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Honeymoon Part 2: Epic Fail, One Of The Few Times In Internet History The Phrase Is Accurate

Ah, where were we last?

Galloping in a field of toucans and monkeys and anacondas.  Hugging sloths.

We had one last meal in our Amazonian lodge and the "rainforest" started showing it's true colors -- the rain started flooding down.  Down and down and down.  It was a Friday, so the lodge finally started filling up with other visitors which made us giggle.  First, because they were arriving in such wet circumstances, and second, because we could have really used the company.  Power in numbers against the tarantulas and such.  (I yelled at our guide for trying to prod a tarantula out of it's hidey hole during a pitch black night hike.  I never need to do another rainforest night hike again.)

The Gentleman was still suffering a fever and nausea, but he bravely survived a 1.5 hour boat ride up the Amazon river to return to the city of Iquitos.



This photo is from our boat ride TO the lodge, but add grey skies and heavy rain and it looked the same during our return.




The Amazon river was a mile wide and tasted like milky tea.  I mean looked--looked like milky tea.


Can you imagine that boat being your taxi to commute to work?  A lot of the villagers worked at a petroleum factory nearby, so their commute is something I traveled thousands of miles and spent hundreds of dollars to experience.  Hey. 

Laundry and bath time.  If these two only knew I would make them famous on the RoseRunner blog.
We took it easy during our remaining afternoon/evening in Iquitos because we simply did not enjoy being outside of our hostel, with the motorcycle sounds and smells.  The Gentleman regained a bit of appetite, so we we found a restaurant and I ate pizza and a salad.  Turns out you aren't supposed to eat raw foods (including lettuce leaves) when you are a tourist in Peru.  I got the bottled water memo, but not the no-salad-or-uncooked-produce memo.

Within an hour of returning to our hostel after dinner, I started feeling weak and achy and feverish.  No big deal, I was probably catching the 24-hour flu that we suspected the Gentleman caught, so I went to sleep ready to fight it off, lose a day of vacation, and return roaring for the next step of our honeymoon: Puno, for a voyage around Lake Titicaca.  It was the second tier leading to our honeymoon highlight: a hike to Machu Picchu.

The next morning was hell.  We had a long day of traveling (11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.) by motorcycle, airplane, layover, airplane, one-hour taxi ride, to get to Puno.

This was one of the most physically painful and uncomfortable days of my life.  I had to use the bathroom every 20 minutes.  I couldn't eat anything.  I was writhing with abdominal pain.  And I was trembling with fever chills the whole time, which earned some very alarmed looks on the airplane.  At the time I was extremely annoyed that people were staring at me because I was simply trying not to barf on them.  In hindsight, I would also have been like "THIS PERSON HAS THE BLACK PLAGUE, GET ME OFF THE PLANE."


I'm dyinngggg
We occasionally thought it was worth documenting our fall from grace.  But most of this ugly will stay only in my memory.

I was beyond relieved to collapse on the bed of our Puno hotel room.  The most beautiful sight of a bathroom just steps away.

Puno threw another obstacle in our way, however, because it is at 12,500 feet elevation.  It didn't take long for us to start getting headaches, start breathing oddly, and start wondering whether our diarrhea and other weak symptoms were from our prior illness or from the elevation.  We took prescription pills for the elevation and patiently waited for them to kick in.

A day went by; we canceled our overnight stay with a local family on a floating island in Lake Titicaca.  Another day went by, and we then canceled our replacement day tour of Lake Titicaca.  We  also canceled our plans to get up off the bed and brush our teeth and eat a piece of food and do ANYTHING living species do.

Days ticked by and all I saw of Puno was cracks of light from the hotel window.

Eventually we asked the front desk for oxygen to see if it would help.

Ha. haha. sooo dramatic.
It didn't.  It relieved the Gentleman of some degree of his headache, but I suspected the elevation was not what was killing me.  My heart rate had dropped to normal, I was breathing fine, so whatever was ailing us was some bug, not the elevation.

Eventually it had been 5 days of lying on a bed in pain, eating (drinking?) little more than gatorade, when I was convinced by my dad to visit a doctor.  (Kaiser rejected my call to the advice hotline once I told them I was out of country.  Gotta know the fine print.)  I pouted about not wanting to go see the local shaman, which was my way of joking through my fears of medicine in another country.

A kind doctor visited our hotel and then taxi'd me to a clinic.  This was exciting because I saw the sun for a minute.

We gave the hospital room below a long hard look of "nevermind, let's go back to the hotel" but we stuck it out.  I got an IV of electrolytes and antibiotics.  We were there for about 5 hours.



This was about the time that I finally let the truth sink in.  I wanted nothing in the whole world more than to be HOME.  The thought flickered in and out previously, but I was patiently waiting for the sickness to pass and our vacation to resume and not giving it any serious consideration.  


We did it sweetie! We made it to our honeymoon!

The IV did not magically cure me.  We went back to the hotel with a bag full of antibiotic pills and other prescriptions. 

We had sailed through our entire stay in Puno and the next step on our itinerary was a 9 hour bus tour to Cusco.  No part of me (or the Gentleman, who BTW was not as pathetic as me but was still suffering stomach distress and no appetite) was going to survive a 9 hour bus ride.  What's more, that 9 hour bus tour was supposed to be followed by a strenuous 4 day backpacking trip.

And so we threw in the towel.  It was done.  We started booking a flight to Lima, and thereafter a flight to SFO.  This was a formidable task.  Fuck LAN.  Worst airline in the world.  We lost megabucks because their website and phone service made it impossible to rebook our flight home, so we flew home with another airline.  Give me a holler if you know how to get a complaint heard and fixed with LAN.

We taxi'd out of Puno to the airport in Juliaca, and I snapped a photo of the only view I ever had of Lake Titicaca.  To be honest, I don't even know if that is Lake Titicaca.  Maybe it is an inlet.  I'll never see it I guess...




At the airport, ready to survive a short flight to Lima.  I kicked some guy out of his aisle seat so I had easier access to the toilets.



The flight from Lima to SFO sucked balls but truly the suckiest part was that they played the SAME Tim Allen movie THREE times in a row.  In spanish.

I have a crazy souvenir from our honeymoon and my hospital visit.

That's my arm.
Something in my vein really disliked the IV I was given.  This photo was taken today, four weeks after the hospital visit.  It is tender, painful, and bothers the crap out of me.  But at least I'm HOME.

And finally for the photo below, because this wouldn't be a proper RoseRunner post without making fun of silly bloggers a little bit.

After a week of not eating I obviously lost weight.  I also lost a ton of muscle.  My hard earned runners legs, withered away.  When we got outta that hotel to travel home, I had to shuffle slowly because my pathetic calves kept cramping on me.  Yeah, forget running--my muscles couldn't even manage to walk.  slowly.

My point is to reiterate what has been said before by those wiser than I to remind women of the stupidity of succumbing to the famous thigh gap goal.  I don't have the build for a thigh gap.  Guys, the only time in my adulthood that I have had "a thigh gap" was as a result of insufferable montezuma's revenge that stripped me of my beautiful running muscles (see below).  The minute I started running again, my thighs redeveloped and the thigh gap went away.  Running is awesome.  You can take my thigh gap, I choose running.

This is what unhappy thighs look like
Well that's about it for Honeymoon Part 2.  Believe it or not, there is a part 3.