The Good with the Bad: An Encounter with Bed Bugs
November 10, 2016
It was only day two in South America and we were already having visa issues. We tried to get into Argentina but found out the hard way that we need to first pay a fee online, and the website was down! We thought we would get a good night sleep and try the website again in the morning.
At 5:30am and I kind of started to wake up after some noise in our dorm room and then I feel what seems like bugs are crawling on me. At first, I shrug it off, but it keeps happening so I open my eyes and turn the light on and bed bugs are crawling all over me!
Lucky for me, bugs don’t tend to weird me out so I casually flick them off and I almost considered going back to sleep (I mean it was 5:30 and I really couldn’t be bothered) but then I think “shit Bailey is asleep in the bed above me” so I climb up to wake her up just in case she was getting eaten like me.
At first we didn’t spot any in her bed, but we both got up anyway and packed up our stuff to leave the room as quickly as possible. We had no idea how many bites we got as bed bugs bites tend to show up after some time, sometimes days.
For those who don’t know, bed bugs leave a red bite mark which is really itchy and lasts about two weeks.
We were then stuck in Brazil with no way of knowing when the website will be back online so we couldn’t get the bus to Argentina.
With little sleep and no idea where we would stay that night we started walking around looking for a new hostel (one ideally without bed bugs.) We found a nice new looking hostel called Tetris, it’s made out of sea containers and had good reviews online so we asked if they had beds available and then told them that we would be back with our bags to check in.
When we made it back to our original hostel to get our bags and go, I decided to check the website one last time, and it was up and running! Within 5 minutes we were walking to the bus station to visit Argentina.
After deciding on a hostel, we checked in and jumped straight into the pool. After a short swim, I hopped out and began to feel itchy. As I scanned my body I started to notice red bumps all over my arms, shoulders, and stomach – the bloody bed bugs absolutely mauled me! I had 70+ bites, all itchy and bright red! Not the best way to start a trip, the only positive was that Bailey had no bites as it seems they all went for me.
Welcome to the life of a backpacker. People always see the nice photos on Facebook and all the amazing experiences but there’s another side to it. It’s something you have to embrace and do it with a smile because it won’t always be a perfect day. You’re not in a resort with everything pre-planned and worked out. Backpacking is about improvisation and laughing at all the shit that goes wrong, if you can do that then your trip will truly be the best time of your life.