So tonight we are going to meet up with the Olive Branch crew and go to the sand dunes which will be great. It will be a fun night under the stars and with some local musicians from the group TiRiS who are very talented musicians and singers.
So the trip to the dunes started out well, slow but good all the same. Nothing gets done quickly here and you just have to go with the flow at times. So we first drive to Samara to pick up the Polisario guides which must escort us to the dunes as we are not allowed to go alone. On arrival we start by racing some of the other vehicles across the sand which was a good laugh and it was good to see the young people we have been staying with laugh and joke openly as there has been a lot of seriousness on this trip. We are, after all, here on a serious mission but it was great to see them let loose a bit.
When we stop it is in front of a huge dune that we all climb and start throwing ourselves off this is where the trip took a bad turn for me as, whilst throwing myself off the dune, I dislocate my clavicle bone in my shoulder and after a bit of soldier medicine which included them trying to pop my bone back at much pain to me I opted for being taken to the local refugee hospital in Samara. There the doctor promptly patted me on the stomach and said “that wasn’t a good idea huh”. He said what we already knew and sent me to the bigger hospital in Rabuni that I had visited a few days ago and of course the director was there waiting for me. News travels fast here.
Here I get an x-ray which confirms our initial thoughts however they don’t have the drugs or materials to sort me out so the call the military hospital in Tindouf which is across the Algerian border. So, off I go in their ambulance, once I get to the border I have to wait 45mins for the military to send an escort which turned out to be two 4X4 Toyotas with fully armed escort, front and back.
Once at the hospital the French bureaucracy kicked in, and we were there for a good two hours whilst they checked and triple checked my passport; wanting to know all about everyone’s mum and dad and where we were all born. At the end they sold me some drugs and put a figure of eight bandage thing on me and sent me packing back to the Tindouf border with my armed guards… sleepless nights began from here due to the fact that I had to lay on my back and every move I make would ensure a yelp / scream from me.