When Travel Bugs Bite

Although I haven’t managed to post any splendid pictures yet, I spent my weekend relaxing on the Pacific coast’s beach in Manuel Antonio. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the daily rain and cold temperatures of Chepe after a long week of work.  I’m not a fish when it comes to the beach, but I do like to experience the slow drawl of beach towns and enjoying tanning occasionally. I even enjoy the sound of the waves crashing at night, and walking on the shore while romantically being led by the moonlight. Isn’t that how it goes in the movies? Don’t we all fantasize about gettin’ it on on the sand, with the threat of the water reaching to pull us in and someone intruding on our love fest?

Well I’m here to warn you nightly beach dwellers! Beware of the real live travel bug that will surely rain on your vacation, honeymoon, quick escape, all that! Remember how I told you that I developed these mystery bites overnight, and couldn’t imagine what to attribute them to? Well, after eliminating bed bugs and mosquitos, the only vicho (creature) left was something that attacks in tropical areas.

I proceeded to self-diagnose myself by checking out this Insect Bites & Stings page on Travel Doctor. There was were I found the culprit. Exhibit A: The Sand Fly (all information below borrowed from TD).

Also known as the noseeum, cuz you don't even realize when you've been got!

Family name: Phlebotomidae

Popular Hangouts: Any aquatic or semiaquatic area of the world. The blood-sucking species tend to stay near beach or mountain habitats. Beware at night, they dwell and hunt when the wind dies down!

Offense: Preying on beach-goers at their most vulnerable state.

Symptoms: Although you can’t feel their bite like a mosquitos, their attacks can cause an allergic reaction which becomes very itchy and bites can grow up to 2 inches wide! What’s worse is these little suckas can carry a life-threatening disease called ‘Leishmaniasis’ which can cause fever and disfiguring skin sores.

Proposed Sentence: Death!

When I sat to think about it, I remembered being lured by the moonlight to lay on the beach after dark and pow-wow with my companion. Little did I know I was going to be blindly attacked while I pondered my next step in life. I woke up Tuesday morning confused and chicken-pox-itchy. I ended up buying a topical cream that is only effective hours at a time, and will end up seeing a doctor tomorrow. Let’s hope this cup shall pass from me. Next time, I’ll be sure to cover myself in DEET or wear a protective suit after-hours. Well, hopefully you can learn something from my misfortune.

Don’t say I never taught you nothing,

She Traces

When Travel Bugs Bite

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