Down with sandflies

Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but one thing I know is that my general mirth right now could easily fit into a sandfly’s granny’s sewing thimble without running over.

I hate to complain, really, but here goes anyway. I have been suffering from the dreaded bite of the sandfly for some time now. Unfortunately, I am very sensitive to insect bites and, even more unfortunately, in recent times I seem to have become very sensitive indeed. Witness the tedious ankle saga, sigh. During my travels I have had swollen feet several times (each taking it in turns, more or less, how very polite) and the odd bit of swelling around the wrist. Annoying but, you know, wotevah.

Last night we stopped off at a Dept of Conservation (DOC) campsite for the night, a lovely spot near a creek, along the road to Milford Sound, the plan being to rise early and continue on to Milford in the morning before the hordes of tour buses apparently take over the road. The sandflies were ganging up on us humans even more than usual but as bedtime came round I hoped for a peaceful night’s sleep, as one does.

Sometime in the night I awoke and needing the toilet stumbled forth from the van. I noticed my left eye felt a bit odd, a bit swollen. Was that a welt I detected on my eyelid? Nothing to be done so back to bed. Later I awoke again to find the eye more swollen. The best was yet to come however, when I woke to a buzzing in my ear. Right inside my right ear. I did a bit of loud complaining, I thrashed gently, hit my ear, tipped my head from side to side, what a routine. Of course the sandfly stayed put, buzzing away. What a sensation. Inspiration struck me and I took a cup of water and poured it into the afflicted orifice. I tipped it out onto the grass and the buzzing ceased. I vaguely wondered whether I had released the insect or simply left a drowned one inside my ear, but frankly it seemed trivial when I finally got a look at my face. The skin around both eyes was swelling up nicely and I looked, and felt (ish), like I’d been punched in the face.

No, there is no photo. I must preserve my dignity!

So then, plans amended, we headed back to Te Anau in search of medical attention, which I found, and was relieved of more of my money at the health centre and pharmacy. We then found a campsite in town, Te Anau to be our new base for the next couple nights. Since then I’ve been lolling around wearing ice cubes in bags on my eyes and attempting to count my blessings.

On the upside, I took a nice photo last night. And I booked us a cruise on Milford Sound tomorrow so we can at least see this place, with its reputation of sublime beauty. Well, we came all this way and the camper van days are now truly numbered. I’ll be continuing explorations of the South Island from Wanaka perhaps and then head to Dunedin for a few days, sounds nice, and the Otago Peninsula is full of wildlife. Then it’ll be up the east coast from there. Picton, Wellington, up the North Island exploring until it’s time to re-Auckland myself and fly away.

But for now, my photo, taken at Lake Te Anau….uh no, sorry. Just looked at this internet terminal doesn’t have the actual computer bit accessible. Man! Swollen eye girl is thwarted! Man.

Anyway, ignore all this and read my previous entry on paragliding. Much cooler.

4 thoughts on “Down with sandflies”

    1. I know, I know, tasty me! I am much better now, though. And happily my plans have taken me to the east coast – fewer sandflies to be found!

  1. I love your style Tracy!! So sorry to hear about the hassel with the insects but the way you but it to us in writing … I could;nt help myself … I just had to giggle.

    Sending love your way

    S.

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