Posts Tagged With: National Park

Ice, Ice Baby

Just me and my crutch as the sun peeked out ever so briefly!

Just me and my crutch as the sun peeked out ever so briefly!

I’ve been injured enough times before to know about R.I.C.E and how important the ice component is to get the swelling in check.  As I hobbled my way through the National Park, we came up with a plan that I would ice my ankle and keep it elevated on the dashboard for the duration of our drive to Zagreb so I wouldn’t be gimpy for too long.  The big question was where the hell do you get ice when trapped in a national park?  See the thing was, we had parked right next to a cafe so all I would need to do was pop in and grab a coke and ask for my ice in a bag.  Easy right?  It’s me so obviously not!  My plan was an epic fail as I wound up with a coke but no ice.  The cafe staff looked at me like I was an alien since they couldn’t comprehend why the hell I would ever want ice.  Just for the record, neither the frozen bag of peas question nor the charade gestures I was using to explain my predicament helped me look any better in their eyes.  So that was that – I was sans ice with an ankle that was double the size and stuck up super awkwardly on the dash.  We resorted to Plan B – get ice on the way or once in Zagreb.  Sadly, it turns out this was going to be even harder than trying to get ice while in Plitvice Lakes!

The thing was that we were heading to Zagreb on a national holiday and as such – everything was closed.  There was no ice…no food…no nothing.  At this stage, I was hopelessly dependent on My Aussie Mate who now had to deal with my backpack as well as hers on top of me still attempting to use her as a crutch.  Thankfully, the receptionist at the hostel took pity on us and advised My Aussie Mate that she could head into the city centre as there might be one pharmacy open there that could give me something for the swelling.  She looked at me and smiled as she said something along the lines of it might be a 10 minute walk but she suspected it could take me longer and thus, close before I could actually get there.  Oh vey!

Not adhering to her warning of my slowness – I decided to tag along behind (way behind) My Aussie Mate on this Pharmacy mission which could quickly be followed by some sightseeing (when in Rome right?).  After about 20 minutes or so of damn hard hobbling, we finally found one near the main square that was opened.  The pharmacist checked out my ankle and provided me with an ointment and a tensor bandage.  She said that I needed to take it easy for about a week and it should be back to normal and the ointment would help with the swelling.  Again, I asked about ice and got nowhere so it looked as though I was going to be 100% dependent on this ointment which really didn’t seem to be doing much of anything to be honest.  Regardless, we took care of business and then attempted to check out Zagreb which proved rather difficult for me in my state.  Instead, there was some sort of performance going on in the main square (probably had something to do with the holiday) and so we decided to take a break and people watch before I had to do the painful hobble back to the hostel.  Hopefully, my luck would turn around by the time we hit our next stop – Budapest.

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Categories: CROATIA, croatia: zagreb | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And Pop Goes My Ankle!

When I woke up and looked outside, my friend, pesky rain, was back and haunting me once again.  Basically, there was a general mist in the air that would seem okay at first but before you knew it, you would be soaking to the bone.  Oh the joy of water bits!  Unfortunately, we were on somewhat of a schedule since My Aussie Mate needed to get back to work and so we were left with 2 choices.  We either had to brave the elements and head out to Plitvice Lakes National Parks as intended or skip the National Park altogether.  Since neither one of us was made out of sugar, we decided to go with the first option with a few alternations.

This photo was taken minutes before I was kissing the earth!

This photo was taken within the first 10 minutes of the walk!

The alternation to the plan was going to be to pay to take the train and then walk downhill for the next 5 hours.  Yes we were going to get a wee bit wet but dressed the best we could for the weather.  Worse case scenario, we could back out half way through the walk and miss out on the lower lakes.  Sadly, neither one of us factored in my 2 left feet into the equation and approximately 10 minutes in, I was on the ground eating dirt.  I would like to say it was because I was going downhill on stairs or there was a big rock that got in my way or that the damn rain made everything super slippery but that would be a lie.  The truth was that my left foot got in the way of my right foot on a flat even surface and I fell hard.  My Aussie Mate kept bursting into fits of laughter while asking how the hell I could have possibly tripped as I lied there with my left leg bleeding and my right ankle swelling out of control.  To make matters worse, I was pretty sure that a girl wearing the equivalent of heels on the trail stepped over me and kept on going.  THE HORROR…THE SHAME!

