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The weirdest thing happened…

With the world’s greatest literary gathering, Hay Festival, taking place this month in Wales, we asked some of its speakers to share their strangest ever travel experiences

(24 May–3 June 2018; hayfestival.com)

I once flew to Brazil with Ed (husband) to write a travel article. When I arrived, I was refused entry because I had no visa and they hated Americans. (America wasn’t letting many Brazilians in at the time.)

I screamed in rage that I would sue all of Brazil and was manhandled into a room and told they were exporting me to Argentina where they might or might not give me a visa. Ed, being British, was whisked past passport control. They refused to give me my suitcase but allowed me to take out a toothbrush and a pair of underwear before I was flown out. When I got to Argentina, I was refused a visa to anywhere. I went into rant mode again, telling them I would sue Argentina. And it worked like magic – I was thrown out of the visa office. I then hitched to the American embassy only to find a queue of Americans a mile long also trying for visas. I pretended to have a heart attack, which sort of worked: I was taken to the airport and flown back to the UK. Ed had a wonderful holiday in Brazil.

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