I'm writing this from the Bogota airport, waiting for my flight back to Santiago.
When I last posted, I was about to head off to northern Colombia to Cartagena. So, how was it?
I split the 4 days between Cartagena and Santa Marta (a fishing town about 4 hours away by bus), but it didn't really matter where I would have spent my time. The sickness came back with a vengeance, so most of my time was spent in each of the hostels I stayed at. Luckily one of the hostels was really good about taking care of me. It also had a pool on site and everyone was friendly, so at least I could lounge by the pool a bit each day.
For me I wasn't sick enough to visit the emergency room or go to a hospital, and so resting up actually worked out well. Once I was back in Bogota, Marcial took me to a pharmacy, and I was able to get some medication. (Before this my voice was almost nonexistent due to congestion in my throat. Pretty I know).
So my last few days in Bogota I drank lots of tea, enjoyed a cough syrup affectionately called Muxol, and watched lots of TV. Oh, and I forgot to mention something: My stomach apparently didn't want me eating food or taking aspirin, as it would come right back up. So for about 5 days it was mostly tea, water, and a gatorade here and there. Well, at least I was able to drop a few kilos after the foodfest in Gringolandia.
When I woke up this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find out my voice and throat felt completely back to normal. This was definitely good news, but I was still very low on energy since I hadn't been eating. I decided to stay on the safe side and stay in. My stomach accepted my offering of bran cereal with some milk for breakfast without too much of a fuss.
The trip to the airport wasn't too eventful. After calling a taxi service and waiting on hold for over 5 minutes, I had the bright idea of hailing a taxi from the street. It turns out that that's not easy to do as rush hour begins in Bogota. The doormen helped me out, and luckily after about 10 minutes I was able to flag one down.
Where the good health during vacation gods weren't looking favorably on me for this trip, the baggage limit gods sure did. Once I put my first bag on the scale, the woman at the counter asked me what the weight limits were. I confidently told her it was 23 kg (about 50 lbs) per bag. She told me that it was actually a combined weight of 32 kg (about 70 lbs). She asked how long I was planning on being in Santiago, and I told her about living there and how with my trip to the States and then here I didn't keep good track of the change in baggage allowances once I got into South America. Her colleague went to talk to a supervisor, and they decided not to charge me for my baggage. I thanked them graciously and made my way through security and to my gate.
So, what in the end causes my sickness?
Marcial suggested at first that it was altitude sickness. But my symptoms weren't anything like those I had before, and they persisted even when I wasn't at a high altitude in Cartagena and Santa Marta.
Then he suggested that I got some type of tropical fever. I find that also doubtful, as I didn't spend any time going to luaus, drinking fruity drinks from pineapples, hanging out under a cabana on the beach, or any other tropical-like activities.
I'm not quite sure what it was, but I'm glad it has passed. I'm just very grateful that I am able to return to Santiago and can continue my life there.
Well, we are going to board in a few minutes. Signing off!