Thursday, February 15 7:15 a.m. Dalaba
From Labe to Dalaba is 95 kilometres of “goudron” and I zoomed through them in six and a half hours. After the rough roads of the previous days I felt like I had wings and joyed in the sensation of easy movement. This mood was helped considerably by the fact that from Labe to Pita it was practically all downhill and it was extremely cold when I started out. I wore just a t shirt and loved the icy wind on my skin. My forearms got so cold they hurt but it was a pain I welcomed. And finally my mood was helped by the absence of the pain and discomfort in my gut which had been a constant companion since the oily potatoes of Douki. I’d given up on it clearing up by itself and hit the pharmacies in Labe to buy some antibiotics. I didn’t visit a doctor but from the symptoms (and a night studying the Mastermind’s copy of “Where There is no Doctor”) I concluded I’d picked up either a mild strain of giardia or some nasty amoebas. Luckily the antibiotic for both is the same (though the dosages differ). I was astonished at how quickly the antibiotic worked. Within just a few hours all the symptoms disappeared. I was also surprised and relieved at the difference in my mood. With the disappearance of the pain and discomfort went the oppressive feeling, the unhappy mood that had been plaguing me for so long. Not for the first time I wondered what people did before the advent of these modern remedies and I felt a sympathy for those who can’t afford them.