I woke up feeling better but not a hundred percent. Heavy rains provided me with the ideal day to reassess my situation. My wound had healed pretty well, but I could tell it needed more attention. I took a shower, and then again sanitized my knife, and tweezers to clean the last little bit of the infection out. I spent the morning reading, finding solace in the book by Riaan Manser as he battled dysentery, and cycled through civil war in Liberia to continue his ride around Africa. By early afternoon I was feeling much more sprightly and decided to walk around the area I was staying in. I wanted to explore the neighborhood, but also to look for a doctor’s office to enquire about the cost of a visit. I was soon sidetracked and I found myself in a little music store. It contained a great deal of interesting music, and some immaculately hand-made instruments. If my pockets were deep enough and my bags big enough I would’ve been able to supply a small orchestra. The most impressive by far was the functioning hand-made electric guitar with its body made from an old gas can. I then made a couple block detour towards the mosque and the Muslim neighborhood to grab a lunch of samosas. I finally found my way to a travel clinic that in turn pointed me the way to a general practitioner. It was only going to cost me 250R($30) to see the doctor, and he was available immediately. Wanting to put my mind at ease, I jumped at the chance for a relatively inexpensive doctor visit. I went in and he asked me what was wrong and the details surrounding how I had acquired the bite. I proceeded to give him my self-diagnosis. I had thought I had probably gotten the bite somewhere around Graaf-Reinet, and that it looked like a normal mosquito bite for a few days before swelling up, turning black, and killing my skin. I also told him I hadn’t been feeling great, but nothing too terrible, and I thought it might be an African Tick bite, and I had treated myself with Azithromycin as a precaution. It seemed I had been one of the easiest patients he had in awhile. He agreed with basically everything I said, and gave validity to Sarah’s diagnosis of African Tick bite fever. He also said the antibiotics were the right thing to take and that it should clear up in the next 10 days or so. The doctor also told me I had made the right decision to come to him for a second opinion and gave me a 50R discount for diagnosing myself. I left, thankful for the discount, and at ease with the news I would be healthy again soon. I phoned Sarah for the deserved “I told you so” and took it easy the rest of the day.
The antibiotics were really kicking in and I was feeling great again. Unfortunately the early morning weather did not agree with my bright and sunny disposition. I was able to pick up my laundry and get some more reading done until a break in the clouds just after noon. I decided to give it a shot, and caught the bus to Kirstenbosch Gardens, one of the last places I really wanted to see before leaving Cape Town. It is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens and is home to over 9,000 different species of indigenous plants of South Africa. It is perfectly positioned, butted up against Table Mountain with the lower portion of the garden landscaped, and the upper portion left to the native plants of Table Mountain. It also has a vast network of walkways, footpaths, and trails that give you access to almost anywhere, and you never feel over-crowded with people. My original plan was to continue up from the gardens through Skeleton Gourge, but the late start to the day put a damper on that. I was however more than happy wandering around the huge gardens.
I repeated the walk, train, and minibus taxi ride down to Tokai to meet Sarah. It was her last day of field camp and the place she was staying was kind enough to give me a free nights stay since some of the other students left a day early and I could fill their room for the night. It was great to finally meet up with Sarah again.