Oh, My Aching Back


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April 16th 2022
Published: April 16th 2022
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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Cartagena, Spain



Woke up rested this morning – finally. Only to have my back go into SPASM just after getting out of the shower. You know that feeling when every muscle in your back pulls you down all at once. SO UNCOMFORTABLE! That feeling that every breath is a struggle and moving is next to impossible. Oh, this is going to be an interesting day. RATS!

SO with some effort and one of the thermal pads I had left from Naples, FL – we took on the day. First stop – a pharmacy to see what we can get to relax the muscles in my back. If possible the ULTIMATE relief will come from ROBAXIN – which one cannot get in the USA without a prescription, but can get in Canada over the counter. We shall TRY to see if we can get OTC here in Spain.

The employees of the pharmacy couldn’t have been more accommodating nor helpful. With a few pantomimes, Italian/Spanish and such we got some wonderful results. They HAVE Robaxin!! Now – how much for how many pills. May I remind you – it is NOT available OTC in the US, but is almost ANYWHERE else in the world (by which I mean Spain & Canada) – she rings it up for us. 1.7 Euro for 20 500MG pills. This comes to a WHOPPING $1.84. Christopher was dumbfounded. Please, what was the amount? !.7 Euro, she said once gain. We BOTH began to laugh. This would be at LEAST $40 in the US for a PRESCRIPTION of the exact same formula. Who says BIG PHARMA doesn’t control the USA????? The pills really do help and are a significant relief for my aching back.

Now, Cartagena – GORGEOUS!

So unexpected. So beautiful. So unique. So spectacular.

After our foray with the pharmacy, we did the usual…wander. Our first encounter was with, of all things, a Roman Centurion March. YES, you read that right. A “legion” of “Roman” musicians marching to what one may guess as a traditional “march” marched their way through town. Perhaps this had something to do with Holy Week, or perhaps the history of Cartagena (which has a DEEP Roman history). Unsure – but we found it both entertaining and historic – so we’ll go with that.

We wandered down a few different streets – also keeping our eyes peeled for a Massimo Dutti (without any luck – I might add). We were quite taken in by the piazzas and charming nature of Cartagena. Once again – no expectations but wildly pleased by what we saw.

One aspect of the city we noticed was the plethora of building edifices which are held up by scaffolding and or bracing of some kind. Earthquake damage, perhaps? Unclear. There are QUITE a few buildings with this bracing and also a lot of empty lots scattered throughout the city. My guess…there MUST have been an earthquake – OR – some developer had BIG plans and ran out of money. Either way, a blight on the otherwise beautiful city. Some of the Baroque era architecture still stands in all its glory and is just that – GLORIOUS.

The weather today is mixed – it looks like rain but is warm. The clouds off in the distance look QUITE threatening, so we must be wise. We managed to walk about 4.5 miles today (even with my aching back) all over the city. One cannot get lost in Cartagena. I Promise you. If you have a chance to visit – I suggest you do so. Perhaps even invest in a vacant lot or supported building…if we had the capital to do so, I think we would. What a beautiful little port town.

It's starting to rain, so we went back to the ship just before the downpour hit – which occurred while we were having lunch. A simple slice of pizza and we’re done for the afternoon. The deluge of rain is QUITE impressive.

The ship has left Spain for the last time this voyage. I’m a little sad. This has been a glorious experience seeing so much of Spain (including the Canary Islands – HUGE surprise). Tomorrow we shall be at sea all day before we end the cruise in Civitavecchia.

Dinner tonight is in the GDR. We both order the Beef Wellington, and I make the HUGE mistake of saying this is my first Wellington…. Christopher reminds me that he’s made it before a few times. So I correct myself by saying…” BUT…it’s the first time I’ve ever ordered it in a restaurant” – Good save…no? I thought so too!

Tomorrow – a day at sea.

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