Windows up, windows down, windows up. We had turned off the air-conditioning because I was worrying about our car overheating. Death Valley is the hottest place on earth and were amidst the badlands where there was nothing but left behind caravans, lone joshua trees and a long road stretching for the horizon.

Having our car break down here, in a place that seemed to have been velcro-stripped from life, would be *freaking out* bad.
But while worrying about our car, I almost got myself killed.

Yes, I might be exaggerating a tiny little bit.
Ok ok … I’m exaggerating a lot.
Here’s what actually happened:

When we arrived in Stovepipe Wells, I got out of the car, when the heat felt like a smack in the face. Or maybe more like someone was aiming a gigantic blow-dryer at me. Truth is, I simply couldn’t bare the hot dry wind. So I did what I always do when I need to feel better: Eat !

Death Valley Stovepipe Wells

Death Valley

I went to the rustic western themed Toll House road restaurant and ordered a big hamburger with fries. The Star Wars decorations in this place should have made me ecstatic, yet I got a terrible headache and felt like I was burning up.
I excused myself, went to the bathroom to freshen up, only to discover that there was no cold water running.

Death Valley is so damn hot, that all tap water turns warm!

Walking back to my table I started feeling a little disoriented.
I sat down and started clinging to my table.
Things got worse pretty fast at that point.

The sight of the hamburger that got served made me feel nauseous.
Hamburgers making me nauseous you guys! Enter: Freak Out Modus.

The waitress noticed my quirky behavior pretty quickly:

“You feeling alright sweety?”

“No sorry I’m feeling a little nauseous”.  I admitted.

“It’s hot here isn’t it? Have you been drinking enough water? A lot of people forget to drink and get dehydrated here. Just keep drinking a lot of water and you’ll feel fine in no time. “

How could I be so stupid ? I hadn’t drank anything for hours!

“How ’bout I put that hamburger in a bag to go for you?”

I nodded and ran out of the restaurant, leaving my girlfriend to pay the check – not cool I know – while I started shivering all over my body.
It took a dip in the ice cold swimming pool, a gallon of water and a few hours of sleep to make me feel better.
Then I did what I always do when I feel better: Eat!
I ate the cold hamburger in the doggy bag like it was the sweetest thing I had tasted in weeks.

I’m still not sure if I got a sunstroke or if I was suffering from dehydration but I promised myself that Death Valley wouldn’t surprise me again.

Drink up !