General day-to-day goings on:
Life traveling with Contiki leaves me with a constant smile. We have mostly kiwis and Aussies on tour, with 2 Americans, 4 Canadians and Wilandri and I representing SA.
Everyone likes listening to us talk about SA, and they love hearing us speak Afrikaans, which we’ve been doing a lot. Someone asked me if I have a slave at home. I nearly died. He got it mixed up with a maid/domestic worker. People can’t believe that Wilandri and I have got domestic workers who come in and get paid to clean our homes.
I joined a tour that had already been traveling together for about 25 days, but they’re such a great bunch. Wilandri and I are now aces at setting up our tents and blowing up our mattresses. She pumps while I hammer in the pegs, we’ve got a whole system happening.
Our tour leader, Evan, is a great Aus guy. He’s hilariously funny, knows all the cities inside out and is so on the ball. Our Portuguese driver, Felipe, is an absolute champion! He navigates unbelievably busy roads and Croatian cliffs as if he were driving a mini, and not a massive bus. Our on-the-road cook is Keish! What a doll!! She makes incredible food – pancakes, French toast, bacon, flapjacks for breakfasts… Steak, curries, pastas for dinner… And she always makes sure that we have 2 courses with dinner, so either she’ll add a starter (last night we had Parma ham and cream cheese bruschetta) or a dessert – cakes, custards, traditional desserts from the country we’re in… We eat so well!
On travel days we’re on the bus for about 6/7 hours at a time. (That’s not counting about two 45 min breaks, which makes it even longer.) but it’s really chilled… I read/write/attempt to sleep without drooling on myself, which is next to impossible with my head rolling around.
Contiki cough. It’s real. It should be written into medical journals as a legitimate sickness, simply because it’s not one specific illness, but rather a conglomerate of chest infections, laryngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis and tonsillitis… We could call it contikitis.
I caught it in about Macedonia, about 1 week in. It started with a sniffly nose and a sore throat. I’ve been taking vit.C, zinc and an immune booster everyday, twice a day since I got here, but it hasn’t stopped contikitis from setting in. My voice went croaky on day 2 in Dubrovnik. It went away completely on day 3. And by the the time I woke up to leave on the last morning, I had a full blown chest infection (But still no voice, FML). We happen to have 3 nurses on our trip, so they’ve been helping everyone with which medication to take… Even though they’re sick themselves.