June & July 2006, Palma, Mallorca & Split, Croatia
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Ally writes... Yup, it's official! So far, we have had the most expensive course of hepatitis jabs ever recorded.
Thoughts drift back to sighs of jealousy from friends, "Oh, what a wonderful life you guys lead sailing around the world on some million dollar yacht .sampling different cultures, cuisine ." Stop right there! Oh, to live in one place and just be able to pop down to the local Nomad Travel Clinic for our jabs.
Our first jab had to be in Mallorca. "Not too bad, " I think as there is a trusty British Medical Centre in the tourist mega-haven of Palmanova but with a 20 Euro taxi drive away. Nope, no bus stops near this million-dollar yacht obviously.
And so we thought we were getting a deal as Dr Unpronounceable said he would only charge us for one consultation seeing as we came together. Score! Apparently there is a new combined Hep A and B jab called Twinrix .another score! Best have one of those then. No real problems, although Rob went a little weird and very pale....looked kinda strange for a yachtie whose been in the sun for the last 5 years. Dr unpronounceable then got carried away in the excitement of the whole Africa Overland preparations and proceeded to give us heaps of travel jab advice. We knew most of it already but it was nice to have some confirmations. Thought I'd just a have a boob examination too while we were here, as melons had been feeling a little lumpy lately. Silly idea as nothing was wrong and then came the bill .a whopping 290 Euro (90 each for the infamous Twinrix, 50 for the consultation and the rest for having a prod at my pride, Rob could have done that for a quarterpounder).
Oh ja plus the 20 Euro cab ride home as Rob was still feeling a little weird thought a tourist crammed 45 min bus journey plus a 20 min walk was way out of the question.
It turns out that our next dose was due in 4-6 weeks. Hmmm that puts us in Croatia. Thought I'd be super organised and call up the worshipped Nomad and yes! They produce an address and phone number for the clinic in Split, Croatia. Yippee. Look at me - all organised traveller like.
Day one in Croatia I give the clinic a call .hah haaah no one speaks English and it was the wrong number anyway. Plan B, just give address to a taxi driver and hope for the best .nope. Plan C..ask very nice lady in marina office for help. Turns out address is wrong too! However, she saves the day and gets us a ride with the rowing instructor (for 30 Euro of course) into the backstreets of town to a clinic. Thank goodness he took us actually 'cos we would never have found it. Some very sweet and very pretty Croatian nurses were a little confused at our arrival but with basic English, we got our request across. Right, no problem .Um, nope, they don't have Twinrix in Croatia yet, only the separate jabs. After an expensive roaming call (vodafone we love you) to Mallorca to Dr. unpronounceable, (should we expect phone advice bill in the post?) he told us what mg of separate dosage to have. All good now, except Rob felt weird again and this time was happy to receive some loving care from these nurses. And now the bill hmmm..1500 kuna yikes ok, 100 Euro that sounds better .but let's not forgot that the entrepreneurial rowing driver is still waiting outside for another 30 Euro trip back. We decide to stay in town and get the long bus back. Rob seems to have perked up massively after all that eastern European nurse fuss.
And so what should have cost us about 260 Euro is now up to 430 Euro and we still have to have our final jab due in November Where will we be then? Oh goody back in the UK and just a stone's throw from the nearest Nomad Travel Clinic. Better check the address and phone number.
See more images of how the work is progressing.
Go to the equipment page to see the details of what we are doing.