Well, after our amazing and educational 5-day trek to La Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City), we decided it was time to do some intense relaxing. We didn't know where we were going to go next, but a quick look at my notebook (where I keep all my notes about places to stay from other travelers we meet along the way) gave us some ideas.
A friend named Shawn who we met in Ecuador in January had recommended a hostel called Rancho Relaxo, located just outside Tayrona National Park, an area that sounded amazing. We couldn't remember why he recommended it, but I had drawn two big stars beside the note so it must have been something good.
It started out as a very high fever. I thought I was going to freeze to death but the thermometer said I was nearly 104°F. In the middle of the night on day two of the fever we went to the hospital. There were two nurses telling jokes to each other in the corner who were visibly annoyed that we showed up. They woke up the pharmacist who took some blood, told us that I didn’t have dengue and sent us home. No investigation into what it would have been. Just told us to go away. Later we found out that you can’t test positive for Dengue until after 6 days of fever.
The next day I went to a different pharmacist down the street from our hostel and asked for antibiotics because I thought maybe I had an infection or something. They gave them to me without question or explanation of any side effects or anything. I later found out that you can get as much of anything you want from any pharmacy here – for example a guy from our Spanish classes bought 20 or more vicodin, valium, oxycotin and some other mystery drugs that are apparently stronger than all of those. He bought them all at once and took most of them in one day. Apparently this is one reason that a lot of people come to Montañita.
The doctor recommended that I return for monitoring in a few days, however when we did return, no one there could find any record of me ever being there so after A LOT of persuasion we got them to run some new tests that we took with us and emailed to our health insurance providers in Canada. Luckily google gave us the heads up on my symptoms and nothing suggested the dangerous type of dengue (the one where you haemorrhage and your insides turn to mush) so I just had to wait it out.
After 12 days of fever between 101-104°F I finally awoke without a fever. For the next three days I had random full body hive flare-ups which google alerted us was normal for the recovery stage of Dengue. It took another few days before I was able to eat a full meal again and about two weeks before the nausea finally left (now).
Unfortunately my opinion of Montañita is not too good, likely in part based on the fact that I felt like crap the whole time we were there. However I did manage to attend 20 hours of Spanish lessons at Montañita Spanish School, which were very good, and we did a couple of smaller day excursions as well. I just had to get out of the hostel we were staying in.