I want to die. No, let me rephrase, I want someone to kill me, I don’t think I have the strength to do it myself.
It was 9 AM on Friday morning. I had to be checked out of the hostel in an hour and on a train to Katoomba that afternoon. But ever since 5, my condition had been crashing. It started with a little roughness in the throat and some early congestion. I countered with an orange juice bought from the Kebab shop next door. But by 7:30 I had muscle and joint pain, my head hurt and I was running a little hot. By 9, I could barely move.
Finally, I came up with enough strength to get up, and then immediately regretted it. I was sore. Like I had just run a marathon. I shuffled around the dorm, packing up my things. When I put my pack on, it was the first time I doubted I’d be able to make it to the train station, let alone the door 4 feet away. But I wasn’t going to let a silly debillitating illness stop me. Plus, the mountain air would probably be good for me, or at least that’s the medical advice they keep giving in 19-century literature.
After checking out I locked my things in storage and went up to the kitchen. I made myself some lunch, then lay down on a couch and tried to sleep. One and a half hours later I wasn’t feeling any better, so I just headed for the station. My forehead had gone from warm to a raging inferno.
Fortunately I got there just before a train left, so there wasn’t much time wasted waiting. Although, even sitting in the seat was a strain for me, and I couldn’t find a position that didn’t make some muscle or joint scream with agony. Two hours laterI arrived in Katoomba and I started on the trek to the hostel. The check-in process was brutal, as their computer system had messed up and they had me down for two nights starting the next day. They corrected the mistake and showed me to my room. I immediately passed out for a couple hours. One of the other travellers told me there’s a pharmacy up the hill, so I walked up and purchased some cold/flu medication. I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, since medication rarely works for me, but I started feeling better almost immediately. In a couple hours, the fever was gone and so too was most of the headache. I hung around the hostel and chatted with Doreen, a German who had been traveling for nearly a year, and was trying to extend her Working Holidy Visa for another year.
That night I popped a couple more pills and went to bed, confident that, contrary to my earlier fears, I’d actually be well enough in the morning to do some hiking. Stay tuned for the Prince Henry Cliff Walk.