It’s all fun and games…until everyone is shitting their pants!
This post definitely warrants a ‘Content Warning!’. Due to the nature of myself and Dave’s predicament over the horrendously unforgettable and excruciatingly memorable 48 hours we have just had.
Yes, that’s right, if you are eating right now I suggest you come back to read this post later or risk losing your appetite because this shit (excuse the pun) is about to get real!
72 hours earlier….
We had just made it back into our beloved Albania from Kosovo and where thrilled to be back! This time we were exploring the northern city of Shkoder or as we like to call it ‘Scotum’….I’m sure you can appreciate why.
Arriving at our hostel, we found out it was overbooked but luckily for us, that meant we got a private room for the same price in a nearby apartment! On a high we deciding to take advantage again of the cheap and exquisite food in Albania and headed straight out for a feed. Devouring a beautiful 3 course dinner at a restaurant far too fancy for our ‘travel’ attire, we ignored the stares and excitedly planned our endeavours for the day to follow.
Suspect Number 1#
Starting off the day by picking up our hire bicycles from the hostel, we began our trek. After the first 5 minutes, we were already stopping to rehydrate with an ice cold caramel cappuccino freddo…my mouth is watering again just writing about it.
Blissfully recharged, on we trundled. Our bike ride took us approximately 22km, along the main river of Shkoder and back to the castle just outside the city.
Out of water and deliriously parched we desperately searched for a water stop before our climb up to the castle top. When all of a sudden, like a magical unicorn, a nun appeared out of thin air holding a hose with fresh mountain spring water spilling from the spout. I know, sounds too good to be true right? Well in hindsight, maybe it was. Not speaking a word of English, the nun simply nodded at my empty water bottle, and filled it to the brim. Thanking her, we skipped away, unaware that the little old innocent nun, might not be so innocent after all! And just like that, we had the first suspect in our tummy trouble mystery!
Suspect Number 2#
A few more wonderful hours passed as we enjoyed the castle views and headed back to the apartment. Obviously I was still dehydrated and delirious after our ginormous bike ride and hence, stupidly decided to do a workout session to finish off the day. Little did I know at the time that in a few hours my body was going to be aching from more than just the excessive amounts of exercise from the day.
Showered and stomachs grumbling, we headed out for a bite to eat. Stumbling across a local kebab store packed with people, we though we were onto a winner! Unfortunately, we waited nearly 50 minutes while everyone besides the ‘white people’ were served. (Evidently a less-friendly culture in northern Albania, which we were surprised to witness). Just about to leave we finally had our order taken…. I’ll be it when the store was empty! Maybe it was a sign, or destiny that we should have actually left and gone somewhere else, because the kebab store was now suspect number 2#.
A 30-minute walk home was all it took, before I had my head in a mop bucket and Dave rubbing my back for boy-friendly support! Rocking back and forth on the edge of the bed for most of the night, things only took a turn for the worse. My uncontrollable projectile vomiting was joined by dreaded bouts of diarrhoea. Soon I had no choice but to make the strategic move from bedroom to bathroom. Sitting on the loo, with a sudden wave of nausea coming over me and the basin just out of my reach, I had no choice but to simultaneously swivel on the loo and hang my head in shame over the bidet. All the while thinking to myself “Why me?”.
The hours passed excruciatingly slow and as the sun began to rise outside I finally found sleep through sheer exhaustion, only to wake a few hours later to Dave suffering the same fate as me. Both feeling like death warmed up, we realised we had less that an hour before we were supposed to check out and head on to our next stop, Montenegro. Clearly this was out of the question, so the next option was to call the hostel and beg them to let us stay another night, to which they thankfully obliged.
But it was still up to one of us to find the strength to make the mission out to the drug store for some remedies and bottled water! Dressing as best I could and putting on my bravest face, I decided to take one for the team. Shades absolutely necessary, I spent what should have taken 5 minutes, instead a good 30 minutes with several ally way sitting stops to reach the main hostel. Stumbling through the door I sauntered over to the nearest bench and sat with my head between my legs.
“Are you ok?” Asked one of the volunteers at the hostel. To which I simply replied, my eyes welling with tears “NO, I am most definitely not”. Despite my hideously unattractive state, the staff were all so lovely and reassured me everything would be alright. They even made a run to the pharmacy to get some rehydrating drugs and nausea tablets. After a small concoction of drugs, a quarter of a green tea and a few hours later I had gained enough strength to return home.
The next 24 hours were spent huddled up in our bed watching movies and sleeping on and off. Running occasionally to the bathroom, not fully able to trust our flatulence, to be just that. Thankfully though, with the morning we awoke feeling 100 times better. Still a long way from a full recovery, something in those tiny vials of ‘special liquid’ we were given, definitely did a whole lot of good for us both. Able to muster the strength we decided, to high tail out of Albania and get to Montenegro where we could relax and recovery lying on an exotic beach somewhere.
Although we may have our suspicions we can’t really be sure what cased our unfortunate circumstances, but we are pleased to be on the mend now and able to stomach food again…just. But, I do think we will be avoiding the kebabs for a while and sticking to bottled water just to be safe.