We had wondered why Cesar had a limp and put it down to his age and body weariness

However, Cesar shared with us how to be campaigning in an election comes with risks.  Back in 2016 when he was standing for a seat during another election, he was targeted by a couple of fella’s who shot him, splintering his femur bone in his left leg.  Cesar showed us the x-rays where the bullet was and where the new rod is.

Holy crap.  I remember making the joke when we were driving down a dirt road going to the rally that this is just like a scene where bullets start riddling the car!  Then Cesar pointed to a hole in their lounge window that we hadn’t seen before.  It was from a bullet during the same assassination attempt!

The bullet hole shadow in Cesar and Salvit’s lounge window.

We slouched down in their car as they took us to and dropped us off at the bus depot.

All jokes aside, lovely people and an airbnb experience worth staying at.  Just wait till after the elections in October!

We knew we were in for a long haul to our next destination.  Estimated time of arrival, 17 hours.

The bus departure chaos was similar to the one we experienced in Cusco.  As the bus pulled out of Puerto Maldonado, it was very different from the bus company used from Cusco, there was no food nor blanket.  Damn, I’d warn shorts for this one and we only had a packet of Lays chips and packet of Ritz biscuits.

Lake Sandoval was only 200 metres above sea level.  The curvy road traveled, elevated to over 2,000 metres.  After the lip-sync movie ended, we managed to doze for half a dozen hours.  A slight headache from the altitude; there were various stops along the route – some got off; some got on.  Some knew how to flush the on-board toilet; some didn’t.  We had to disembark at one staged check point to walk twenty meters.   Otherwise, it had been a long time since we had endured a monotonous distance like the one we endured.

Even though we were on the pan-American highway, our advice for this type of overland travel, try to break the trip into two shorter parts.  Or, fly.

And that is what decided to do from our final destination this adventure, making the decision after we arrived into Arequipa.  Fly the next bits.

But all soap box speak aside, the landscape during daylight hours had vastly changed from lushness to desert like baroness.  Wild Alpaca’s and Llama’s freely roamed the openness.  Bumps of extinct volcanic mountains rose up to form an unbelievable snow-capped backdrop behind the city.  And that was spread out as far as the eye could see.

Overlooking a lake on the road between Puerto Maldonado and Arequipa.

Landscape between Puerto Maldonado and Arequipa.

Volcano country.

It was a short taxi ride to our hostel and what does one do after checking in?  Take shower to freshen up and feel younger again!

It was then that the free-loader was discovered, having latched on in the jungle.  Yep, a tick.  Having a had a party of a time.

It was important to only panic a small bit so as not to have the head space play too many mind games.  Lyme’s disease did feature in the thoughts after I had pulled the thing off and wondered if I’d left the head of the thing buried under the skin.

We visited reception to get some instructions about seeking medical advice and the great thing about some hostels, is that they can have a doctor come to the location.  One did.  At first, thinking it was a mosquito bite, but when we showed the little bugger who now lived in a small zip-lock bag; good old google helped with it’s identification.

Brent’s Tick!

Fortunately, she prescribed a ‘doxycycline’ prescription (the same medicine used for malaria) that we already carried.  One was swallowed as she assured us that the risk of Lyme’s was 99.5% a possible no.  What does one do but just take the med’s, disinfectant the area and then, be optimistic that all will be well and that it couldn’t possible get worse!

For which it kind of did.

After a nights sleep and the early morning reaching over for a cuddle, we discovered another freeloader on Claire.  Having fed off the side of a boob, this one was four times larger than my one.  Pfft, of course she had to have a bigger one!

Again, it was pulled, disinfectant applied and the same course of tablets for the next five days.  It too now shares the same plastic zip-lock bag cell.

Claire’s Tick had to be bigger!

We remember Alex sharing how he hasn’t had a tick before, but has had episodes with moth larvae.  During the rainy season, if you try to dry your clothes exposed outdoors, there is a moth that lays an egg on the material.  When you wear your clothes, the hatched larvae can piece your skin and then live and feed off you just under it.  They grow, are painful and the only way to extricate them is to suffocate them with tape so that when they pop their head out, they can be removed.

Huh, if we had an option, we would have happily just had the 17 hour bus ride one.

And no type of freeloaders!  Certainly hoping no moth larvae, that’s for sure!