La Frontera
Guatemagica

May 24-26, 2016

We hung around the border of Guatemala for a few days, recovering from the zika virus.


What happened…

Amanda writes: So we woke up the next day and my swelling was pretty bad. We finally found a doctor and I’m not sure if it was that he was headed for lunch or that he see’s this kind of illness all the time, but he didn’t seem too fussed about a quick assessment and no charge. He asked a few questions, inspected my rash and swelling, asked about sore joints and confirmed it was either dengue fever or zika. After narrowing down the symptoms he said it’s likely zika virus and didn’t feel it was necessary to take blood tests to confirm either way as they’re so similar and non-life threatening. As long as I’m not having kids, it’s not really important which one it is; the treatment for both is the same. So when we told him we’re traveling by bicycle, he laughed outwardly and shook his head. No cycling, no walking; ‘solo descanso’ which means only rest. So to hear I’ve got the zika virus isn’t really shocking based on where we’re traveling and how much mosquitos love me. And while I don’t have a fever right now while speaking to the doctor, I wonder if I did have one a few days back; who knows. Off we went to try and find something for the swelling and then back to the hotel to rest.

At first I was annoyed that we were ‘stuck’ here in this lame town with nothing to do and no internet in the room. That meant I couldn’t even watch the Yankees play baseball. However as it turns out it was a really nice change of pace. Normally on rest days, we plug in and go online and update ourselves with current events, talk with friends and family and just browse. However on our multi-day rest stint we got to watch some movies together, chat more than we normally would while resting and slowly get moving when I could. When I would feel good later in the day, Andrew would walk with me to the store to get some juice to show me I still didn’t have enough energy to ride. He was very supportive through it and a great partner.

Overall I don’t think the virus is that bad barring any lingering effects. I would say it compares to the flu with some extra not very attractive swelling and rashes. Looking back later on at pictures I can see why Andrew was easy going with staying put, I looked pretty terrible. It just sucks the energy out of you and makes your joints ache but as long as you rest, it’s not too bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather avoid it again and will be lubing up with more bug repellant than I was before; but in the end I’m sure there are worse things.


Andrew writes: I found myself really worried about Amanda. I hoped to God that she didn’t have dengue fever or chikungaya (brittle-bone disease). We had trouble finding a doctor at first, and when we eventually did find him, he didn’t even ask for any money; he just asked about symptoms and if Amanda had a fever, and when she said no, told us to go buy some medicine to help with the swelling joints. So let’s pretend that Amanda had the dreaded zika virus that the newspapers keep going on about. It didn’t seem that bad, but then again, I didn’t have it. Amanda was a real trooper, and every morning she would wake up sore, pop a pill, seem pretty good during the day, and promised that tomorrow we would start riding again…until the next morning where it would repeat. I told her we weren’t leaving until a) the rash was gone and b) she could make a fist without wincing. So I ended up being the “gopher” around town, and there was an internet cafe within a stone’s throw of the hotel so we could at least check e-mail and Facebook every morning. We settled into a routine, and I got to know the various parts of the rather small, unassuming town that is Ciudad Cuahtemoc.


Today’s Photographs

La Frontera
Guatemagica