Last Saturday was the last day of the week long travel trip with work.
We had travelled down the southern coast, visiting and working in places like Bega, Eden, Bateman’s Bay, and Nowra. There were so many happy, sandy beaches, a couple beers and ciders, and many a sunburnt nose because of forgotten sunscreen. The people in the small towns we were fundraising in were lovely, and I met some amazing people and heard some fascinating stories. All in all it was a great week.
So Saturday was the last day on our wonderful road trip, and we finally had the entire day to do whatever we wanted with no work commitments. We had a local Aussie in our midst, so he led us (more or less) straight towards the beautiful beach of Watamolla.
Watamolla is right inside the Royal National Park, and what makes it cool is it’s a sea cove and a lagoon right beside each other! There’s a small beach break separating the two, so you can swim in the lovely cold sea or in the warmer lagoon water. Since it’s separate from the ocean, there’s really nothing in the water that can kill you except for snakes (yay Australia!) so I wasn’t too worried… That is until I was sitting on a rock underneath this beautiful rock cliff where the light reflected off of the water and up under the rock face. Absolutely beautiful. I happened to look over to my left, and noticed some strange long thing floating in the water beside the rock’s edge I was sitting on. It was a fresh snake’s skin. I have never swam so fast in my life!
But getting away from the many things here in Australia that can kill me in an instant, there was also a waterfall running off the side of the cliff into the lagoon from a fresh water pit a ways away.
Oh yes the cliff!
The wonderful cliff that so many people had died jumping off of. The wonderful cliff that has many a boy and girl leaping off of it, screaming, only to splash seconds later into the water below. Backflips, frontflips, diving, cannon balls… It was a sight to see.
Did I jump?
Of course I did.
Is there a photo to prove it?
Nope. You’re gonna have to take my word for it.
It was so much fun, but because of my gigantic fear of heights I had to take a running leap at it. It wasn’t until my foot left the cliff that the “oh sh!t” moment hit me, but by then it was too late. I had just enough time to remember to tuck my arms in before I hit the water hard. It was a long, slow swim back towards the shore.
A moment on consequences.
After that leap off the cliff face into the warm lagoon waters below, we left Watamolla. No relaxing on the beach, no tanning, we just had to get going back to Sydney. In essence, I didn’t get all of the water out of my ear that afternoon. I’m sure you can imagine what’s coming up next.
On Monday I had a small pain in my ear during work. I commented on it, but didn’t think much of it. That night it got worse and worse, I tried everything from ice to hot water, to salt and water mixture to help it… All to no avail. I made two trips to the pharmacy that night, once for drops and once for a pain med so I could sleep that night.
On Tuesday I spent $80 on a doctors appointment to get it checked out, and another $45 on medication. Worst day at work ever. I couldn’t hear anything that anyone was saying to me, and even talking was painful as the ache had reached my jaw. I took a lot of pain meds that day.
On Wednesday I spent the entire day on the couch, running back and forth from the toilet because my tummy didn’t agree with the medication. I couldn’t keep anything down, including the pain meds. This was literally one of the most painful days I’ve ever experienced and not something I ever want to have to go through again.
Thursday it was back to work. The meds finally started to work, and my ear was healing.
And now I’m more or less healed. I still can’t really hear out of my right ear, and there’s still a dull ache, but otherwise I’m fine.
Moral of the story: Always always always empty your ears of water before leaving the beach!
I know this post might have been a little out there, but welcome to the joys of travelling. What has been the worst ailment you’ve had while travelling?