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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Dark Side

by Mark

Greetings everyone. After spending a couple of nights in the Puerto Vallarta area recouperating, I thought I'd share "the rest of the story". (Paul Harvey's voice works best for that sentence).

First, the set-up:

Those of you who know me will be familiar with my battle with negativity. I get cynical, and I think I'm prone to depression. My thought patterns often conspire against me to interpret events negatively, when really life is producing the same challenges for me as for anyone else. In fact, at one of the hotels we stayed at, I found a book (in English, no less!) by Norman Vincent Peale called, The Power of Positive Thinking. It was first published in 1951, and it's very practical.... I guess I feel like the book "found" me. Useful exercises to change thinking patterns at a time when I can practice easily.

Despite all this, I think there's a time for the down-sides of things. I fear that when Katie and I only relate the best parts about our trip, the blog begins to mis-represent the reality of our day to day experience. I have no intention to cause anyone (who might actually be contributing to the betterment of society) to feel jealous or uncontented with their lives. I've seen this happen-- so let's keep it real, shall we?

For two nights, we got chowed by bedbugs at the Stoner surf camp. It started out with us staying in a thatched-roof bungalow, like this. Innocent enough, eh?

The view was great, and we slept under a bug net. Classic experience, right?

The itching really got better around day 4. Sorry, no pictures of Katie's bites.

The hostel we stayed at a night later closed the group room after we told the owners about our experience. They were amazingly good-natured about having to deep clean the entire place (and 6 mattresses!) after we left.

Our research revealed 2 things: First, that if we had flicked on a headlamp in the midst of the feast, we would have probably been able to see the engorged bedbugs. I'm pretty glad I didn't think to try this. Secondly, bedbugs are extremely rare in Mexico (except in places where U.S. travellers frequent). Yep-- Americans are the vector for the buggers.

Lessons learned? Travelling Mexico (so far) by motorbike has moments of great excitement and fun (see Katie's next post about sea turtles!) ...and the pendulum swings both ways. This is not news to any of you, I'm sure. Just thought I'd put a reminder out there....

Thanks for reading.


  1. ooo be careful to keep your clothes and sleeping bags off the beds that have bed bugs. thats how they spread!