09.27.2008 - 09.28.2008
As we began to head down from Machu Picchu, both Jen and I realized we had bites all over. They were not a mosquito, but rather some sort of bug sniper, as they had left blood and little bullseye marks all over us. It sounds gross, and it was. As we rode the bus back down the switchbacks again, I gazed out the window at the breathtaking scenery, but could not keep myself from realizing the presence of at least a couple dozen spots on my arms.
Upon arriving back in Aguas, we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit and recover from our attack. Then, we headed out for dinner to Indio Feliz, a fun little French-Peruvian restaurant. Feeling completely drained mentally, emotionally and physically from the day, we filled ourselves with amazing food. A stuffed avacado started things off, followed by salmon cooked with mangos and herbs served with fresh potato chips and some sort of cream caramel concoction wrapped things up. Yummy. A thorough application of anti-itch cream is the last thing I remember before drifting off to sleep.
2:07 a.m. I have never in my life felt my arms itch so much before. I knew I probably shouldn´t scratch them, but my hand seemed to move without my permission. I closed my eyes, pretended to ignore them and fell asleep.
5:25 a.m. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.
7:13 a.m. I want to sleep more. Scratch. After-bite application. Scratch.
8:30ish a.m. Bug bite count....at least thirty! Scratch.
Jennifer was just as miserable, but the majority of her bites are on her legs rather than arms. We had to check out of our hotel fairly early, so we headed to an internet cafe, back to Inka Wasi for lunch and then sat in the main plaza and people watched until we had to head to the train station.
As the bell rang at the train station, I knew that our ride would be lovely. We sat across from a couple visiting from near Cambridge, England and before to long battle stories were traded regarding the sniper bugs, which we soon concluded to be sand flies or noseeums. Across the aisle from us were another couple from Canada, the husband clearly the family comedian and across from them an older woman who was super sweet with a sassy edge. Along with the striking views of peaks, valleys, rivers and farmland, some tasty snacks and good conversation, we enjoyed a fashion show of alpaca wear during the journey. Once we neared Cusco, it was dark outside, people were somber and the distraction from my itchy arms was beginning to fade...