Today was ‘Mission Day’. Our mission was to get the nearest city for a blood test, to see if I had fully recovered from my stomach illness.
Previous blood test results, showing my many contaminations.
Unfortunately, there were a few things standing in our way.
The first problem – The nearest city of Chetumal is 4-hours away. Thankfully a neighbour was giving us a lift there, so that was easily sorted.
The second problem – The neighbour couldn’t give us a lift back and we needed to get back to our housesit before nightfall, to keep watch over our new home in the jungle.
Confident things would work out fine; we took a leap of faith. We would get home somehow.
A rude awakening
Things didn’t start too well…
When you’re woken up for the second night in a row by a mouse defecating in your kitchen, there is something in the back of your mind that tells you this isn’t going to be your day.
Only a matter of hours after posting about how wonderful it was in paradise, we discovered we had a mouse living in our bodega. After trapping the mouse and a thorough deep clean of the kitchen we thought we were done.
The next night we discovered the mouse had friends, and they had decided our kitchen was their own personal snack bar and toilet. It’s unbelievable how such a small creature can make such a big mess. I have never seen so many tiny poos.
At 2am we began a 2-hour clean up. I disinfected, Rob uninstalled the oven where they had made their smelly nest. This time they would definitely be evicted.
Drama over, we looked at the clock only to discover that in 40 minutes our alarm was due to go off. Any plans of sleep were abandoned; it was going to be a very long day ahead.
Whilst eating breakfast, Rob stopped to tell me something. I knew it must be important; he never pauses when food is in front of him.
He said, “We’re both going to be tired and grumpy today Jones (that’s me) and we have a lot of travelling to do. You and me are a team, no getting snappy with each other. Lets get through this together.”
We find a pep talk can be the difference between a major row and a thoroughly pleasant day. Hopefully this one would work…
The journey begins
At 5.30am our lift arrived and we began the 4-hours of fun to Chetumal. For the first hour we headed along a bumpy road, which has more craters than the moon, towards the small town of Mahahaul.
We stopped at a mechanics. We’ve not had any transport since arriving here and the car we can use, whilst housesitting, was finally ready to pick up from the garage.
We’d clearly just woken the mechanic up, as he emerged from his house topless and rubbing his eyes. After much a apologising from us for disturbing him from his slumber, he handed over the car. The first mission of the day was a success. Transport sorted.
Unfortunately despite the car being fixed, there was no way it was capable of such a long journey, so we paid the mechanic and left it to pick up at a later time, continuing on with our neighbour.
The blood test
Suprisingly the 4-hour trek to Chetumal seemed to fly by and we were soon on to our main mission of the day – the dreaded blood test.
Check out the needle! (A prop on the doctors desk thankfully) The blood test was so quick and only cost about £15 – Clinica Carranza
Armed with the previous tests results and the Spanish word for ‘repeat’ we visited a clinic. Within minutes I was having my blood taken again and told to come back for the results in 2-hours time. This was too easy! Second mission of the day a success.
With a couple hours to kill, there was only one thing to do. Eat!!
Over lunch, despite our droopy eyelids and sleep deprived brains, we hatched a plan to get back to our housesit.
The plan involved catching a bus, hitchhiking and picking up our freshly repaired car in Mahahaul. It required the kindness of a stranger, but everything else seemed to be going our way, why shouldn’t that?
Heading back to get my test results, I was feeling quite anxious. At this point I was beyond tired of being ill. We’ve been in Mexico for 7 weeks now and so far I’ve managed 10 days of not being sick.
I started to get the feeling that there was something seriously wrong. Although I felt better, there were still bouts of nausea. I needed the results to come back negative, to know for certain that I was in the clear.
Insert drum roll here…
The results all came out negative! I can’t tell you what a relief it was to see that the horrible bacteria has gone from my body. I am officially no longer diseased!!
I now had a real spring in my step. The day just kept getting better and better. I felt like a female version of the Fonz, need a jukebox fixing? A nudge of the elbow and I’ll sort it for you.
And so the journey home began. Rob wandered off in search of an ATM. I sat people watching in the bus station. Every now and again someone would try to sell me something, I was offered food, drink, knives and vitamins. Imagine if I’d sat there all day, I would have a massive array of household items!
Despite my lack Spanish, one of the things I about travelling is the short interactions I have with local people. This usually involves a few words in the local lingo and a lot of gestures and miming, but it’s always fun and rewarding.
Whilst sitting waiting for our bus, a cute little boy came and sat next to me. He had big brown eyes, a dirty little face and not a single ounce of shyness. In Spanish he asked me my name and from there the conversation flowed for the next 5 minutes.
We chatted about our ages, where we came from. Simple things, but this bright-eyed little chap made my day.
Then he was on his way again. He had to head on for the more pressing matters in a 6 year olds life; friends to play with and bubbles to blow.
The day we were dreading, was filling me with happiness.
All was running smoothly. We got on our bus to the town of Limones and within ten minute of departing it, we were in the back of a kind strangers pick up truck heading to Mahahaul and the Holy Grail, which in this case was our car.
Warning! Hitchhiking in the back of a truck is bad for your hair.
On the road to Mahahual there is a military checkpoint. Despite their huge guns and intimidating uniforms the soldiers are incredibly nice people, always greeting us with huge smiles.
Mainly they seem bored and in desperate need of entertainment and company. They couldn’t give a monkeys about us being in the back of a strangers pick up truck, sandwiched precariously in between the side of the truck and a huge fridge freezer.
We exchanged names, ages and our marital status with Umberto the soldier. He taught us lots of new Spanish words, none of which I can remember now, but mainly he continued the positive feelings we were getting from the day.
Once in Mahahual, we bid farewell to the kind strangers and picked up our car. Food again became our priority. Having recently been told about a place that does fish and chips we had to give it a go. It’s our national dish after all. It didn’t disappoint. The fish was so fresh and the batter was remarkable. I still drool when I think about it now.
Our final feat was to head back up the bumpy potholed road, keeping our dinner in our stomachs. With this successfully achieved, and having been awake for 17 hours and on the road for 13, we collapsed in to our bed before falling soundly asleep by 9pm.
After a bad start to the day, we were both of the opinion that it would be a massive struggle trying to get things done whilst fighting off tiredness. But despite this everything just fell into place. It was an adventure, with friendly people, great food and peace of mind. A negative became positive in more ways than one.
What could have been day full of stress and grumpy exchanges, turned out to be a day we both really enjoyed. Sometimes you get a weird feeling that the world is on your side.