Running at less than optimal health in a foreign land, just, plain, sucks. As a traveler you must accept the fact that you will very likely be getting any number of amoebas, intestinal worms, rabies infections, and egg-laying spider bites during your journey. So far I have been through four very mild intrusions into my innards….and it has only been two weeks. The last case being a not very appealing case of swimmers ear that developed within 6 hours of my first surf session at Playa Venao. After a few days I was rinsing out my right ear canal with hydrogen peroxide and swabbing out mammoth amounts of very fibrous looking brown and orange wax – we’re talking several marbles worth here. The more I pulled out, the more I wanted to pull out….and the addiction soon lead to what is likely compacted wax against my eardrum and the removal of a delicate layer of protective skin in the canal…which has swollen completely shut.
You don’t realize how much you appreciate your right ear, until its sense has completely failed into a dark cavernous silence. People have been barking Spanish at me and all I can do is turn my good left ear towards them, ask for a repetition, and strain to follow the movement of their lips – thus picking out important verbs and a noun here and there…then ultimately responding to them with an entirely different subject matter. Due to the current circumstances I decided to take a break from surfing. Six buses and 12 hours later I am in the pleasurably temperate mountain town of Boquete. At 3,000 feet, the daytime high is about 74, which is the exact temperature of my paradise. Plus from here the beach is only a 1.5 hour ride to the south, so I am contemplating my next move – apparently you can rent fully furnished apartments here for around $250. Hmmm, live in a beautiful temperate mountain town, take trips to the beach, hike in the surrounding forests, and repair my eardrum for the next Playa. Sounds good to me.