19th of June, I’m in a hostel here in Leticia Amazonas, taking it easy trying to recover from a terrible diarrhea I had been suffering since the second day of my visit in the jungle. I don’t travel for the first time, I should have known better. Salads, ice and strange homemade alcohol are the most risky choices one could make, and I made it all!
That led to an interesting adventure in the middle of the jungle as we were staying with a local family in a wooden settlement about an hour away from the amazon river. I started feeling bad and I asked to stay at the settlement to rest as the rest of the guys, a lovely family from Spain, and our guide, continued with the tour into the jungle. So I was left alone at the settlement and that’s when things got worse. I can’t really remember how many times I had to go to the bathroom, maybe it was every 20 minutes or so, had terrible stomach ache and a little bit of fever. I was losing so much liquid so fast, I admit I was a bit scared since we were at least two hours away from the closest hospital in Leticia and the two Loperamida pills I got (similar to immodium) didn’t do the trick. I think I was close to fainting, but I had to hydrate myself so I went to the kitchen and tried to find the necessary ingredients for the antidote. A bottle of fresh drinkable water, a portion of salt, sugar and lemon juice is an amazing mixture for hydration if you don’t have access to a pharmacy, and luckily all the ingredient were there so I was able to craft the magic potion.
When the guys came back I was looking pale and I think they were scared. I was still losing a lot of liquid and I thought that by the next day I wouldn’t be able to walk my way to Santa Sofia to get the boat. Then after some phone calls, our guide Saul offered me to go with them to Santa Sofia, the indigenous settlement next to the Amazon river and from there a coast guard boat could take me back to the coast. Note that there’s a regular boat twice a day carrying passengers from Leticia to the various villages and communities in the jungle, but the last one was gone and I had to wait for the next day. The second part of the problem was we had to walk for 30-40 minutes in the jungle and then get a small boat and paddle our way to Santa Sofia for about 30 minutes more. Luckily Ivan, a tourist from Spain, decided to help me and even carry my backpack for me which was super nice. So we started our journey into the jungle, with me feeling really weak and the jungle really dark and scary since the sun had set. The boat ride in the river was particularly scary because it was dark and we knew there are Caymans (a type of Crocodile) in the waters.
Luckily we made it to Santa Sofia where we stayed in the police station for a while, where the young officers were chillin’ by listening to really loud music. Even though I was in pain I noticed one of the officers was flirting with a good looking girl that wasn’t wearing a uniform so I’m not sure if she was a policeman or not. Furthermore, there was a kitchen, a billiard and a huge TV broadcasting the results of the presidential elections. It was a very dirty police station though, especially the bathroom. Despite the misfortunes I was happy I was able to lay down on a wooden bed and I was thrilled when I was offered suero to hydrate myself. We were waiting for 1,5 hours and still no boat from Leticia and I was thinking I had to pass the night there, then the chief of the station approached me and said that a boat is coming but I should act like I were really sick, in pain and not able to walk because the coast guard didn’t want to come to get me if the situation wasn’t serious enough. I found that really funny because I didn’t had to act or anything, I was feeling really weak there.
So the coastal guard came with a fancy boat, I exaggerated a bit the moaning from the stomach ache I was feeling, I thanked everybody and I was good to go. Unfortunately, the boat didn’t have space for sick passengers so I just laid down and they covered me with a couple of life vests. I had a smile because never had I imagined me getting out of the jungle like this.
When we arrived to Leticia, they asked for my passport, they took some pictures of me and let me go. Luisa, the owner of the hostel I was staying in Leticia, was waiting for me very worried. We went together to the hospital where the doctor said everything is fine, I had the traveler’s diarrhea and gave me a couple of antibiotics and lots of suero to hydrate me. Going back to the hostel I had a strange feeling that Luisa was a bit mad at me for getting sick, she said that the police wanted to visit the hostel the other day and ask questions about my situation and why I called the coast guard and an ambulance to get me. I mean, I haven’t done anything wrong and I didn’t call anyone. I was very sick in the middle of the jungle, I was offered an emergency ride to the hospital of Leticia and I took it. What else could I have done? Other than that, Luisa had been so great and I thank her for that, she was like a mother to me, offering me suero and some rice. She even made a special breakfast for me the next morning and an amazing soup that made me feel a lot better.
I recovered quickly in less than a day but it was a very intense experience. Till now the police haven’t visited us so I don’t know if it was a way to scare us or what. In a couple of hours I’m getting a flight to Cartagena in the Colombian coast longing for my next adventure.
I’m still alive bitchesssss!!