The Bargain Bucket List
You’ve heard about these bucket lists, right? The idea is, you make up a list of ‘amazing’ and ‘uplifting’ things to do before you ‘kick the bucket’. It’s all the rage these days. In fact, you can hardly move on the slopes of Everest for crowds of braying public-school toffs hugging each other and ticking another ‘experience’ off their list.
They all travel around the world in herds doing exactly the same stuff – fondling dolphins in the Great Barrier Reef or slobbering at majesty of the Northern Lights. It’s a load of crap really – and it costs a fortune.
It’s all very well for Marcus and his jug-eared mates from Eton, but the rest of us plebs have to live on planet earth. So thankfully, there’s no need to spend a fortune on amazing experiences. You just need to stick to the Bargain Bucket List.
Yes, these are all ace things to do before you die which cost less than a Sky subscription.
Bull-running Festival, Madrid
Cost: Flight to Madrid £40
Where to stay: Madrid
It was the great Jim Bowen who once said: “You can’t beat a bit of Bully”. And when it comes to bucket lists, he was cock on. But every fucker in the world heads to Pamplona for the bull-run. The biggest danger you face there is being stampeded by tourists; it’s about as dangerous as an MK Dons football hooligan.
If you really want to experience the delicious thrills of being horrifically gored by a bull then you’ll need to head for one of the smaller events. And your best bet is the bull gore-athon held at San Sebastian de los Reyes, a northern suburb of Madrid.
This week-long festival features a daily bull run and it costs you nowt – apart from replacement underwear and hospital fees. This takes place from August 23 to 27.
KGB Shooting Range, Latvia
Cost: Flight to Riga £90. Shooting range £70
Where to stay: Riga, Latvia
Top item on any bucket list should always be ‘to shoot a man in Reno’. But that’ll get you done for murder and it’s too expensive to visit America. So you’re better off heading for a place like Latvia where they’ll gladly let you get your paws on a fuck-load of high-powered weaponry.
This is a shooting range on the outskirts of Riga; it used to be where the KGB practiced shooting dissidents. The civilised gun laws here mean that anyone can wander in off the street and start going postal. You’ll have a choice of weapons: a Glock, a Winchester pump-action shotgun or one of them cool ‘Saiga’ sniper rifles you always see in FPS games.
They won’t let you shoot any helicopters or zombies but they will give you a couple of minutes training and then let you shoot live ammo on a range. You’ll get about an hour’s worth for £70. It’s best to have a few bevs beforehand, just to steady the hand.
Breakfast Eating Challenge, UK
Cost: Travelodge £39 Breakfast £10.95
Where to stay: Bolton
The big thing about this bucket list malarkey is finding stuff you can bore your kids with in later life. Unfortunately, if you tick this one off the list, your clogged arteries make it unlikely that you’ll be around that long.
Because this is the most heroically stupid eating challenge the UK has to offer. It’s the Big Breakfast Challenge at Mario’s Cafe in Bolton. What you’re getting here is a plate the size of a dustbin lid sagging under the combined weight of 10 eggs, 10 sausages, 10 rashers of bacon, 10 slices of toast, five black pudding slices and a mountain of tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans.
To tick this one off you’ll need to comply with Mario’s strict rules – it has to be wolfed down in under 20 minutes. The failure rate for this bad boy is high – about 80 percent. What’s up for grabs here is genuine fat-bastard legend status.
Chernobyl Disaster Site, Ukraine
Cost: Flight to Kiev £100, Tour £80
Where to stay: Kiev, Ukraine
Most of these bucket-list types go for places of natural beauty; Niagara Falls, Everest, Rhyl and all that. But you can see that nature stuff on telly. What is a load more impressive is seeing first-hand the amazing destructive power of man-made radiation.
Yes, this is a trip to Chernobyl; one of the few remaining places on the earth where you won’t find a McDonalds or an Irish bar. What you will find is the closest thing to a real-life video game location which is literally crackling with creepy atmospherics.
You need to book this 10 days in advance so they can sort out a pass to get you into the radiation zone. Then you’ll be taken on a tour of all the cool deserted towns and villages. If you’re lucky, you may even see a 17-foot-high three headed squirrel.
Cotswold Olimpicks, UK
Cost: Bed & Breakfast £32
Where to stay: Gloucester
It’s the year of the Olympics. Wahey!!! The chance of a lifetime to take part in such an incredible event but fuck that. They’re already talking about hotels tripling their prices. No, from a Bargain Bucket list perspective you want to keep well clear and head instead for Chipping Camden.
This little town in Gloucestershire is where the real sporting event of the year is taking place. This is the Cotswold Olimpicks, celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. It’s so old that they didn’t even know how to spell Olympics back then.
Instead of watching people fannying around big stadiums in Lycra, this is the chance to take part in the highlight of the event, the World Shin Kicking Championships. Yes, stuff straw down your trousers and enter a muddy field as you trade shin kicks with a bunch of boozed-up cider yokels.