Monday, January 4, 2010

Ushuaia convalescence...

Thursday 17 December – January 5, Ushuaia

Ok, let’s hope I am not tempting fate here by fixing Jan 5 as the departure date, given I’m writing this on the 3rd! By Tuesday I will have been here for nearly three weeks, here being the Hotel Lennox in Ushuaia. On arrival back in December I was taken straight to the hospital where x-rays confirmed two hairline fractures of my pelvis. The doctors recommended complete rest and accordingly I checked into this hotel to begin my convalescence.

I wasn’t expecting to be here for so long: initially I understood there was a stretcher service between Ushuaia and Buenos Aires which would have allowed me to travel much earlier. However, it turned out there wasn’t and I was obliged to spend at least 10 days here to recover sufficiently to allow me to travel in a normal seat – even on business class. And then the doctors here decided that my recuperation time should not include the week on the boat because they couldn’t assess the degree to which I had had proper rest.

So I had to pretty much stay in bed until new year’s eve when I was finally allowed to get up and gingerly walk around with one of those zimmer frames! Looks great

But the time here has been ok. I have been fortunate that a lot of people stayed on in Ushuaia for a few days and then one person from the boat, Frida, is still here as she is looking for work. The first few days it felt like there was a revolving door at Room 109 as people popped in on a regular basis. Picnics were organised on two consecutive days over the weekend and all was looking good! By the first Monday, however, most had departed and only Frida and Kelvin remained. Kelvin was busy organising the next part of his trip from Antarctic to the Artic – see for the details – but he took time to film my final thoughts for the documentary of the trip he is making: I’m looking forward to seeing the results!! Frida has stayed on here, looking for a job as she seeks to complete the next phase of her world cycling tour – she has already cycled from Switzerland to here, one of the reasons why she is know as “chica loca”.

Although there are many other reasons! She has been great company and has come up with good ideas to keep me entertained, ranging from bringing the 10 year old son of the Argentine family she was staying with to play Nintendo games, to introducing me to a fellow sailor she met, Georgia, with whom we enjoyed a few home-cooked meals!

And the most important person here has been Hugo, the nurse who has been coming in to see me three times a day. He has done a great job and I have enjoyed chatting to him in Spanish, mimicking a Northern Argentine accent (he is from Salta) and learning about his job and studies here: he works nights in the intensive care unit of the hospital and is studying to become a biology teacher.

I’m sure he will do a top job! He also keeps fish, rather more successfully than some of my efforts! As he recently bought tropical fish, I bought him a penguin to go in the tank and he named, after some persistent lobbying, two of the new fishes after “paciente ingles” and “chica loca”. Poor fish will be traumatized.

Christmas Day was fun in Hotel Lennox: no changes were made to the menu (which is one of the most limited you could imagine) but Frida and I enjoyed Christmas Argentine lunch and some good wine and champagne, and whiskeys – although how we ordered the spirits is still a mystery to me!

New Year’s Eve saw me getting up for the first time and enjoying some of Hugo’s home-made empanadas which were fantastic. And champagne, naturally the two go together. And the last few days have seen me walking a bit further each day, up to the hotel restaurant with view of the Beagle Channel and last night walking around the block to a restaurant by the port!

Tuesday I fly home to complete my recuperation. All in all, an extraordinary trip to Antarctica and lots of fantastic memories, even with a busted pelvis, as I hope the blog conveys! Adios from Ushuaia and the fin del mundo!

1 comment:

  1. This was fun to read, and sounds like an amazing trip. Shame about the ending, but I hope it doesn't put you off future trips? Maybe it'll just put you off dancing...