A Broken Record
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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The pain in my ankle following the trek has really improved. In 'payment' for its improvement it's been replaced by a serious, worrying, foot problem that has left me almost immobile. As can be understood I'm a little bewildered given the recent history of my strangely 'omened' hooves. I can't question it, I can only deal with it, but as well as being a little worried, I'm also not totally surprised. Why can't I just fall over, hurt myself, swear a little, then suffer and recover like everyone else? Once again I haven't knowingly done anything to it at all or had any accident of any sort. I haven't fallen, twisted it, smashed it in to an immovable object and no immovable objects have smashed in to 'it'. I haven't stumbled in any kind of drunken stupor 'cos I just don't drink that much. So what's with the damn thing?! It seems that one injury heals and another develops as a result. It's totally out of my control. What's bothering me is that (I think) it's the exact same pain I felt when I woke that particular morning in Wanaka, when we were travelling with Jen just before we left for the Banks Peninsula. That one materialised out of nowhere too. I just 'woke up' with it if I remember correctly. If it really is linked, and I've got a 'problem' then I've 'got a problem'. For the record it actually started to get better until yesterday. The night before last I decided to venture downtown to 'The Moose' where I'd been once previously on a freezing cold night with Igno, Daz, Chicken and the others for a meal. Well the other night there was a Karaoke on which I thought would be really interesting to watch. As it happens it really was but maybe the long walk there or there and back was too much. I got on my feet the next morning and it had grown frightfully worse. I don't know what it is with me. I'm on the brink of trekking in some of the world's most incredible wilderness and I just don't need this.
I will go to the doctors this time. In fact I would have gone today only Sam suggested I hold on until tomorrow. It is of course good Friday which would mean a doubling of doctors fees as it's a 'public holiday'. I took his advice and shall be visiting tomorrow. Though I'm not one to visit the doctor, I do need to get some answers on this whole foot blunder.
Sam seems like a good bloke. I met him last night shortly after he arrived. I'd got my head in the van while he was on the pitch opposite trying to put up the hugest tent I've ever seen. He's come here for the Easter break with his wife Sue and three year old 'Jarvis'. He was telling me that they were originally from Te Anau but now live further south in Invercargill, though they still love it here. I'd completely forgotten about Easter. This made sense now as to why tents and caravans started materialising all around me yesterday.
The last few days have passed quite quickly. On the whole, I've been stranded with my injuries and have been keeping all my weight off my foot, a skill I'm starting to acquire quite rapidly. I've made good use of the time though. As well as starting and finishing another book, I've written and finished the article I was recently asked to do. I know this sounds all very 'poshe' for me, but I forgot to mention this a couple of weeks ago. While I was in Christchurch just before leaving for Kaikoura, I received a very exciting email from Luc (the founder of Travelpod) asking me if I wouldn't mind writing an article for the Travelpod newsletter next month. There's no point in me going into the details of the article now cos' they'll become apparent later, but I was absolutely over the moon. It's nothing special or long or particularly significant even, but as I've never in my life done anything like this before I was understandably excited. So I've spent a bit of time over the last few days finishing it off and tidying it up. All I need to do is double check the spelling and it'll be ready and raring to go. Superb!
The book I've just finished is absolutely fantastic: 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho - another 'Mannion swap'. Though it's a story of fiction it has a powerful, underlying 'non-fictional' message in it about life and living that we all need to be reminded of once in a while. It's only a short story, but its reward is far greater. It's the perfect book to read and pass on as a traveller, to a fellow traveller, though Mannion made it brutally clear that she wants it back.
The plans of my immediate future are resting wholly on tomorrows visit to the doctors. I have however still been looking at my last chance Fiordland adventure options before I move South. The Milford track is quite definitely not an option as it's fully booked 'till way out of season and there is still no standby system in place. So after a bit of research I finally found what I didn't know I was looking for and can't believe I never considered it in the first place. Here, from Te Anau it is possible (at certain fixed dates) to do a three-day 'Sea Kayaking' expedition right in to the heart of the 'Doubtful Sound' which is situated to the south west of the Milford Sound and much more remote and untouched. As it's nowhere near as accessible it's also far less commercialised. Generally, it's only visited by those who are prepared to 'rough it' for a few days in the remote wilderness. This in turn makes the experience so much more special and magical, not to mention the natural wildlife that is in complete abundance there. After reading the details of the small, specialised company who offer this amazing opportunity, I went straight round and visited them (they're based just around the corner and driving with my big toe is just about bearable). They told me that as it's so wild and remote and subject to extreme weather, they take only a small group of five people. As luck would have it there were two places free. The lady explained that as it's so late in to the season (almost winter) the only time they can go out to the Doubtful Sound now is on Thursday 31st March and that this would be the final trip of the season. She said they still run two day trips which are less extreme but this one apparently offers so much more. I told her of my foot/doctor scenario and she agreed to pencil my name in on the understanding that if I did want to cancel I have to do so by 9.30am Monday morning to give others a chance. I understood and agreed. I've now got the doc's appointment and diagnosis to get through. Only then will I know where I am and where I'm going. I've just been reading the details and itinerary of the sea kayak adventure and it looks absolutely awesome - a real 'once in a lifetime' experience. Guess I'll have to see what tomorrow brings!