I had hoped I might at least acquire some superpowers, or a glow in the dark party trick as a consequence of being irradiated at a dodgy-looking backstreet x-ray clinic, one situated somewhat ominously next to a funeral parlour…. I looked at the label on the machine as the radiographer tried to get me into just the right position for a chest x-ray. “Korea – 2011” it said so no such luck. Probably just as well.
Yesterday I enjoyed the excellent company of a German chap passing through on his bike enroute to Patagonia. Conversations and time over coffee lifted my spirits immensely but this morning as I write I feel quite different. I try not to write introspectively and make this blog one long self-absorbed ramble, but it is also a good place for putting some of the thoughts that are troubling me outside of myself and in that respect can be quite therapeutic.
A few days ago I found a very good health clinic and saw a super doc very quickly for just 50 soles (£11). He sent me off for x-rays and also a sputum test. Happily I have no deep seated infection lingering but I do have bronchitis, likely from the flight from the UK, with the additional complication that, probably as a consequence of what happened last year, I have a narrowing of my bronchial tubes that is causing the shortness of breath and excess mucus. It’s to do with being asthmatic, the spasm happened and hasn’t ever really resolved. I have a steroidal drug (eye-wateringly expensive without health service subsidies to manufacturer pricing) to take for a month that hopefully will help. As I write there is one seat left on the BA flight from Lima to the UK next Wednesday and I have a feeling I’m going to book it. The longer I stay here not knowing what to do, while still feeling a bit rubbish, the lower my morale sinks and the more tired and depressed I become. I rested 3 weeks last year and that didn’t work out. I have no reason to think this year would be any different. Being asthmatic does make chest infections more problematic and riding at altitude makes any ailment 20x worse, I need to be 100% fit to ride here and I’m scared of doing some long-lasting damage. I’ve learned that when I feel like this the best thing to do is take positive action and move on. Buying that flight feels like the most sensible option. I will return home, get fit, and move some of my plans for Spain and/or Greece for next year to this autumn and hope to be able to return and close this chapter of the Andes some time in the future. A possibility that feels more remote should I push on prematurely. I have way more work to do than I wanted this summer, a consequence of difficult to contain scope growth on projects this past few months, so I can clear my desk and make the autumn a proper holiday. I feel quite upset but deep inside I feel it is the best way forward. Summer in Cornwall will be OK… friends, bikes, kayaks etc.
In the meantime, as usual… pictures!