Old birds must avoid my folly and retain their brain cells and livers. they must have delicate Pisco Sours and not swig neat vodka out of the bottle while boring their friends drunkenly rambling on the phone. This is not ladylike. It’s more Ab Fab!
ALERT: Ha ha what a nitwit I am this was supposed to go out hot on the heels of “COMING HOME” and it made much more sense! next post I will boomerang you to the Guatemala section of my becoming-more-dangerous trip!
VIDEO OF MY TRAVELS.
The time has come the walrus said…..
Now you might find this an odd choice of topic as I’ve so much more in the way of what I’ve already done and I will do in the next few days before I leave Mexico, but It’s there. Hovering in the back of my mind like a dark foreboding shadow, in my peripheral vision like a willow the wisp. A constant nagging and distracting my attention from all the amazing things I have travelled so far to see..…The time has come to make LISTS!
…to talk of many things….
Last night sitting on my terrace with a very nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc I sulked, sighed and finally fetched my notebook. It eyed me, I eyed it and we started. I’d booked my tickets to Madrid in Guatemala so I’d forgotten exactly what they entailed, and felt queasy about my seating on the long haul section Bogota/Madrid. I needed a decent seat and my occasional “pretend” looking about booking seats with Avianca had yielded no fruit, and my emails and screenshots were all over the place and must be ignored until I could cope and wasn’t so tired.
….Of shoes -and ships-and sealing wax-and cabbages- and kings….
I had been on my last archaeological site of Teotihuacan yesterday and was exhausted and felt rather burnt and probably had sunstroke. I would just list “Avianca seat” and go on to the less worrying and hard things like “supermarket; wine, bread, eggs, fruit etc” and “Clothes shop; hoody for plane etc” and “Pharmacy; sleepers for plane, nail files and body cream”. Then I would do it all in the morning when I was fresh. I threw my notebook on the table and went back to watching Veep and 30 Rock on my laptop.
…And why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings. LEWIS CARROLL
This morning the stress monster was sitting on my chest. My horror at dealing with this long forgotten ticket booking was now inevitable. I looked through my emails and found my booking and codes and after Herculean tussles with various web sites ascertained that I had actually booked and paid for my preferred seat on the long haul!
THIS LITTLE PIG DID HAVE WINGS!
Relief flooded my senses, thinking back on it I remember thinking that I MUST have decent seating but had forgotten in the mists of time. HOOOOOOORAY! Now the rest of my list.
Housekeeping days while Abroad for the Solo Traveller.
Proper organisation requires a correct mental attitude so a proper ablution required. Next reassessing suitcase and more things to bin in the sacrifice to weight allowance. Some knicker and T-shirt washing and just one more icing of the foot before the supermarket.
Passed a bank on my walk so took out money hopefully for the last time here, then saw a pharmacy and bought some sleeping tabs for the flight. Continued to the big supermarket bought a lovely selection of goodies for a couple of breakfasts and snacks, the other beauty products that I needed and I now am back.I have had my eggies and bacon and English breakfast tea, proud as punch and only lacking buying a cheap hoody for the trip back to Madrid.
These preparations mean I can now enjoy my last three full days properly. This is what I call a housekeeping day and is crucial when arriving somewhere or leaving and especially for the big return home.(though you might have noticed I am stopping in Madrid for a couple of days to ease myself back into Europe)
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ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR! LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING, SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT ALWAYS, BUT ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE GOING IT ALONE.
ALERT. At this time I am sitting in my kitchen pondering the news after yesterday’s X-ray. I have indeed broken my foot! Or if you will, oblique fractured my outer carpel (the long foot bone under the little toe). If you remember I’ve been moaning on about my limp and periodically hugely ballooning foot. This injury I sustained in Merida Mexico (so about a month ago) from stumbling of my bathroom step and violently twisting my foot and ankle. So all the people who said it wasn’t broken? WRONG!
This is exactly why I have written this post now. It’s so easy to have these smaller accidents while you’re tired from travelling or just in a rush for that boat, train , aeroplane. They sneak up on you and, ironically, usually when you think you’re safe. That’s why they say accidents are more common at home.