Still pretty in the rain

Still pretty in the rain

As My Aussie Mate helped me over to a nearby bench, it became apparent that I had a nasty sprain to deal with and no idea how the hell the two of us were going to make it out of the woods (the mind instantly wanders to Blair Witch Project…).  The options we could think of were to turn around and walk uphill back to the train or keep going downhill until we could find a way out.  As we opted for downhill but before setting out, I would need to find a way to be slightly more mobile.  All I could think of was to pull out the spare socks in my bag and try to secure my ankle with them while My Aussie Mate hunted around for a stick that I could use as a cane.  In the end, I used My Aussie Mate as my crutch and she used the stick in order to balance herself and we set off on the rest of the 5 hour downhill journey looking as special as ever.

Showing off low hanging clouds...

Showing off low hanging clouds…

Despite the pain, the swelling, and the constant breaks to elevate my ankle, we managed to snap a few photos, do some skillful photobombing, and general keep up with the slower people who set off at the same time as we did.  I’m not going to lie – it hurt and I knew that with every step, I was increasing my recovery time but it wasn’t like I could sit on a park bench and wait for some foreign park ranger to come rescue me so I kept hobbling on.  All in all, I have no regrets opting to go to the park but I’m pretty sure that I didn’t see the full beauty of it either in my condition.  Oh well – maybe they’ll be a next time…

Categories: CROATIA, croatia: plitvice lakes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hitchin’ A Ride

Track leading to the beach

A full day of activities in Abel Tasman would have been amazing if it wasn’t raining so damn hard.  What’s there to do in a National Park when the weather is absolute shit?  NOTHING.  So I sat around all day like everyone else on my Stray bus bored out of my mind.  Mid-afternoon, the heavy rain let up and people started talking about walking to Split Apple Rock.  In the end I decided against going with the group because it looked like the rains were picking up again but about 5 minutes after they departed, the rain stopped and the sun came out.  What’s a girl going to do other than run after the group with her American buddy trying to catch up with everyone.

We yelled and ran but the group wasn’t in sight so we decided the next best thing was to hitchhike until we saw them.  We first got onto a bus with a tour group heading to Nelson and since we didn’t run into a group at all on the way there – he dropped us off at the road that would get us to Split Apple Rock.  After walking for 10 minutes it was obvious we were in for a bigger hike than expected and so we decided the smartest thing to do was to continue hitchhiking.  A lady on her way to get mail picked us up and dropped us off at the track leading down to the Split Apple Rock.

Split Apple Rock

We walked the 15 minutes down the steep stairs to the beach and Split Apple Rock.  The entire way – there was no sign of anyone we knew.   Maybe they had turned around or decided to go elsewhere but whatever it was – we made it there and back before the group who left before us.  Also, encase you’re wondering, we made the decision to hitchhike back as well and caught a ride from a South African family in a Campervan (the lady was totally against it and said no to us several times until her husband yelled at us to get into the van) and some dude driving a kayaking pick up/drop off bus.  Round trip was just over an hour and considering the ease of getting there and back – well worth the trip.   

As for the group that left before us – they decided to go on the beach to get there (that’s why we didn’t see them on the road at all) and had to boulder hop and then walk the 10km back on the road.  They might not have found the trip as worthwhile as we did but it was all good fun at the end of the day.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: abel tasman | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Road Less Travelled

Bugs on the Bush Walk

By the time we were departing for National Park, we lost some of my favourite people on our Stray bus.  Even though we were down a few good men, we kept on trekking on the Stray schedule so everyone could do the Tongariro Crossing.  Everyone that is but me (okay, not completely true as there were 7 other people but they were all newbies on the bus so they didn’t count as I wasn’t with everyone I knew).  It was recommended that I don’t do the walk due to the strain on my knee and for once I decided to listen (surprising, I know…).

As I’m not one to sit still for very long – I ended up doing a 4 hour bush walk to Tupapakurua Falls with some

The Falls

 of the newbies on the bus.  At final headcount I had another Canadian, 2 Irish Folk, and a Swiss girl heading into the bush with me along with a sketchy map in hopes to encounter the waterfall on an easy walk.  Easy walk my ass…as we were weaving through the forest, I quickly realized why the guy at the lodge talked to us about proper stepping technique to avoid wiping out, mud conditions, and a story about how he bailed since he wasn’t paying attention.  For the record – due to my natural clumsiness I may have tripped over a couple of branches sticking out but didn’t fall, bail, or tumble-down anything or run into anyone and take down some casualties with me.  As far as I’m concerned – success!

I walked away from the bush walk having made some new friends and enough of a workout to burn off the BBQ feast my buddy in National Park was preparing for me that night.  I may not have done the Stray scheduled activity that day but marching to the beat of my own drum had led to a rather good day.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: national park | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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