Saturday, November 7, 2015

Rip-off Rock

Got up early this morning (4.00AM) to go and have a balloon flight over the McDonnell Ranges. We got picked up at the front of our hostel, and drove to pick up some more people after which we proceeded to a field close to the airport. Our balloon hadn't been blown up yet, as the pilot and crew were not to sure about the wind. It was a bit strong so they sent up a dummy and waited for another ten minutes to see if it would die down and we could carry on as planned. As the wind didn't die down, the flight was cancelled and we found ourselves back at the hostel earlier than planned.
Mum and me then proceeded to pack up for our journey to the Uluru/Kata Tjuja National Park, filled up the car with fuel and bought a few supplies for the journey. Then we set of for the hour long drive to the National Park. In total it would be somewhere between 500 and 600km, in Australian terms a short distance. We switched drivers a few times on the way there. In Erldunda we turned of the Stuart highway to carry on towards Yulara on the Lasseter highway. At this point my stomach started felling a bit weird, but nothing remotely bad. In Mt. Ebenezer we had some lunch and picked up a French guy who needed a journey to Yulara airport. We wondered how he had ended up there and it turned out he had lived in Kulgera for the last five months working as a chef in the roadhouse. Never cooked before that, but he seemed to have gotten used to it. He was on his way towards Melbourne to drive along the Great Ocean Road and then carry on to Tasmania. He himself came from Stra├čburg, so not that far from Germany actually. At some point along there my stomach really started playing up. It most likely didn't like the greasy chicken and chips I had for lunch. After we dropped Max (yes, same name as me) off in centre Yulara, we carried on to the camp site and mum organised a stay for two night (72$, for two night on an un-powered camp site?!) whilst I visited the toilets.
 Went and built up the tent after that and I had to go on the toilet again. At that point I realised something was very wrong. My body started tingling from the hands and feet up (like when they fall asleep) and I just managed to get back to the car and tell mum to drive me to the medical centre (luckily she had noticed it when we were driving in) before my whole body cramped up. As it was Saturday the medical centre was closed and after ringing and discussing money business over the phone, mum finally got a nurse to come. In the meantime I had managed to drop out of the car and lie down on the floor. Muscles everywhere were cramping up even worse, couldn't move my hands anymore and to top everything off my shoulder managed to drop out as well. At that point I didn't care anymore and just started screaming out (never had that pain before). In the end the nurse came, but I was starting to feel better before then (probably due to me throwing up). It turned out I had most likely contracted some type of virus which had sucked my stomach dry, thus resulting in near worst case dehydration. The nurse did a lot of check ups, told me what was wrong and put me on a drip for about an hour. She had just been in the process of packing for a holiday and said that dehydration was something they normally encountered around here, especially during summer. Due to me having the virus she recommended having a separate room for the night in an air conditioned climate. As it was for medical reasons we got a discount, but still had to pay 205$, for one night. I just went to bed, had as much to drink as I could and tried to get to sleep.

Track of the journey at GPSies.  

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