I was running from the bathroom to chuck my washed clothes into my suitcase and forgot the step.That’s all. A small step after the heights and dangers of mountain edges and temple steps. The spiral steps of Tierradentro, the pushing crowds at cliff edges of Machu Picchu, the hiking down the knotted steep paths at Semuc Champey, all the things where there was real danger and I would mutter to myself “This is so dangerous, this is soooo dangerous concentrate Rebecca. Concentrate”
Booooom! I went down like a sack of potatoes twisting my foot and ankle and smashing my arm into the door frame. The shock and the pain stopped me from crying and I immediately thought of damage control as I hobbled to my bed. The whole of Mexico to see yet and I wasn’t sure if it was just a serious twist.TomorrowI would see and maybe it would be OK til I got home, I didn’t want to delve into my travel insurance unless absolutely necessary.Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrowwas my mantra until I got to Madrid when I finally gave in and called for an appointment with my Doc who gave me a referral for an X-ray the next day.
Just an old bird wanting to be healthy and well for her travels.
They wanted to give me a boot and to self inject blood thinners every day into my stomach ( shurely not editor?!) and the very sharp and unpleasant nurse in a A&E was not pleased when I said I would not be doing that. She even said why did you even bother to come in if you’re not going to do as I say. Well love, there’s a reason for that. I wanted to check that it was indeed a fracture and that there was nothing to interfere with the healing process (i.e. bone fragments or trapped muscle). I now will be resting it and writing my blog. I shall sort out my photos and videos and stock up on yummy food and drink for Xmas. I will hibernate and take my supplements and food to help with the healing. It’s remarkable that I managed to complete Mission Mexico, running for tight flight connections and climbing archaeological sites stumbling around the uneven ground. It has started mending even after that so now with proper rest it should finish the process.
TOP TIPS: You might notice foot problems have been a recurring theme, I am clumsy and get over excited easily so I do tend to suffer those kinds of injuries but realistically I have mainly been ok on my big trips…..geddit?!! If your stomach is fragile remember bottled water even for brushing your teeth, only ice in reputable places. Only try something more extreme food-wise when you don’t have a big trip the next day, you don’t want to have the trots while away from toilets! always carry painkillers anti acids and eye drops with you in your bum bag and a small container of cream for lips and blisters (no Indian black toe for you!) always have a hat and water with you and obviously sun screen. Wear a T shirt for snorkelling to avoid serious sunburn and keep wetting your head to avoid sunstroke which I had after swimming with that beautiful turtle in Indonesia. Spray with your anti mosquito Jungle Formula at all times (terrible mosquitos at Machu Picchu and some other archaeological sites and anywhere with water) especially if you’re not taking tablets. Exercise your legs while flying to avoid DVT. First sign of a cold or cough take seriously, I was out of the game at the end of my Asia trip by contracting a vicious Asian flu that remained with me for another two weeks when back home. If I hadn’t been so Cavalier I could have avoided it.
Healthy food, exercise, and some T.L.C. to keep you in shape for your journey.
So although I didn’t use my insurance I had bought it and if things had got worse used it, always always buy insurance.
Get all your jabs including yellow fever, Although my certificate was never checked they do periodically especially if there has been a flare up somewhere, you don’t want to be blocked from entering a country. Check if malaria is a high risk in the area you’re going to, if so take the tablets otherwise a strong spray should be enough.
Be generous with the quantity of your regular medication. I ran out out this time and felt a bit panicky
Have a first aid kit including painkillers with you
Check with your Doc if there is any reason why you shouldn’t do any of the stuff you are planning then ask how to modify to your specific conditionif heor she has concerns
Always check all your medical stuff in plenty of time. Some things take a while to sort.
Exercise regularlyfor at least six weeks before you leave and do your balancing exercises all the time they seem silly but are super important
Concentrateat all times when you’re busy, maybe even get into the zone by self teaching awareness books or audio books. It’s normally when your concentration has gone when an accident may occur.
Be safein all respects when travelling, do not take risks in any capacity.
