BootsnAll Travel Network

HATE is such an angry word

After 5 days of hiking over 100 km through the hot, sweltering jungle of El Peten to see the ancient preclassic Mayan ruins of El Mirador, and after over 100 mosquito, tick and flea bites all over my legs, face, neck, wrists, arms and hands, I can say that I have almost survived this trek. But I am not out of the woods yet, pun intended. I guess this would be a good time to say that guides have gotten a bad rep over the last 3 years because they did not bring enough food and water supplies for their clients, or in some cases, they pull out their machetes to demand more money or whatever. Just a few weeks ago, an American named Eli related this story to me about a group that experienced the guide from hell. So during day 2 when Markus, Kirk and I were being driven hard through the jungle at a demanding pace and all of our things were on the mules behind us on the trail, we had a momentary thought of “We are in the middle of nowhere and we don’t have any of our supplies with us.” But now back in civilization, I am glad to report that we made it back safely and our guides were excellent and we were well taken care of.

After wearing the same shirt and same pants for 6 days (but I did change my socks and underwear!), the stickiness of my body sweat combined with sunscreen and inspect repellent spray and repellent lotion, made for one dirty and smelly guy. Combine that with 2 other dudes wearing hiking shoes for that period, and when you take us together as we take off our shoes and socks in our hotel room after our excursion, LOOK OUT, biohazard zone! We found the best hotel we could in Flores with AC, a pool, hot showers and cable TV. We’re splurging and we deserve it. I had my scoop of chocolate ice cream last night, and my pancakes this morning. All seems pretty good.

But there is something I just have to say. There are not many things I hate in this world. That is such a strong and aggressive word, “HATE.” But I can now say that after one week of putting up with this, with passion and full of scorn, I declare war and HATE towards mosquitoes and ticks. The ironic thing is that this is the best season to hike El Mirador, as the rainy season just brings them out in droves.  But I still have had my fair share of these blood sucking agents of disease and marks all over my body.  And unfortunately, despite being back in luxury accomodations, we didn’t quite manage to rid ourselves of all jungle creatures.  As I type this I am keeping a close eye on my little friend, TICK, attached to my stomach and getting bigger and bigger.  I tried to drown it out in a hot shower and now after spending some time on the internet, it shows that I should remove it as soon as it is discovered.  Well great.  I thought it would just have its fill and detach itself from my body when it is full.  Man I wish I knew more about this things BEFORE it happens.  So I’m done with this internet, I’m heading back to our room to see if I can find some tweezers.  Sheesh.  I better not get some stupid disease or infection or tick paralysis.  I’ll be back in Xela in another 8 days and should have a full detailed trip report about El Mirador.  Or maybe you’ll see me back in Portland sooner because I’ve developed a severe reaction to whatever I’m carrying in my body.  Maybe this is some super undiscovered new breed species of tick and I have little ticks traveling all throughout my body and I’ll slowly transform into a tick.  Wow, too many horror movies I guess.  Okay, I’m outta here, me and my little friend TICK, which I HATE.


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