Hello again, I hope you all had a great week and weekend and are ready to hear more of my adventures.
The last time I left off we had just finished White Water Rafting which had also concluded our stay in Victoria Falls – now we were off on a 7 day adventure from Zimbabwe to Johannesburg, with 13 other people we had yet to meet.
Our first stop would be to Chobe which was about a 5 hour drive but also included border crossings, food stops and of course toilet breaks.
The drive wasn’t too bad, the only downside was the bus we were in had no air conditioning, which would be painful at times.
On our first night in Chobe we had a sunset cruise by boat where we saw our first herd of Elephants – it was so breathtaking and I fell even more in love with them.
Most of our mornings on the safari tour were early, and we were on the road by 6:30am with the occasional 5:30am start – we adapted pretty quickly and became early risers and crashed by 8pm exhausted by the day’s activities.
At our first dinner we all introduced ourselves and we soon became immersed in conversation with people from Germany, Korea and fellow Australians.
Of course when it came to dinner time we were both very cautious of what I ate. Being Gluten Free in a foreign country was intimidating for us and there are now some waitresses and chefs out there who know everything about the disease and hopefully it becomes useful in the future for other travellers.
Our next stop was to the Okavango Delta which required a small fighter pilot plane to take us out there that could only hold 5 people at a time.
The morning we were ready to leave Chobe was when I got sick, automatically I thought of Gluten somewhere, somehow it must have snuck in to my food and upset my stomach which was not good for the 7 hour bus ride we were about to endure.
I am not going to go in to detail but it was horrible and on rocky roads it couldn’t be worse. That night we had a stay over in Maun and I was still not feeling any better and just hoped by morning the pain would have subsided and I would be ready to take on the rest of the Safari. Morning came and still no difference, the plane ride in to the Delta was missed as I slept and threw up whatever fluid I had left in my body and at that moment we knew that it was more than a Coeliac attack. Dehydration.
After checking my ketones, which thinking about it I should have done earlier and would have if I wasn’t coeliac, sure enough they were high, the highest they have ever been and that’s when I broke down.
I was scared, worried and most of all feeling weak and sick – the next two days I don’t think I would have got through if it wasn’t for my dad, he consoled me and did everything the father of the year could do to get me better, and I did get better.
For a moment when I was at my lowest and fluid was still refusing to stay in we thought the trip was over and were almost ready to give up and go to a hospital, however that wasn’t a reassuring alternative as the hospitals were just as scary as being violently ill, all in a foreign country.
When I started feeling a bit better I decided to miss out on one of the safari walks through the Delta and it was probably a good thing as when my dad and the rest of the group got back their eyes were sprung out of their heads and they couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Walking through with three guides and no armour they came across a pride of female lions and a stern male lion which confronted them from ten metres away. One tourist went to run, but the guide grabbed her and warned her that it wasn’t the best option so they stood there and faced the lion until finally he moved on.
After that I started picking up a bit and on the flight back to Maun I stayed awake, we did visit a local doctor but he only told us what we knew so we kept at rehydrating and soon enough I was better again.
Thinking back it’s hard to believe that we did get through it but it only added to our adventure and African experience, and we were ready to take on the next chapter of our journey – to Kruger.
For now, stay hydrated and I’ll speak to you soon