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Published: December 6th 2014
A long and painful series of flights landed me safely in Wellington. The sinuses that had been suffering through a cold since last weekend made their complaints known all the way through the many hours on planes. The first flight was empty so I claimed a row of seats managed to lie down and even get some sleep. From Bangkok to Auckland was a different story - a full plane with a small army of people who clearly lacked any understanding of the concept of personal space. That made landing in NZ an even bigger relief than normal. Seamless transfer (by foot) to the domestic terminal and thence to Wellington.
Cloudy day so no clear views of the volcanoes on the way down. The beauty of the approach to Wellington was completely overtaken by intense pain. My sinuses seemed to have decided they'd had enough of the whole experience so were going to dig their way out of my ailing head. I've never experienced this intensity of sinus pain before but I was surprised to land and find that my sinuses had not exploded (I had a tissue ready just in case), no major nosebleeds, no alien-style explosions from my forehead or ears. By the time I got to the hire car place, I could almost breathe without pain again. Arriving in Paraparaumu, I found an opportunity to look in a mirror. My eyes looked truly awful. Not only did it look like I'd been ingesting serious drugs for days but there was some rather unpleasant matter trying to escape. That was two days ago now.
Waking on Saturday, I managed to wash my eyes open again from their overnight encrustement (I don't believe that was a word until now) and then eventually found an efficient doctor. He looked concerned as he checked my temperature, my lungs, my heart, my nose, my throat, my ears. The good news first; my lungs appear free of infestation, my heart rate seems healthy, and my body temperature is within an acceptable range. The less good news; my nose and throat are inflamed quite angrily, my sinuses appear to be completely blocked, and my eyes are riddled with a rather extreme case of conjunctivitis. So I'm now armed with antibiotic eye drops and good ol' amoxycillin. Also armed with a firm request from the doctor's worried face (following me sharing my upcoming plans) to "take four or five days of rest before doing anything strenuous". Hmm - not sure the wanderer is very good at following that type of request.
However, the weather has conspired against today's plan of getting to the top of Kapiti island. The boats are not running across to the island today as the winds this afternoon would mean they'd struggle to get close enough to the rocks to collect people later in the day. No big loss as the top of the island is in cloud but a bit of a shame as I'm unlikely to get another chance this trip.
But an enforced day of rest might give my body a better chance to take advantage of tomorrow's clearer weather for an ascent of Mt Holdsworth, an overnight in Jumbo hut then out and down to the airport again on Tuesday to jump on a flight (ouch) to Nelson and the beginning of three weeks of freedom there. Really not looking forward to the short flight to Nelson - hope the sinuses behave themselves. The doctor might be pleased to know I have a day of rest (aka preparation) planned when I land.
Time to take another antibiotic, find some more coffee to soothe the throat and laze away the afternoon buying food for tomorrow's trek.
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