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03. A Sit On A Cactus

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

Context around this story must be acquired as it would make no sense otherwise. Kaspar (my best mate) and I were well embedded in our 17 day road trip around Northern Argentina. On the 13th of July we had reached our fourth pit stop: Tilcara, Jujuy. This beautiful desert pueblecito lies in the North-Western corner of Argentina, bordering with Bolivia. We had decided to spend our 14th of July walking up the 'Garganta Del Diablo' (Devil's Throat) which was the name of a popular walk that advanced through a desert. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was a waterfall; giving the walk its appropriately titled name of the 'Devil's Throat'. I will link information about the walk below if you happened to be interested in seeing what this terrain that we were trending on looks like:

(It is in Spanish, but you can translate the page in the top right hand corner where you will see a cheeky British flag that you click on for an English transcript.)

This story takes place during the descent of our trepidation from the waterfall:

It was quite the stressful turn of events. Whilst in the blistering hot desert terrain, Kaspar was in need of placing his wooden-turtle up amongst the mountains. I, meditated the idea, but decided to stay down and listen to the silence of the desert. Kaspar needed his time with the turtle too; to send him off (he had brought a wooden-turtle from New Zealand to leave in Argentina).

An obvious decision was to find a place to sit, because only god-knows how long Kasp would take placing his turtle at bay. At first glance, I strike the sight of a squared rock that almost looks perfect. Note the use of the word: ‘almost’ here. It actually turned out that as I planted my bottom upon this rock, it happened to have quite the spike-lathered layer. Heat, altitude and dehydration disorientated my sense of decision in an act of what I would call: ‘intimate bottom-to-prickle contact’. My instinct immediately wanted to inform Kaspar of this dramatically stupid act. I yelled up towards to mountain, “Kaspar! I sat on a cactus!”

And see it was hilarious at this point because of the irony of being in a bloody dessert and sitting on a bloody cactus. Kaspar giggled, probably pondering something along the lines of: “Classic Ella!” And on that note, he continued his ascent.

Initially, nothing felt sore, painful or uncomfortable. But as seconds ticked past, suddenly my behind begun to inflame itself. Ella Gibson has now partially converted herself into a hedgehog-hybrid, brilliant! But the pain increasingly worsened as time went by. Quite rapidly, too. In attempt to disembark the many spikes from my bum, my hand had to enter through the rear entrance of my pants. This was due to the prickles being quite well embedded within my skin, making themselves feel quite at home. Each spike extraction hurt like a MOTHER! And the immense quantity of spikes that required removal really threatened my patience, of which I did not have a lot of. Honestly, I had a moment there as my ass was on fire where I thought a lethal poison settled itself inside of those prickles and it was expanding through my system, this was how I was going to go: sitting on a cactus, in a dessert, in Argentina. I mean the funeral would almost be hilarious that is how ridiculous the whole scenario was.

The extraction process most definitely was not ideal. It bought a few tears, screams and a lot of vulgar language that the desert received in a courteous fashion. An Argentine couple happened to pass by, as I tried and failed to maintain neutrality and hide the fact that I had just sat on a cactus, they asked whether I was okay. I do not think my tears hid themselves away in time. Or I forgot to take my hand out of the rear end of my pants before their eyes had to unfortunately meet my situation. The thought of informing two complete strangers of this horrendous display, and in Spanish also, was not presenting itself in a desirable manner. For that reason, I decided to pop my chin up and tell them that all was well and that they enjoy their day.

But who I really needed to attend to my situation was Kaspar Soltero. A turn to the turtle mountain and Kaspar was nearly at the bloody peak. Worlds away from my current location. A scream or two got his attention, “Please come down, I’m in excruciating pain!” Not in any hurry, Kaspar slowly descended through the shrubs of the mountainous dessert region to the flat terrain of prickle-ass island.

We started our return home. Still in some strenuous pain, I did attempt to establish a serious composure; dedicated to concerning for my new medical endeavour - that only lasted about ten minutes as I could not deny the reality of sitting on a cactus. All was well as I had a shower afterwards. The spikes left some spots and I am not entirely sure if I got rid of all of the prickles. But now I am readily able to sit on soft surfaces, such as chairs and couches that do not have spikes on them, without consciously feeling sharp little critters rise up through my skin. From this experience, one takes away the fact that common sense should be applied to all situations. In this specific case: I have learnt not to sit on cacti in desserts.

This blog will encompass the life of a 19-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations, videos and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface.

For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected twice a week. Take this present moment now and rock it!

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