S American healthcare system
Trip Start Mar 17, 2008
33Trip End Jun 08, 2008
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Anyway, the first full day in San Rafael we spent exploring the Jean Rivier and La Abeja bodegas. The first was very impressive with some export quality vino tinto and vino blanco - we toured the entire place and the wine making process was explained (in Spanish with GB doing a fabulous job at translation for me) - from taking delivery of the grapes, through to barreling, back to large concrete casks and finally to bottling
The Abeja tour was rubbish (mainly because the guy spoke at 100 miles an hour and left no time for GB to translate); so we scoffed the free samples and cleared off back to the hotel to chill. A good start to our stay, went rapidly downhill when GB's disco nap that afternoon resulted in her waking feeling dreadful; so I was left to fend for myself and dispatched to find some food for us both. After an hour I had managed to secure a take out pizza, a large bottle of beer for me, and a ropey old sandwich and yoghurt drink for GB. We had an early night hoping for improved health next morning....
Next morning did not bring good health but a very rude awakening. I heard something go "bump" and switched on the bedside light to discover it was GB who had walked into the bathroom door. "Are you ok" I said, to which there was no reply. Next thing GB says "can you switch on the light because I can't see anything"
Another cab back to the hotel, a mouthful of breakfast for me and another cab to the private medical clinic that was recommended to us by the hotel. What a bloody farce that was. 90 minutes we were in there, half a dozen calls to the UK to try and get them to fax over confirmation that we were insured (the clinic receptionist refused to even book us in until she had the fax and unhelpfully gave us a fax number of 433333; no area code, no country code; this woman was straight from the Gestapo book of doctors receptionists [mum you would have gone mad]). Anyway, the fax wouldn't work, email seemed a foreign concept and eventually in desperation we decided to see if we could buy some antibiotics over the counter at the pharmacy opposite
GB spent the rest of that day in bed sleeping and I used the time effectively and went on another bodega tour (!). By the evening, GB was seemingly on the mend and we had a picnic in our room; wild smoked cured boar, salami, cheese, bread and a glass or two of an awful local Cabernet Sauvignon I picked up en route back (and agua sin gas for the wife).
Next morning brought further distress in that the tablets didn't seem to be working (although working their way through her intestines at lightning speed) but GB had to drag herself out of bed and to the bus station for our return to Mendoza. That went off ok, and back at Hostel Lao we collected our thoughts before heading to the nearest pharmacy for yet more (and different) antibiotics. I casually dropped into the conversation that it was only 24 hours since the first one was taken and GB decided to give it another 24 hours
Following day, GB was making further strides to recovery - I must point out at this point that throughout the entire process she did not complain once; instead was concerned that she was wrecking our holiday. So selfless, she is incredible. Anyway, we boarded an early bus to Santiago; and watched two great films, "Fracture" and "I am Legend". No annoying 6 year olds using the seat as a punch bag on this journey - just an elderly lady with a mega dose of flatulence and a supersonic snoring issue.
And so it was we arrived back in Santiago, GB on the mend, RJP miraculously germ free; both ready to resume our trip of Chilean discovery. Santiago promises much; expectations are again high; watch out for the next instalment of our South American adventure..... I hope you're enjoying the updates.
ps - I can report that GB has made a full recovery!! Photos will be forthcoming of the last couple of weeks asap.