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Or, I’m going to Starbucks and use theirs if it doesn’t come today 😬
Was in Guatemala jungle and was connected, get back to London…..
On the positive side Boston and Brutus paid a visit!
It’s quite hard to acclimatise after over three months away. Ive only been to the supermarket, opened a mountain of post, dealt with bills and bureaucracy and finally got hold of SKY after two days. They had a 45 minute wait for all the times I called so I had to put an early alarm at stupid o’clock and got straight through. Grrrr!
I’ll be back as normal when I’m reconnected until then …
Alert: sitting at M.C. Airport so this is a bit weird and as I’m stressing about my flights to Madrid…. NOW I’m in my Madrid hotel Very cold and wet here but, oh so European. Will post this now before I lose my suntan!
Another Long Bus Journey….
It was worth it, but TWELVE HOURS ON THE BLOODY BUS. I left excited and smug from the smart ADO bus terminal. I had my little breakfast and snacks and entertainment for the bus figuring around a five hour journey.
Top Tip: Always check how long a bus is going to take and where it will stop. ADO one of the better Mexican bus companies have a very easy-to-use app that lets you choose your seat and departure time and nearest terminal. What it does not do is give you is an ETA. My bus took a route invented by route masters from hell. Don’t be stupid like me and if you’re unsure get your hotel to give them a call to check times. My other outings with them had been heavenly and I never gave it a second thought when I saw a slightly different logo than I had used previously. It was their cheapo one but I only looked at the departure times and it offers no more explanation so you shrug your shoulders and think its a lovely early time to go and view the countryside. It made me arrive in the dark and that’s a big no no.
I was a wreck when I arrived. It was pitch black most of the last bit (apparently coastal town people require very little street lighting, they like driving in the dark and crashing all the time as ascertained by the many crosses on the grass verges. At the terminal it took me ages to get a cab (no UBER there) who promptly dropped me off at a similarly named hotel ( they do that a lot) and I had to stagger whimpering down a sandy unlit alley to my hotel. I had had to email them that I would be late but the lady was lovely and the place beautiful and the room oh so Ibiza-before-it-got-pants.
My morning was perfect with the promised home baked brown bread and jam and some tacos. sitting in the beautiful garden full of sculpture and a sandy floor and finally I limped down the road to what I could see was a magnificent bay. Oh but the steps. Many, many steps in the searing heat. my foot was again like a puffer fish and pain throbbed through it in pulses. I had managed to make it a lot better in Oaxaca but it seemed the stress journey and now the steps had done me in! Now I would have to rest properly…. AND WATCH A DOG EATING A COCONUT! (see below)
Playa Puerto Angelito
Day two I tried out this double coved beach which I loved as I could cab it straight to the beachside. Each time I luxuriated on a beach bed with an umbrella and each time I soaked my feet in that lovely salty water.
However now I had the quiet coves I yearned for I could also see in the distance the long white beach, the surfers beach! So the next day I cabbed it there and what a treat. The drama of the huge waves, and because I had gone to the furthest point, not many people. Met a lovely girl there who loved the concept of old birds flying solo and she took a couple of shots for me, hello if you’re reading!
A hostel and a luxury apartment.
I moved twice while at the beach. The season was starting and there was no room at the Hostel inn except for one night (thank god peeing in a bottle because the bathroom is down the corridor is not cool!)
I had a lovely time there and the younger crowd were very impressed by my travels and wanted me to come to beach volley ball match ( shurely not?) I politely declined and found an Argentinian restaurant that had the best steak in the world and rather outshone the Mexican fare. My hippy room was cool man, it was called the unicorn room and had a stoners psychodelic mural on the wall and purple sheets. Air con and a small swimming pool, not like the hostels of my day where you had to bring your own sheets. there was a big kitchen and a ‘trust’ bar too with a variety of craft beers.
My apartment in Puerto Escondido with a fabulously equipped kitchen that would be fab for an extended trip. Every appliance you could wish for a jacuzzi in a beautiful garden and a roof terrace that had a huge hammock so I could rest my fat foot.
OVER AND OUT FROM A SUPER CHILLED OLD BIRD X
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