[Update (6th April 2010): The diagnosis was eventually confirmed as Blackwater Fever and Huw’s recovering in the Yorkshire Dales, doing well.]
When we said we were going to take some time away from the blog, we didn’t plan to take seven weeks away – sorry about that. But then we didn’t plan to get quite so ill and get evacuated first from Liberia and then from Ghana. I’m going to write the long version when things have calmed down a bit but, for now, here’s the short version:
We got stuck in Freetown for far too long, got moving, got a few kilometres before Huw’s bike spontaneously imploded, got moving again, got blown away (in a good way) by Sierra Leone and (in a bad way) by its poverty, got close to nature (primates and green mambas, most memorably), got to Liberia and, on New Year’s Eve, got engaged (in a brothel).
A couple of days later, we got malaria and / or E Coli, depending on which hospital tests you believe. I mended very quickly but Huw deteriorated and developed jaundice, among other things. With our (excellent) insurance company (and us) worried about organ damage and the quality of medical care in Liberia, we were evacuated from Liberia to Ghana by air ambulance. At excellent hospitals in Ghana, Huw got a bit better and then a lot worse, suffering acute renal failure (the doctors suspected Black Water Fever, a (rare, nowadays) complication of falciparum malaria that can be triggered by quinine). After two days of dialysis in Ghana, we were evacuated by air ambulance to the UK last Thursday.