One week in Bali. How much harm could possibly be done in one week you ask? Well let me tell you…
This next chapter in my travel experiences is probably the worst to date. Take a quick glimpse at the title again and just sit back and get ready to hear about a week’s worth of disasters and uh diseases.
We arrived at our beautiful hotel in Seminyak. Perfect clean rooms, roof top pool and cocktails on arrival. What more could you really ask for. It was everything I had ever imagined and more.
Being my first time in Bali I was pretty keen to check out the ever so talked about night life. We met up with a group of friends at the Sky Garden and our night begun but it wasn’t long before I had my first run in with bad luck. For anyone who hasn’t been to Sky Garden it’s a five story nightclub in the heart of Kuta. Now as you can imagine losing your friends in this place with no phone reception can prove to be quite difficult. After searching for my friends for what felt like hours I decided to leave the venue and go outside. After looking outside and not seeing any familiar faces I thought my best bet would be to get myself into a taxi and head back to the hotel. After walking down to the quieter part of the strip I spotted a van with the words taxi written on the side. I ran over to the van and got in. A few seconds after jumping in the driver locked the doors and demanded my purse. As I wasn’t exactly sober I attempted to negotiate with the driver and asked him to drop me off to my hotel and then I would give him my purse. The driver was not satisfied with my offer and begun yelling at me. At this point I was absolutely terrified and asked him to unlock the door. I ended up handing over my purse and running for my life once the doors had unlocked. I ran to the nearest hotel crying and thankfully they contacted my hotel to come and pick me up. Bed was calling my name by this point.
The next day I thought I would try something a little bit more relaxing. After devouring the buffet breakfast and feeling sorry for myself for what had happened the night before, we went up to the roof top pool and relaxed in the sun. People had previously warned me about the powerful Bali sun but with cloud cover I wasn’t too worried. After a few hours and many cocktails later I wandered back into my room. I took one look at myself in the mirror and was in absolute shock. I was RED. When I say red I mean my skin was absolutely dried out to a crisp, close to blistering type scenes.
The next few days were dreadful. The feeling of the sun touching my burnt skin was agonising, but having any type of top rubbing on my skin was unbearable.
We were approaching the end of our trip and a day with our driver took us to the famous Monkey Forest. As I walked up to the gate I saw monkeys running around everywhere. We bought a bunch of Bananas and begun walking around the Forest. My friend had his Go Pro in hand and went and stood next to the wall where a Monkey was sitting and held out a Banana. The Monkey ran up, grabbed the Banana from his hand and sat on his shoulder and ate it. It was one of the most awesome things we had ever caught on camera.
Now people had previously warned me about touching these monkeys and also stray dogs walking around the streets however seeing how easy my friend had done it I wanted to give it a try. I sat down on the nearest step around a group of monkeys and held out the Bananas. Within a few seconds 6 Monkeys were jumping all over me. It caught me by surprise so I quickly jumped up pushing the Monkeys off in the process. A Monkey had taken a quick bite of my shoulder in the process. Tourists were looking and laughing at the scene I had caused. I quickly walked back to my drivers van and explained what had happened. My driver handed me his first aid kit and told me to rub some Betadine on it and this is exactly what I did.
Upon arriving home to Adelaide a few days later I was struck with what I thought was a virus. I was due to go back to work but instead made an appointment with my local GP.
I am not sure if any of you readers have ever seen the movie Bubble Boy but the look on the Doctors face after I had explained my altercation with the Monkey gave me the impression that I was about to be put into a bubble. The doctor searched through a massive book for what seemed like forever. The one word I least expected to come out of the Doctors mouth… RABIES.
I can’t even begin to explain the way that last sentence made me feel. My body felt limp and I began to cry.. Actually crying is an understatement, I was sobbing. My family were soon made aware of what was going on. The doctor explained the treatment that I had in store for me. I was instructed to go home and await a call to head to the vaccination medical clinic once the treatment had arrived from VIC. It was only a few hours later when I received the call. I arrived at the medical clinic that afternoon and received numerous injections. The first was a fast acting Rabies immune globulin to prevent the virus from infecting me and then around six or more rabies vaccines to help my body learn to identify and fight the rabies virus. I then attended the medical centre every second or third day for a few weeks to continue the same treatment.
Although it was one of the most painful things I have ever been through I could honestly not be more thankful for the Australian medical staff and also the support I received from my family and friends, It was incredible!
If I learnt anything from this experience it’s that you should never take your life for granted and also to never to listen to someone when they say “just rub some Betadine in it”.