What travel story is complete without a bit of peril?
As if a global pandemic isn’t perilous enough!
One perk of being in the Morelia Film Festival was that Hugo received a night free at Hotel Casino. It’s right at the city’s main plaza. An exciting location. Not a place to get a good sleep. Unless you have noise cancelling devices.
The building, like so many of the buildings in the city, is built in the Spanish/Ancient Roman villa style where all the rooms are positioned around a central courtyard. The rooms are on the second floor. The downstairs of the hotel is a lobby/restaurant/bar so if you are staying there or not you can enjoy a meal.
Our pad came with a tiny balcony overlooking the main square with a view of Morelia’s famous cathedral. A Goya reproduction (or print) hung over the bed. The vibe was minimalist hacienda posh.
There was not a lot of floor space to be had, but dark wood of the ceiling was like 17 feet up. No, I’m not kidding. For being shorter people back in the day, they certainly loved all that vertical space.
Somehow, the room was almost too warm as the night went on. Either you put up with the heat or opened the window and put up with the noise. We took a middle option and turned on a fan that was provided for this very situation.
It took me a while to get to sleep. No big deal…
BUT THEN! –
A pain at my right knee cap.
It felt like I was sliced by something; not a jab, but a cut. Was there glass in the bed? My mostly asleep brain was being stupid.
And I was trying so very hard to stay asleep. I did everything I could to ignore the sting, but each time the sheets touched my knee there was pain.
The nagging signal that something was wrong brought me awake enough to bumble into the bathroom.
I saw there was a large red mark on my knee.
I was pretty sure then that I had been bitten.
By a spider.
Or something poisonous.
The time was maybe about 4:30 in the morning. I’d slept for only a couple hours. It was a struggle for me to figure out what the hell I should do. I didn’t even think to wake Hugo in case the critter might still be in the bed!
Besides, he’s the one that gets bitten by the mosquitoes. I get bitten by the spiders. Them’s the rules.
I remembered to wash the area. Which I did. And then I applied some silver gel and a natural eczema cream. Those two things were all I had with me that made any sense to try.
And I waited for signs of symptoms and watched the red on my knee and started hunting the internet for comparable looking bites and kinds of biting/stinging creatures in Mexico.
Google search on a mobile device is the most
helpful GARBAGE thing the company has ever produced. So I kept watching and waiting and scrolling through mounds of nearly useless information trying not to grind my teeth in frustration.
When I noticed that a part of the welt was a yellowish hue (which you can barely see in the picture) I started to panic a little and woke Hugo up.
Hugo pulled the sheets and blankets around and looked for some sign of a critter, but there was nothing.
I thought then to put some hand sanitizer spray on the spot to make sure it was really, really clean.
That, dear reader, was a m͓̽a͓̽g͓̽i͓̽c͓̽a͓̽l͓̽ encounter with a most- um- precise sensation. It wasn’t as strong as a white out pain, but it was nearly that high on the acute agony scale.
If I were a screamer, the whole hotel would have been awake at that moment. Fortunately, the pain did not last at that level very long and I was able to chill out again.
We both hit the internet one more time to look for more information about bites, where to find doctors, and managed to remain pretty dang calm. And we checked in with the bite.
We stayed up for a couple more hours to make sure I wasn’t having any other reactions. Nothing else happened. Thank goodness.
The spot wasn’t looking any worse so I slapped a plaster on it and made myself go back to sleep.
In the morning the bite was looking noticeably better so I opted to carried on with the day.
I didn’t have any muscle spasms, fever, necrosis or anything else. So there was no real need to see a doctor.
The wound healed like a burn/friction burn. After a week I still had a thick scab. It’s now a dark pink scar that’s smaller than a dime.
I am fine. I survived a brush with something small and feisty. And unidentified.