Archive for July 31st, 2008

Jul 31 2008

Premature end of the trip in Almaty

Published by under World Tour 2008

The trip is over: I got hit two days ago by a car on our way out of Almaty. The car was going too fast and didn’t see me in time as I was turning left.

Diagnostic: Multiple cuts requiring stitches, right shoulder dislocation, broken arm (humerus tubercle), broken bike and I lost my hat.

before reduction
before reduction

after reduction, broken humerus tubercle (top left)
after reduction, broken humerus tubercle (top left)

I need an operation on my arm. I am still in Almaty and just booked a fly back to France tomorrow morning as everyone (including the French embassy) in Almaty told me the hospitals here are rather dire compared to the West. From what I have seen so far I definitely don’t want to get an operation followed by weeks of recovery alone in a Kazakh hospital especially when I can’t understand what the doctors tell me. Unfortunately after two days spent calling my travel insurance (American Express UK), telling my story 15 times and being told they’d call me back each time (they never did), the insurance refuses to cover expenses for a flight and operation back home. I shouldn’t have waited for their useless input and booked a flight earlier.

Minutes after the accident
Minutes after the accident

My girlfriend in the UK and my parents in France have spent the last 48 hours on the phone trying to find the best options for me. Olivier (recumbent) is still with me in Almaty and also provides me with fantastic help and support. The French embassy has also been very supportive and helped me to sort things out with the police. The driver is at fault but wasn’t insured, or maybe he was, but in Kazakhstan it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I am leaving the bike in Almaty as the police need it for their inquiry, the embassy will take care

No more cycling for now
No more cycling for now

of it afterwards and I’ll try to get it sent back to Europe later if it can be fixed.

Thank you to everyone who e-mailed me during my trip. Each message was a great morale booster!

I had three fantastic months on the road. I hope to recover quickly for other adventures!

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