Travel and epics journeys aren’t always glamourous and golden coloured sand hotdog leg Facebook posted pictures. An honest depiction would have been me diarising the time I got really, really sick; but then I didn’t want to sound like a big Boo-Hoo in a Woohoo! part of the world. Nonetheless, nearing 100 days of venturing, there I was bedridden in Southern Spain.
After slipping under the covers of and lying in the bed of a luxuriously languid lifestyle (and wanting to personally pen a letter to NZ’s prime minister about the importance of introducing siesta time to everyday life), I had awoken one morning with a crick in my neck. Initially it was the ‘she’ll be ‘right’ kind of crick, because I did have a shed load of booking and planning to do before my Conil de la Frontera departure. Fortunately for me, SS had squeezed me into some sweet relief via a hot stone massage, before lunch.
The next morning the pain had spread like a hot buttered knife, across my shoulders and down my back. Too tired to do anything and with a combination of optimism and an inherent penchant for not being overly keen on visiting the doctor, I slipped in and out of sleep. My duties of cooking and helping out around the casa had ceased when I zombie traipsed down the stairs.
By day three, I was booked in and driven down to the local medical centre. SS was my chaperone, translator and an absolute angel in disguise. I was tested, injected with anti-inflammatories and massaged by the physiotherapist whose name translated to ‘Hope’.
The next few days were forced rest… like I hadn’t had enough already in Espana. It gave me some time to reflect on my wonderful time staying there and with another amazing young familia across the lawn, my next workaway mission in Switzerland, and to also calmly freak out at what I still needed to do within the next couple of days.
When I finally was feeling more human than half-dead, the last 24 hours with SS, her daughter, OW, Negrito, Kitty, Neli and her babies was a hot mess of booking accommodation and transport, riding a bike into town for the first time whilst there (I am crap at cycling), a multitude of hug induced adioses and some stress-festing. There was no time to have a big farewell fiesta, as I had literally booked to leave the following day.
In the front seat with the stiff hot air pushing the sweat beads across my forehead, I pointed my nose back in the direction of the white washed Andalucian houses and cast my eyes down over the disheartened brown heads of the sunflowers. The lump signalled the tears, until I inappropriately cut the surrounding sniffled silence with terrible jokes. I was sad and a little scared to be going, to be leaving the security I had come to know; but deep inside there was a little bit of excitement there, that I did not know existed. I was being set free.
I had come to think that endings were just as intimidating as beginnings, even though they didn’t really need to be… that was a lesson later learnt. Join me in my next blogs about Seville; where I experienced solo backpacking for the first time, getting lost and lost in translation with a Japanese girl, and where my fairy tale idea of bullfighting was the matador and toro happily skipping away hand in hoof happily ever after, was abruptly quashed. Until then, X