Monday, March 27, 2006

Rocks, farewell, country, beautiful things, poison and medical care.

1. The shattered mountains and jaggy ridges on the way from Citrusdal to Stellenbosh.

2. The owner of Citrusdal saying goodbye to us. He told Anne that we were a lovely group.
3. Darren’s county faces. You can name an English county and he will have a face for it. Pictured are Cornwall and Buckinghamshire.
4. For our first farewell dinner, Elaine had the idea of going round the table with each person saying what their beautiful thing for the trip was.

5. Cream soda in Stellenbosh is bright green. We drank it with cane -- the local rum. This is called a green mamba.

6. I have broken my face. Rosey says I toppled forward and didn’t even put my hands out to stop myself, so the edge of the pool terrace did for me. It didn’t hurt a bit, and it made me giggle. My first inkling that something serious had happened was when Claire said she had been cut ‘just as badly and now you can’t even see my scar’ but refusing to let me see -- or touch -- my face. It was that and the blood on Darren and Craig. I pretended I needed a wee and went and had a look anyway. There were two gaping cuts, one right on the bridge of my nose and the other running under my left eye, and it still seemed funny.

Gill and Claire cleaned me up while Craig held my hand. Anne was woken up and she drove me, Rosey, Wayne, Claire and Gill and a random hostel employee who happened to be passing to the medical centre.

All the way Rosey kept saying: ‘Stop laughing. Stop laughing now.’ That made me laugh more.

The emergency room people were so kind and said they didn’t mind a bit having a herd of drunken overlanders running about. They refused to sew me up and made me wait overnight for the plastic surgeon: ‘You’re a beautiful girl and it’s not worth risking your face,’ the nurse said.

Claire, who is an NHSer at home, went and got more information. ‘The nurses say he’s very good, and I think he’s a bit of a dish.’ Which, really, is all you need to know when choosing a surgeon.

‘You could have seen him right away if you’d done this at 9.30 tomorrow morning,’ said the doctor.

‘I’d never have fallen over drunk at 9.00 on Monday morning,’ I shot back. Actually, it probably came out as ‘Tee hee hee hee ver ver drunk.’

Anne had not been able to wait, as the hostel man needed to go back and see the police -- we’d been burgled earlier in the evening. So the medical centre director told one of the nurses to drive the gang back to the hostel.

Stellenbosh, South Africa