Holy Smokes it’s Getting Close

25 days to go:

So this week is flying by, I just don’t know what is happening. I am incredibly busy at work for starters which certainly moves things along a pace, but time just seems to be running out.

So several things happened as far as momentum for the trip is concerned:

1. I went and bought a boatload of supplies for the trip. All the boring stuff like mossie spray, Savlon, lip salve, plasters, immodium, ibuprofen, vaseline (for chafing, in case you are curious:)) etc etc. My backpack will probably end up weighing (and costing as much as half of your average Boots The Chemists. Anyways, I am more or less done with that stuff, but thought it pays to get it so save last minute panics etc. I still need a lot of other things, but shall save that for the next post.

2. I went and got the first of my vaccinations. So here is an area that I knew nothing about, and so this might help someone if they are reading this and don’t know what they need. I knew nothing of course. I rang my local GP’s surgery and said that I need some vaccinations for Tanzania, and so was given an appointment to see the nurse, and was that I would need a Yellow Fever jab, and was told that it would be £50 for the privilege. Bargain, not.

Anyway, I turn up at the surgery and when called into the nurses office I am asked if I have filled my form in. I say “what form?” and the nurse says “the one that tells us where you are going to“, and I say “I ain’t see no form though” (in my best Catherine Tate voice), and she says “but you should have been asked to fill it in before you came to see me“, and I say “but I ain’t see no form though“, or words to that effect, etc.. So before one of us died, she said to me, very profoundly “look, I only have ten minutes!”, but before I could say “charmed I’m sure”, she had looked up on her screen what was needed (which after all could have cut out at least a minute of her precious ten if she’d just got on with it in the first place). So she said that I needed Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Diptheria, Tetanus and Yellow Fever, and also a course of anti-malarials. Oh yes, and rabies. Rabies! I thought they gave that to dogs, and ferrets and the like! Anyway, I then said “ahh, I think you’ll find that I have had jabs for Hep A, and typhoid and the like with in the last few years, so I won’t be needing those”. She was quicker than me though, and before I got to the end of said sentence she had told me that each of those boosters only lasted three years, and that mine ran out last year.

So before I knew it I had been injected for Hep A, Typhoid, Tetanus and Diptheria, I think. She told me that they couldn’t do Yellow Fever at the same time, so I would have to come back. She then asked me all sorts of questions about whether if I was bitten by a rabid animal whether I would be able to get emergency treatment within 24 hours. Tempted to say “how the flippin’ heck should I know”, but didn’t, so just said “yes” as it seemed easiest.

She then said that I would have to come back for Yellow Fever, and promptly got a vaccine out of the fridge and wrote my name on it. “Make sure you come back mind” she said cheerily as I left. You have to have Yellow Fever jab as close to ten days before you travel as you can apparently. That nay or may not be a complete load of utter bollocks, but it is the best advice on Yellow Fever that the Woodlands Medical Practice in Didcot has to offer, so I’ll take it for now, even if they do charge me £50 for the privliege. Oh and the anti-malarials are £100 apparently, which I can only imagine is at least better than catching malaria.

Am I waffling on? Sorry.


3. I got some more donations, which was great. Thanks to Dan, and David from work, and Bowder from Avforums. Dan my son put a post up to ask people and so we got £20 for the charity, and every little helps as they say. Am up to £130 I believe.

4. I have done some more training. Ah yes Body Pump again. I love it. I actually thought this time would be easier. I had been to the gym for 90 minutes the previous day, my fitness levels are up, and although it is at the spectacularly stupid time of 9.30am on a Sunday, I thought it would be easier this time, Wrong! It is just plain torture. There was a male instructor this time, and he just wanted to make people hurt. I mean when you have lifted ninety times your own body weight for an hour to music, slowly and painfully, why does he then at the end have you down “giving him 20” pushups, and then doing a raised plank, with rocking motion? Bastard, I hate him. When this is all over I will have a word with him about all this. I may not even send him a Christmas card at this rate.

5. Trained some more. Got to. 25 days to go. Help! It is now Wednesday night, 25 days to go, and I ache from a hard gym session where I pushed myself to do more incline, more speed, more weight, more repetition on every piece of equipment, than I have done before. Succeeded too, and am now hurting for it.

So I had an email today from a friend who said something like “do you think that in some bizarre way you will be going to Kilimanjaro for a break or a rest?”. The answer is that from work, yes, it will be a time of soul searching and self-exploration I am sure, and that will be refreshing. But as far as effort is concerned, I have no doubt still that what I face will be the hardest physical activity of my life. I suspect very much that in a month’s time I will be saying that that is a severe understatement. I hope not, but all I can do is be as ready as I can be.

As I have been writing this, the clock has just turned midnight. That’ll be 24 days to go then. Gulp!

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