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April 7, 2013 / samwilson60

Off to the doctor

We left the park still blown away by all we’d seen and slightly dizzy at the thought of dashing off to any more tourist hotspots before we’d had time to digest a little. In addition, Cat was feeling the strain of three days in the sun and two very short nights’ sleep, so we headed for Outjo, a small town not too far from Etosha, where we wanted nothing more than an early finish at a shady campsite.

It took an absolute age to find somewhere to stay – there were lots of options but to us it seemed they were all charging way over the odds. When we eventually realised that this was just the going rate in these parts, we went back to our favourite and were very happy with our choice – despite the incorrigible goats.


When Cat still wasn’t feeling right by morning, we reluctantly decided we should see if there was a doctor in town, if only to confirm it was nothing more serious than excess sun, inadequate sleep and an overload of dust before subjecting ourselves to more of the same. The doctor was absolutely adorable but agreed that, blood test pending, there was no real cause for concern. He genuinely looked more surprised than we did when he had to announce a few hours later that it was, in fact, malaria and as such probably had very little to do with the marathon hand-washing in the sun at Oppi-Koppi or the subsequent sleep deprivation and sun overload in Etosha.

It was a relief to know what was going on, and that we’d caught it early, but the prescription was a bit of a kicker: take a bag full of pills that increase your sensitivity to the sun (as if that were possible), consume no meat or fatty foods of any kind for the next three weeks and stay off the alcohol for three months! At the time it seemed a small price to pay (and in reality, it is) but once the pills started doing their job, we couldn’t help reflecting on the fact that it had to happen here – we’d just arrived in a country with zero shady vegetation and an abundance of meat and beer, with a country full of vineyards to come!

The bigger problem was the sun, though, so Cat cowered in what shade we had in Outjo for the rest of the day while Sam lovingly cleaned the dust out of every knock and cranny in the truck. The cleanliness was great while it lasted, but it lasted all of about half a day. We couldn’t hide out in Outjo for the next three weeks, so the next morning tentatively packed up and headed off to see some of the sights Namibia had to offer, armed with multiple sun hats and factor 50 sunblock.


One Comment

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  1. Peter Cullen / Apr 7 2013 12:15 pm

    How unlucky can you get!!! A bummer. Glad it was caught early.


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