Friday, February 20, 2009

What's Up, Doc?

I have spent each of the last 4 mornings charging round the river walk/rail trail circuit I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. The first morning I was accompanied by Gay. We thought her chest infection had cleared up, as mine has. A week ago in the Catlins, she managed the 20 kms Kaka Point to Nugget Point and return trip several days on the trot. Last week we did the shorter Skyline Walk at Oamaru together each morning. But it became clear on Tuesday morning that she has had a relapse, clearly struggling to get round the 25 kms circuit she was having for breakfast last year. Back home the almost whooping-cough returned, and the heavy limbs and fluey feeling.

So it was back to the doctor on Wednesday – her third trip to the doctor in a month. Normally, apart from the annual check-up, she barely knows the way to a doctor's surgery. This was of course yet another doctor in yet another town, Alexandra this time.

The bad news was a pulse of 93 (her beat is normally below 60), slightly high temperature and a bit of noise from the lungs. The good news was that it should clear up with lots of rest, beaucoup de liquides, no more antibiotics, in fact no medication except some paracetamol to ease the aches and pains. The pulse is already down to mid-60s, the paracetamol had a very quick effect on the aches, and I am left to walk on my own.

There was an interesting connection with our home area. Dr Williamson's son is, or has been, a member of the New Zealand cycling team. The team is based in Limoux, which is 30 kms from Puivert – I walked between the two several times last year. The good doctor has even been to Limoux to visit his son so probably had a good opportunity to compare the produce of the two wine-producing areas.

I have already mentioned that I make a point of foregoing breakfast so that I can indulge in a magnificent date scone at the Post Office cafe and restaurant in Clyde in mid-walk. Last year we kept bumping into a man who goes to the same establishment each morning with the same objective. He is Owen Healey, who lives nearby but normally goes for a pre-scone bike ride – in fact we frequently see him on the river track before we get to Clyde. Last year we became friendly and this year we have made a point of meeting him at the cafe. In her current state of health Gay has been driving there so that we could all have a bit of a chin-wag before retuning to business, which in my case means doing the rest of the walk. Owen tells us that the whole Williamson family are cycling nuts and that the young, Limoux-based, one of the species (sorry, can't remember his name at the moment) is an up-coming star, and one to watch. Remember, you read it here first.

My objective in our two weeks at Alexandra is to walk 30 kms every day, weather permitting. I should thus be able to simulate 2 weeks of the 10-week VBW, as a check on my preparedness. In fact, it was while Gay and I were doing the same thing last year, plus many other long walks in other parts of New Zealand, that I began to formulate the idea of doing an ultra-distance walk.


Anonymous said...

Does this mean we shall have found another Kiwi who might be interested in importing a case or two or three of the delicious and under-priced Blanquette de Limoux if we ever get around to it?

Vic Heaney said...

probably, Jan