Zenfolio | Simon Littlejohn | Patagonia The High & Low's Of Life Down South

Patagonia The High & Low's Of Life Down South

April 20, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

If having a pair of binoculars, that I have nursed tenderly  from new  ( only 2 years old ) , that now offer double of everything you aim them at, combined with the fact my P2 Panasonic video camera is now in the hands of a technician, somewhere in Santiago, because it just died on me, ( also just 2 years of age with moderate usage and tenderly cared for ) is not enough to deal with and totally depress you, when I am supposed to be chasing Mountain Lion's from pre dawn till post dusk, can you image how it felt 3 days ago, when I was  told I have a form of Pneumonia, as opposed to a dose of man flu.

Well and truly pissed off, is an understatement, so better I leave the uncorking of my innermost emotions in the bottle, before my fingers dance all over this keyboard, and I write a plethora of things I would be wise not too. My lungs are working at less than half capacity, thanks to a bacteria that is festering nicely in their, caused by the ingression of an irritant, and I am absolutely positive I know the cause. Earlier in the year whilst residing in deepest darkest Dorset in the 2.5 horse town of Wimborne, love it really, I was in need of work, and managed to find a job with a local construction company, but I will be the first to admit I hate dust, not the good clean type I am covered with from being blown all over 800sq miles of Patagonian steppe, valley and mountain, and not getting to shower for a dozen days at a time, that is honest, sweat and dirt, I have no trouble sleeping at night, but the other dust is where I lose the plot a bit.

I end up working in the pretty town of Sherbourne, where I am given the task of cutting a mountain of large thick sheets of insulation for the roof, it took me less than a second to realise it was not going to be a job I was to enjoy too much, but it was work. My first reaction on seeing the stack of xtratherm or s was to tell the site foreman to run along and get me a decent mask to protect my lungs from the NASTY dust that would blitz the loft when I set about cutting it, well it turns out we had mask that were on site, but I deemed them to be, well how shall I put it OF SHIT quality, so off he went and came back with something a little better, but far from the sort of mask someone really should be using with such a dangerous product.

I did not listen to the doubts racing in my head, and should have sent him packing to get me a mask with two large filters on the front like a car sprayer would be required to wear, well I did not, so therefore I am  a total ASSHOLE for not listening to myself and sending this site manager packing to get the right protection,  I am now paying the price in the form of a bout of Pneumonitis, an inflammation of the walls of the lungs caused by a nice little reaction to these particles getting in there and causing a nest of bacteria in there which is seriously  messing it all up. I wish I had the balls to whack myself about the head with a large length of timber for being so stupid, and refusing to work without the correct safety equipment, but too late, so I am to be found, feeling somewhat sorry for myself, in the town of Puerto Natales, being nursed back to health by my dear friend Rodrigo and his wonderful wife Cecilia, who were the one who forced me to the doctors in the first place, as they decided I was not suffering from an exaggerated bout of the dreaded MAN FLU, so many of the female population believe we boys milk to the hilt for attention, if only. 

The Doctor did his thing for a few minutes, and then with a look that gave it all away sent me packing to the hospital, a fine shiny new hospital in town, and there with no fuss, except a new protocol meant I was forced into a wheelchair and led to the x-ray dept, I pleaded with the lady trying ram the chair into the back of my knees that only 3 days I was climbing mountains with 30 kilos of gear and food on my back, looking for Condors nest to film into, but she was having none of it, and so I was whisked away feeling like I was being led to the slaughter in this chair.

The first doctor said I saw warned me it was possible I had Tuberculosis, that really fucking cheered me up, then Chronic Bronchitis was floated , but when the X-rays were seen, the conclusion was Pneumonitis, well thanks very much, how long do I have to finish my film about the Wild Patagonian Pumas ?? . Well the good news is I ain't dead yet, the inhaler has me sleeping soundly and the obviously far stronger  antibiotics he has prescribed to bombard my body with, are no doubt doing there job, as I feel better after 3 days, not pursue large pussy cats through the hills valleys and forest of southern Patagonian better, but I am on the mend. 

So all I need now is to hear from the Panasonic techy up in the real world far too the north, is that ( A ) the camera can be repaired and ( B ) I will not have to do a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at the local Santander Bank in town, to pay for it, or if the worst comes to the worst , sell an organ or two, so I can finish my film.

 I only hope lungs are not in high demand down this end of the continent !!

Adios from Patagonia


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