I can’t believe that this is my last day in paradise. It’s gone far too quickly; I never want to leave! I’ll have to start with the bad news though – the evening following my last blog post ended pretty badly.
After dinner and a couple of drinks, we decided to go for a swim as the water was still warm, so the whole group went to the beach. When I had been in the water for a while I felt a sharp stinging pain in my right arm, so I knew it would have been a jellyfish as a couple of people had previously mentioned that they’d been stung. It started to hurt so I got out of the water, but suddenly my whole arm went numb, I felt really dizzy and fell to the floor. The next part is quite hazy but someone carried me back to the hotel, and my legs also started to go numb. As my tour guide didn’t seem to think it was dangerous to swim at night, and other people were fine, I’m guessing I was just unlucky to have an allergic reaction. Marvin said that he wanted me to be checked at the hospital but he struggled to find transport – my room mate Andrea was amazing as she went next door to ask people she didn’t even know to give me a lift. Big thanks to her, Kai and Anna who helped me get into the car!
The hospital was fairly basic, but it was fine. Although I was seen immediately I panicked quite a lot, mainly because everyone around me was speaking Spanish so I didn’t have a clue what was going on. My bed was kind of in a corridor rather than a ward, and when I asked for a tissue to blow my nose they didn’t have any. The toilet floor was quite grim too. They gave me a drip with saline and something which made me fall asleep; when I woke up they gave me three injections and then discharged me. The experience, despite being pretty scary as I wasn’t in my comfort zone, was actually quite interesting as it really made me appreciate the health care system in my country: you don’t have to pay for it and although you have to wait longer, the NHS is more advanced. Luckily I am covered by insurance, as I had to get three packets of pills and also pay for a taxi to take me to a pharmacy, as there wasn’t one in our area, which I found pretty scary. I really was lucky that it wasn’t something much worse, as the transport system isn’t great.
We got home from the hospital at 6am – here I have to say a massive thank you to Marvin, Lawrence and Alice who stayed with me the whole time. Alice in particular was incredible (for those of you who don’t know her, she has just finished the second year of her medicine degree at Nottingham University) as she was there as soon as I fell over on the beach, and even though she didn’t understand the Spanish either she was a great calming presence, explaining what was happening as much as she could. I think she also found it quite interesting too from a medical perspective; she is going to be an amazing doctor when she is qualified. Although of course I would rather this hadn’t have happened, it was really touching that so many people who are basically strangers pulled together to help in an emergency. Except perhaps when Lawrence asked if I wanted a photo of me in hospital for my blog: that was a definite no! Though he did provide me with the two photos in this post, which I thought were rather interesting as they show the place I was treated.
The sleeping pills seemed to mess with my system and gave me weird dreams, and I woke up at 8am with no tiredness at all – just a strange tingling feeling in my legs and arm at times. I was meant to go snorkelling and diving at 9am but I wasn’t going to go, until I had a conversation with Natasha and she said that as a mum, she thought that I should go. And so I did (after all, I’m only here once) and it was incredible. I would have been gutted not to have been. There were three snorkelling stops on the boat, the first had a lot of fish. The colours were amazing: I saw almost the whole Finding Nemo cast, a shoal of bright blue fish and a gorgeous spotted turquoise and grey fish. Some of them were huge! We also had a stop to look at some starfish – which were also a lot bigger than I expected – and then we went through a channel of coral reefs. We swam across some seriously deep parts of the ocean, and it made me feel so small in comparison to the rest of the world. We finished the trip by spying some dolphins being fed, and part of their show (I am pleased to add that they are well cared for and not trapped in pools). An experience not to be missed!
After collecting my medication, which took a while, I spent the rest of the day on the beach, Skyping my parents and buying souvenirs. There was a very hilarious moment when a woman asked Lawrence and me if we wanted massages, and although we said no, they gave us one anyway, and tried to make us pay! Points for effort I suppose. Although Lawrence is my dad’s age, we were asked if we were married, which we played up to and now it’s a running joke.
Natasha, Anna and I got a water taxi (just a boat – great idea, huh?!) back to our part of the island, and made a spontaneous decision to have drinks on plastic chairs in the sea and watch the sun set. Definitely a highlight so far: I have some amazing photos to show you all when I return. The group went out for dinner at the Grill Shack, a restaurant positioned over the sea. Although the food took a while, the grilled chicken I had was great! Lawrence still managed to drop his fork in the sea though.
I went home early as I am completely exhausted – up at 6am for another day of travelling! We have decided to change the itinerary and go and stay at a hostel in Leon, Nicaragua as apparently our original plan of visiting the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, will not be safe as it is the most dangerous city in the world. Instead we get a chance to go volcano boarding the following morning: details to follow! I’m just glad that I’m fine after all of the drama last night. I will keep you all updated! We are sharing a room with a gecko tonight.