Me and my van

Me and my van
Faro Island

Friday, 29 December 2017

Vets and getting back to the UK

We didn’t make a late night shower, so alarm set for an early morning one instead. Woke up super early anyway, thanks to the TearDroppers’ thoughtfully leaving a radio blasting all night.

C and I snook into the showers about 7:30am, no-one about, as planned. We had a much needed scrub in lovely hot water. Man outside now brushing his teeth, acknowledged me with a nod in the mirror, all good, C’s cover still in tack, as mirror too high to cannot reflect the dog, until C shook himself dry all over man’s espadrilles! 

Back at the van, packed up and at reception to pay and collect passport and credit card. Damn, it doesn’t open until 9am!

A quick walk along the beach at Salema, ours were the first foot steps in the sand on that glorious morning and then back to Eco-camp.

Paperwork done and off to the dreaded vet in Lagos. Sat nat decided to freeze 1 min away, and although I’d done a rekkie previously, i didn’t recognise where we were. So I had to pull over in Lagos to switch off/one engine. All up and running and back on the way to the vets.

Always a much dreaded venture knowing the behaviour of my dog. Missed the front door as it’s mirrored and looks a bit like a tanning salon, if only.

A rather strapping S. African man greeted us in the garden, Lars, the vet, I explained about my rabid dog, and the tape worm tablet was brought to us and swollowed easily with a bit of fav sausage. Perfect, job done, so I thought. 

Lars wanted to examine him, I explained about his awful behaviour and told him all was fine, only this morning had we been running along the beach catching balls and chasing birds. Lars was adamant, so I left them to it. 

An age passed, Lars appeared with assistant, ‘Oh shit, what’s C done’, I think. He could locate only a very weak heart beat and pulse, there’s something wrong, C’s NOT well enough to travel. Hand and on heart, I thought he was going to put C to sleep.

Then something happened, that’s not happened for a long time, my heart broke right then, and there, all over that reception waiting room, in front of one hunky vet, two assistants, a receptionist,  two couples and their dogs, one of which was a puppy who wouldn’t stop peeing everywhere.

Lars offers me a coffee, how did I take it, well at that particular moment, no milk, no sugar, no coffee please, just gin! Obvs not an option, so I got a mug of black coffee brought to me in the van, by the lovely receptionist, where I am now perched on the bed, hugging a hot drink and a soggy hanky.

X-rays later, report written, C’s got an enlarged heart with bronchitis, mild cyanoptic, spontaneous epistaxis, lymphadenopathy, cardiomegaly and intrathoarcic which don’t make for a good prognosis once Google’s, plus they’re buggers to spell. 

C was OK to travel, with 2 tablets a day for the journey, and a check in straight away at our vets at home. Ok, we can do this.

C’s back in the van, exhausted from trying to eat two humans. I’m a mess, sobbing into a steering wheel, and trying to work out how to switch the engine on.

We’ve GOT to go home. I’ve got to get my shit together, and get us home. Petrol was a necessity, but for this journey only, cold snacks were not, I cancelled the shopping trip for gifts and goodies and just filled up the T5 with cheap diesel. 

Most of the day was spent on the N803 Autovia Ruta de la Plata, that’s Spanish for feckin long road. It’s true to say I cried from one end of Spain to the other, with a short break just outside Seville, where it got very busy with traffic and I needed to concentrate on which sat nav instructions, to ignore. Not even ‘Simon and Garf’ at full pelt, could resume loud singing and steering wheel drumming, on this journey.

Once, I had started driving, I couldn’t stop, only to fill up van and empty me. At one petrol stop I received a free gift, a small bottle of pink liquid, it turns out to be glasses cleaner, seems there is an up-side of old age and rapid eye-sight loss. At 11pm, I had to admit defeat and parked up at a service station close to the Spanish/French border, exhausted, no appetite and eye-lids the size of golf balls!

Here, I settled down for the night, between a 24 hour petrol station and it’s all night cafe, poorly dog on one side, bike rack, on the other.