Day 11: Tikal

Written By: Melissa Jimenez

It was 4am and as per usual I woke up in a coughing fit, except this time my insides felt like they wanted to be outsides. The delicious cake I’d had the night before (thanks Brandon for stealing me a piece) had suddenly betrayed me. Fearing I’d wake Shae I did my best to be discreet, but let’s face it, there’s nothing discreet about puking your guts out.

After my little trip to the bathroom I wanted nothing more than a hot shower. I looked at the clock and it was a little after 4am. I suddenly remembered it was pitch dark because the hotel we were staying at shuts off the electricity at night. Makes sense right? You’re out in the middle of the jungle, god forbid you have enough light to see a jaguar coming at you. I realized this meant I’d have to take a cold shower in the dark. Thankfully my phone is smarter than me and remembered to pack its flashlight because I sure didn’t.

A piercing cold shower when you’re recovering from a cold and stomach problems is so not what the doctor ordered. If only I’d known that the electricity would be back at 6am, along with hot water, then I would have waited. I stood in the shower shivering in the dark and inching farther away from the water as the seconds passed me by. Instead of standing under the freezing waterfall I pictured in front of me, I began to scoop cold water into my hands and splash it onmyself. I stood there and thought to myself I think I’m showering wrong. After a few minutes of shower scooping the freezing assault was over. I got myself back into my warm bed to rest, after all we had a hike at 5:50am and I was totally planning on going.

My alarm went off at around 5:30am letting me know that the otherswould be getting ready for the sunrise hike soon. I heard people outside my window talking and moving around to gather by the pool, but it all sounded so fuzzy and far. I thought to myself, if I can stand up straight I’ll go with them. I opened my eyes and tried to sit up in my bed. I immediately regretted the decision. I felt as though I had the strength and stamina of a small kitten. The world around me spun and moved much quicker than I could process. I heard my mind screaming Abort mission! Abort Mission! Vertical a no go!. I listened and laid back down in bed. I was sad I’d miss out on the morning trek through the ruins but better safe than sorry.

A few hours later I was feeling much better but not quite up for anything too intense. I wasn’t able to go on the guided Tikal tour at 10am either but eventually I found my way out to the ruins with the help of Kelly, Karl and Brandon. They made excellent guides. A few hours later, sweaty, exhausted and covered in jungle but satisfied, we loaded onto a bus and headed back to the airport for a very much pressurized and Mel-safe plane ride home.

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