Forget delayed flights, bathroom cockroaches and a bit of a runny tummy – actor Paul Nicholls has got the mother of all holiday horror stories.
The ex-EastEnders actor (he was Joe Wicks yonks ago, remember?) revealed to the Loose Women panel how he was chased by wild dogs causing him to tumble 20 foot over a waterfall, smashing his leg on the way down.
He then lay on a rock for three days, pouring with blood and batting away blood thirsty leeches, before emergency services finally found him.
Let’s set the scene: it was 6.30am – back in July this year – and Paul had already been to the gym. It was such an idyllic morning, he decided to go for a little zip about on his scooter to watch the beautiful sunrise.
There he was, feeling all zen and at one with the jungle, when he came around the corner to be faced by a pack of about ten wild dogs.
“They were fighting with each other and then they saw me,” he explained, adding that they probably thought “we’ll have a bit of him.”
Unable to turn his scooter around on the narrow path, Paul knew that the only thing to do was ride through the dogs but one of them “chomped onto his foot”, drew blood and – to add insult to injury – ran off with his flip-flop.
“I pulled into the waterfall and thought the only way out of this is down,” he continued, explaining that he knew the dogs wouldn’t follow him into the water.
“But I didn’t know how much I was bleeding so as soon as my foot touched the rock at the edge of the waterfall I just slipped over.”
But this was just the beginning of Paul’s nightmare. “I hit a ledge on the way down. Something flew out of my knee, it was part of my knee cap.”
After hitting the water and feeling relief that it was deep enough to break his fall he realised that things weren’t about to get better anytime soon as when he looked at his knee, “there was a hole where my knee cap should have been.”
But if you think that all sounds like a pretty bad morning, Paul says that the next moment was “the worst bit”…
He was holding onto his knee screaming and when he let go some blood flew into the water. “And then I saw these things swimming through the water and I thought, those are leeches. Very big leeches.”
He spent the next 72 hours trying to fight off hungry leeches who were eager to suck him dry of blood before hallucinating and losing consciousness.
Paul was lucky to be found as the spot he was in wasn’t popular with tourists but someone had spotted his bike and alerted the bike hire company.
The bike hire lady knew Paul was a good boy and thought it odd that he hadn’t returned to pay for his ride so alerted the emergency services who swooped in and rescued him. Phew!