Johnny the travelling pharmacy


I had to take a couple of days out in Mae Hong Son due to a couple of infected mosquito bites.  I ended up taking myself to the hospital as I knew I was after antibiotics and I wouldn’t be able to get them from a chemist (one of my legs had started swelling up).  The health service is something here is something quite remarkable – I was seen in less than 10 minutes and the whole process cost less than a pint in my local pub.  OK, the doctor was a bit keen and prescribed me 2 types of antibiotics, antihistamine tablets, calamine lotion as well as paracetamol but I’m certainly not complaining!  He also said I should not do any exercise until the infection clears up, but Mae Hong Son is not such a bad place so I stayed there a couple of days.

I now seem to have quite the collection of creams, pills & lotions – certainly not what I was expecting, but thank god for modern medicine as we would be lost without it.  I’ve got paracetamol, ibuprofen, co-codamol, antihistamine, amoxicillin, metronidazole (last 2 antibiotics), anti-malaria tablets if a malaria carrying mozzy bites me, deet spray to prevent mozzy bites in the first place, bite cream for after I get them anyway and calamine lotion for when they get itchy.  Oh and chamios cream for my cycling shorts, athlete’s foot cream and sun cream.  Quite simply ridiculous!

Part of the temple looking over Mae Hong Son with rapidly approaching thunder storm.

I made it down to Khun Yuam today from Mae Hong Son which is a comparatively easy 65km, though mostly gently uphill.  I seem to be off the tourist trail now as more locals are taking an interest in me as they pass on the road.  I had a bit of a moment on the road today when I thought I almost cycled over a snake in the middle of the road, thinking I was in the middle of nowhere immersed in nature.   It was a computer USB cable.  Perhaps all those drugs are getting to me!


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