing the film In Bruges. We went to this bar there and it was the first time in my life I’d drunk a beer served in a foot-long glass. The beer was about 14 per cent proof and we had about three or four of them and after that we were definitely feeling a bit tipsy. We then moved on to tequila, which came in a whisky glass and must have been at least six or seven measures. I managed to knock back about two or three and then things got a bit hazy. I wasn’t too bad, as I’d just eaten, but Martin – who can normally down a pint in about two seconds - didn’t cope so well and I think he threw up about five minutes later.
And the best hotel you’ve stayed in?
It was a really beautiful hotel in Dijon on that trip to France. We stayed in about six hotels on that trip, so I can’t remember the name of it, but the hotel was in an old chateau and even though the building was really old they’d modernized the place so it felt historic and luxurious at the same time. I can’t remember what it was called but after the austerity of living in the Olympic Village it was a treat.
What do you need for a perfect holiday?
A comfy bed, good food, great views and good company. The best times I’ve had on holiday have always been because of the people, not the places.
What do you always take with you?
A hairdryer. The problem with my hair is that I’ve got this weird parting that goes to the side, and not in a good way, so I need a hairdryer to put it right. To be honest I don’t really like to go out if I haven’t used a hair dryer on my hair, so I always pack one.
What’s your best piece of travel advice?
The main thing for me is to get lots of information about the hotel that I’m going to be staying in. I try to read as many reviews as possible before I book, as I’ve stayed in a couple of dodgy hotels in my time. I read reviews on several sites to get a variety of opinion. There’s nothing worse than checking into somewhere at the last minute, like me and Martin did in Paris. The place was seriously dodgy and had the smallest rooms I’d ever been in: literally two double beds touching each other and no room for anything else.
And where do you want to go next?
I’d like to go to Rome or Venice with my girlfriend. I’d also like to go to the Caribbean at some point as well.
. . . and disasters?
Which was your worst holiday?
I don’t think I’ve ever had a trip that’s been awful from start to finish but I didn’t like the Czech Republic. I went there for the World Junior championships and to be fair we weren’t in the nicest part, so I don’t want to slate the whole country, but it’s definitely the least favourite of the places that I’ve been. I don’t know whether it’s just because I ate a dodgy sausage though. We were in a park and and I tried a sausage at this barbecue they had going on and it was the worst tasting thing I’ve ever had in my mouth. I don’t know what it was made out of but the taste was in my mouth for days.
What’s your worst experience on holiday?
I’ve never had any near death experiences in planes or been caught up in any civil unrest or met any dodgy immigration officials. However, I think because a lot of my travel is for work and arranged by the British Paralympics Association [BPA] there’s not been much that can go wrong because they sort of take care of everything.
What’s the biggest packing mistake you’ve made?
Again because the BPA is such a well-oiled machine, my cases are always taken care of. I feel like I’m tempting fate though and that at some point in the future all my worldly possessions are going to end up on the other side of the world to me.
The worst hotel you’ve stayed in?
I stayed in a budget hotel near Peterborough that was pretty horrendous. There were stains on the carpet and brown marks up the wall. The bed sheets were just about all right but the whole place was really filthy.
What do you avoid on holidays?
Public transport. The couple of times I’ve caught buses and trains abroad it’s been a disaster. Everything is usually in a different language and I have absolutely no clue as to where I’m going or what’s happening so I always end up walking everywhere or getting a taxi.
What do you hate about holidays?
Uncomfortable beds. If I haven’t got somewhere comfortable to sleep it ruins the holiday for me.
Story provided by: The Daily Telegraph