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North America » United States » California » San Francisco
September 28th 2011
Published: September 30th 2011
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28th September ’11 Update
Well the car didn’t get trashed, no bears were spotted but very little sleep was had – to busy listening out for bears!!

We were up early so we could get to Yosemite as soon as possible, as it was a Sunday Howard reckoned there would be loads of people going there and parking is limited. The drive through the park to get to the actual ‘scenic yosemite’ area took a couple of hours and was beautiful, all windy road through the mountains, lots of trees and lakes with mist hanging over them, very picturesaue. We got to the parking for Bridal Falls – I had no idea Yosemite was a park of waterfalls so that was a lovely surprise, we walked up to see the waterfall and then carried on to the main parking for Vernal Falls – you had to catch the shuttle bus to get to the trailhead. We of course managed to get on the one going in the opposite direction at first (now with hindsight that was probably a sign!), hopped off and got on the right one.

We set off along the fairly flat path and then I was suddenly on the ground, my ankle having gone over first one way and then the other very quickly and accompanied by a couple of cracks!! Well after about 10 minutes of feeling intensely sick and really thirst (reminiscent of Turkey) I got hopped to a log and realised no way could I put my foot down even if I had wanted to. Fortunately we had not got too far along the trail at this point so poor old Howard dragged me back to the road and plonked me on a rock to wait for him to come back with the car – the shuttle bus refused to stop for us as we were not at the official stop!

During the course of this incident numerous people walked past us and all bar about 7 pretended I did not exist! Two nice couples came to offer help and medicine, a couple of young lads offered help and to get a park ranger and 1 american man asked if I was ok and if help was on its way. I was disgusted by the attitude of everyone else they even walked so close to my foot – which was bare and propped up on the backpack so pretty obvious something was wrong, that I had to move it back! I could not believe the ignorance or that I had suddenly become invisible!!

Anyway Howard arrived about 15 minutes later and loaded me in, at this point my ankle didn’t hurt too much as long as I didn’t put any weight on it. We had no option but to leave Yosemite (driving out we did manage to see a few more waterfalls from a distance) so no hiking, no fantastic views and most guttingly no opportunity to find out more about the Indians who had lived there.

So we drove on to Mariposa to the motel we had booked for the night, fortunately it was a smoking room as it was on the 2nd floor so I hopped and hobbled to the lift and along the corridor and with great relief got on the bed. Owing to the broken bones Turkey escapade we knew to elevate it and put ice on and that is one good thing about America they always have ice! I contacted Debbie (who has had 2 broken ankles) to see what had happened with her and Andrea (who is a nurse and my medical consultant lol) both of whom recommended getting it checked out.

By the next morning it was suitably bruised and swollen and again I didn’t dare stand on it so reluctantly Howard took me to the local hospital – having rung the insurance company who just said go to hospital and get a receipt.

The hospital was good in that I was seen quickly and the staff were really nice and very interested in our trip and what we were doing there. I was sent for x rays and the nurse commented do you work in a hospital you seem to know exactly what to do for the x rays, ha ha told her about Turkey and the bones!

Upshot was it isn’t broken thank god! But badly sprained and the usual advice, rest , elevate, ice, compress etc I was given a prescription for a air/gel splint and a ‘cane’ – American for a walking stick! and strong painkillers. The doctor reckoned that if I stayed off it completely it would heal in 5 days but as he knew we were travelling he also knew that couldn’t happen so he said up to 4-5 weeks to heal properly!!! Oh dear! So we then carried on to San Francisco along $600 dollars lighter on the credit card and with the doctor’s bill still to arrive!

I really do not know how americans cope with the cost of medical treatment – not everyone has insurance and the costs are just staggering, all I can say is GOD BLESS THE NHS! And we should all be so proud that we have it and do everything in our power to stop its destruction at the hand of the evil tories!!! It makes me even prouder of Holly and her decision to train to be a nurse – well done my girl!!!

Anyway we arrived in San Francisco and negotiated the mad traffic and ended up at the viewing area on the far side of the Golden Gate Bridge, I think Howard was worried we would never get to see it if we didn’t go then as the hire car was due back the next morning. With the aid of my splint and trusty cane I managed to get out to see it and was glad I had it is very impressive and the views of the city were fantastic from there. There were also loads of very pretty, well groomed young men posing for pictures – something we have not seen throughout the rest of our trip!

We found our hotel, checked in and got to the room and with great relief (again) got my ankle up in the air and iced!
Next day we decided to give the trip to Alcatraz a go as we had booked and paid for it months ago and Howard really wanted to go. So he dropped me off at the pier and then took the car back and walked down to meet me. Owing to my ‘disability’ we were pre boarded onto the boat over and then able to take advantage of the disabled and fat persons shuttle up to the top of the rock to the actual prison. Howard walked up and beat the shuttle! I managed to get in to see the cells and then was in so much pain we had to find a seat and wait for the shuttle back down.

When we eventually got back to SF after suffering plagues of flies on Alcatraz we got a taxi back to the hotel. It took us up and down some of those really steep streets so I was glad I had the chance to do that! Then got on the bed ankle in the air and iced again – what a relief (again again).

There was a diner on the corner of our block so I walked up there for tea and again was in agony by the time I got back so today I’m staying put, going nowhere just iceing and elevating my ankle – it’s still swollen and bruised but maybe a touch better than yesterday.

I’m gutted on missing out on all SF has to offer, it looks an amazing city and I really wanted to go to the hippy district and put flowers in my hair, but it will have to wait for another time.
Right now I’m steeling myself for tomorrow as its taxi, bus, train, taxi to get to Santa Barbara and I can’t say I’m looking forward to that!

29th Sept '11 Santa Barbara, California

We have just arrived, journey wasn't as bad as expected, managed to get my foot up on the fold down seat tray! Howard is now out scouting for food!




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