It looks like I am finally ok to ride again (hopefully). Turned out that not only I had the chest and muscle pain from the shock, but I also had whiplash. The chest pain got a lot better after about two weeks, so I should have been ready to ride, but my neck was killing me. I had really sharp pain in my neck and shoulders, headaches, and I was getting dizzy quite often. I ended up going back to the clinic (this time they charged me $9 for consultation and 5 days of treatment of Diclofenac and Naproxen!!!), and they recommended me to wear a cervical collar, to immobilize the neck until the swelling and irritation goes away. So I wore the collar for 4 days, and took the pills, and boy, it made a difference! I could actually sleep, and during the day the pain was absolutely manageable, so I could see an immediate improvement. I should have done this from the beginning, not after 10 days! Now obviously these pills have pain killer ingredients in them as well, so as soon as I stopped them, some of the pain was back, so once in a while I still have to take one.
Another thing to mention is the disappointment I had with my travel insurance company. I bought my insurance through BCAA, thinking that they are quite well known, so they should be good. Well, just like any insurance company, they pretty much take your money, but when you need it, you hardly get anything back. When I realized my head was hurting so bad, I thought I might have had some head injury, and as I mentioned in my previous posts, at the time of the accident, at the clinic they only checked my pulse and blood pressure, they did not check for any head injuries, or any other kind of injuries. First I called my insurance company from the clinic, the day of the accident. I waited for 15 min on hold, standing by a phone, in a very busy area, until I felt I was about to faint, so I had to give up and hang up. The next day I sent them an email with the accident story, no answer. Two days later I sent them another couple of emails, from two different email addresses I had, thinking that maybe ii went into their spam. No answer either. And when my head and neck got really bad, I called them, since I knew I needed further checks or care. Well, someone picked up eventually, just to tell me that now if I needed further checks, I will not be covered anymore, since this is not an emergency anymore. According to them, if the doctor lets you leave the hospital (which was nonexistent anyway in my case) the day of the accident, that means you are ok, and everything else after that is not considered an emergency anymore, so you are not covered. So if you ever travel, make sure at the time of the accident they check everything on you, because if doctors miss anything the first day, and they let you go, you are on your own. On top of that, the lady told me that I would have to claim this first with my motorcycle insurance. In vain I tried to explain to her that here they DO NOT SELL comprehensive insurance, only liability, so I am not covered. I offered to send her the wording of my motorcycle insurance policy. No, it doesn’t matter. I have to claim it with them first, they have to send me a letter of negation, and I would have to send that letter to them. And only then they can assess and process my claim. So now I have to chaise my motorcycle insurance (thank God I speak Spanish) and see if they can or want to send me such letter (bear in mind, this is not Canada). And then you have to make sure they get everything within 60 days, if not your claim is not valid anymore. It’s been four weeks since my accident and I haven’t even received the forms to be filled out yet, as I was promised on the phone. I will probably have to make a few more phone calls.
On top of this, they claim that they can help you with advice as to what hospitals there are around. When I talked to the lady at BCAA, once I calmed down after my disappointment, and accepted the fact that going forward it will be out of my pocket, I asked her what clinics or hospitals there are around that could do some checks on me in my situation. The answer was “Well, this is your problem; you have to find out locally”.
I guess what I am trying to say is that in this type of countries, where a consultation and treatment costs $9, and where the emergency consultation is free, there is no point buying travel insurance (which is very expensive), since they don’t really cover much, if anything, and with the money you purchase the insurance, you can pay for your own medical expenses.
Now leaving all this aside, yesterday we hit the road again. Matt and Robin came back to ride with us for a few days (I’m not sure what made them come back: the fact that they missed us, or the pictures we posted with the beach and the rides).We packed up all our stuff (boy, I did not realize how much stuff we had!), got on our bikes, and headed towards Ensenada. The plan was to take it easy, since it was my first day on the bike after my accident. Ensenada is about 2-3 hours ride from San Felipe, so it was perfect. Robin knew this orphanage about 40 km south of Ensenada, so we decided to go there and have a glimpse of these kids’ lives.
We left around 10 am, had a break about two hours later just to hydrate ourselves and for me to stretch my neck and then we hit the road again.
The scenery was unbelievable: big boulders in the middle of the desert on both sides of the road. I am wondering how they got there.
The road was in pretty good condition; we had some twisties at some point too which made it more fun. By the time we got to Ensenada, I was already feeling quite week and tired, and my neck was not feeling too good at all. But we had to go through the city though to find a bank and get some cash. Ensenada is the second biggest city in Baja California after Mexicali. The traffic was pretty crazy, and after a while we realized that we had taken the wrong turn too, so we were not going to find the bank. We decided to stop and eat, since we were – at least I was – about to faint, while Vasile was going to go and find the bank by himself (we got better instructions in the meantime). After a well deserved break and food, I was ok now to keep going. We jumped on the bikes again and we headed out of the city. It was getting dark and chilly (I know, I did not think I would ever say that here!). By the time we got out of the city, it got dark, and all we had for map were some hand written directions given by phone to Robin by her friend. So here we are looking for “Caso Bogan” (later on we found out it was actually “Casa Hogar”), that was supposed to be over a bridge. We managed to find the village, but now we had to find the orphanage, and at this time in the day, there weren’t many people out in the streets. We stopped and we asked someone for directions, and we were wondering why no one knew about any “puente” (bridge). We finally got on the right way, and we crossed a little passage over a puddle (that was “the bridge”), and then when there were no signs anymore, we stopped by this building, thinking that this was the orphanage. No lights, no signs, no one to ask. Oh, and by the way, when I stopped my bike and I put my foot down, my food sank about 10 cm deep in sand!!! That was not at all what I had planned for that day. I wasn’t planning to do any gravel roads for a while, due to my physical condition now, let alone sand! But thank God it was dark and I only realized there was sand when I stopped.
After walking around the building, we were not sure if that was the orphanage or not. I was so tired I did not want to ride any more on that road to see if it was any further or not, so we were looking for a place to pitch our tents. Luckily a white SUV passed by, and we tried to stop it. When I waved at them, they did not stop, which is quite natural, since you are not supposed to stop for strangers in the dark here. But our friend Robin, who was a bit further down, jumped in front of the car and she stopped them. We asked them about the orphanage, and they were so nice to actually escort us there. Turned out we were only a mile and a half away from it. We got to the orphanage, where a bunch of kids that were playing outside greeted us with a loud “Hola!” full of joy.
Then Darrel, the director of the orphanage came and invited us inside, where we met Maureen, his wife. We had a great dinner (Maureen is an incredible cook!), a nice chat about the orphanage and the kids, and then we went to bed, to a well deserved rest and sleep.
More details about the orphanage in a separate post. I strongly encourage you to read it, so stay tuned!