So if you didn't get it from the title, yes I broke a bone. I really broke a bone as you will see below. How do you ask? What feat of danger was I up to? What extreme sport? Well I was bird watching on a boat... yes. 100% true. But slightly more extreme than just slipping ohhh yes. So the boat we were on was not really made for the open sea and we got caught in very choppy waters as we went out onto the Atlantic and the boat was leaping around all over the shop then suddenly out of no where the boat fell down the side of a wave. Yes, fell down I think I remember free falling, maybe... maybe not, but a friend of mine described it as "Like really bad turbulence but on a boat" and a Dominica friend of mine swore he though we were going to capsize and "in one breath asked God to forgive me for all my sins" so yeah not as simple as a slip and fall on a boat. So after the water receded after the fall I was on the deck trying to move my left arm, it was not moving. Then I looked down and saw the huge bulge in my arm and a limp left arm. To which I said "Ohh f**k, my arms broken" then one of the very nice but utterly dim witted crew members said "Oh is it?" I still think to this day (one month later) he though my fore arm was broken. You'll see from the X-Ray below how obvious it is it was my upper arm. The sling they then made for me was utterly woeful, but I found it hilarious at the time (I was for some reason in no pain, and I was never in any real pain the whole time) he essentially loosely wrapped a towel over my arm and tried to splint my forearm with a flip flop... bless him for trying but seriously. I just ended up supporting my arm with my other arm. So I got picked up at the dock by a van which was apparently the ambulance and bounced through town to A&E only to be told the X-Ray machine was broken so back I went through town to the private X-Ray machine and back to A&E I went where my arm was put in a proper sling, I was stripped and given morphine (bum cheek injection) and off I went to the ward to wait for my insurance to talk to me and for me to decide how I want to continue. So a few days later I met a Cuban consultant Orthopedic surgeon (Dr Julian De Armas0 who told me about a very nice German Steel plate he could fit for me. I weighed it up, spoke to the insurance company who agreed to pay and then signed my life away and on the 25th I went in for surgery and woke up a few hours later as a Cyborg. The first thing I checked was that my arm was still there then I checked my legs were both still there. Why my legs you ask? Well in the first 3 days of being in hospital I had seen 3 guys loose a leg each so I was a ittle worried they seem to love amputation in Dominica,
It was a rather painless experience in the hospital if I am honest, the night nurses were similar to the Gestapo but I got by. I had so many local visitors I didn't know what to do with them all and the manager of the Mountain Chicken Project visited me twice a day with food made by his wife so I was very well taken care of. You really know who your friends are (or not) when you are in hospital. So if any of you who visited me in hospital are reading this, thank you very much! Greatly appreciated.
I will give an update in a few weeks as to how the arm is healing.
So my newly discovered Volcanologist friend Dr Rob Watt asked me along to do section 1 of the Waitukubuli Trail (I know no real order to how I finish) so I decided why not, 2 people is fine! And on an island which is like 75% volcano I am bound to learn something right? Section one starts with a very steep hike upwards (avoiding a landslide) but then it opens up onto an old french plantation which is very picturesque! With a great view down onto Scotts Head. En route I also managed to learn a lot about the local volcanoes including the most recent eruption of Morne Potate 500 years ago. A relatively short and sweet little hike, but another one knocked off the list!
Well for some reason I decided I would go on a guided hike with other people... for part of hike fest 2016. Now normally I hike alone, because I enjoy my own pace and I don't get lost. Guides here talk absolute bollocks most of the time so I really don't care to pay for their services and yeah this hike only steeled my determination to never do a large scale group hike again. 1 minute in I was already irritated after the woman behind repeatedly told me to be careful after I had 3 minor slips of approx 1cm. So I quickly sped up to get rid of her and when I did I found myself in between two groups. A bit more positioning and I managed to get to the point where I was not in sight or sound range of the group behind or in front of me, then I started enjoying myself! Section 14 of the Waitukubuli Trail was the trail for this hike of hike fest. The weakest of the sections so far, it was mostly road. But it does go via Toucari Bay which is very pretty! It also stops at Cabrits National Park the site of the old fort (see my December posts), I finished the "5 hour" hike in about 2 so decided I would walk around the old fort area to kill some time to let the slow group catch up. So I visited the western garrison and the old officers quarters before heading down to the bus. While waiting for the bus I did actually manage to socialize with a couple of fellow hikers. Rob a British Volcanologist and Avinash an Indian Born, American Peace Corp Volunteer, so somewhat of a mixed trio but we became friends on the return bus journey. But yeah, no large scale hiking for me again! I did get a nice t-shirt however!
So I always wanted to be David Attenborough as a child but after dealing with film crews I have decided I don't have the patience for it! But it is a very useful tool for sharing information so when a German film crew came to the island and asked to film the Mountain Chickens and the project. I jumped at the chance to help them out. Took a few nights to get all the footage we needed and several takes for us to do a walking sequence... but seems like we have some good footage. Hopefully we will get to see it as soon as possible! On the main night of filming we were also able to find two new frogs! Now named Dunja (after the camera woman) and Florian after the director.