So inverse of most people's Central American experiences, I caught a virus(?) in the U.S. before arriving. At home, I had a day of aches and a few days of spacey headaches. In Guatemala, the headache kept up, sucking away my initiative and decision-making capacity. In addition, my throat glands swelled and my throat got really scratchy, giving me an aversion to swallowing while my stomach was rather queasy. Since the parts of my body not involved in thinking or ingesting seemed to be just fine, we plunged ahead with a tour to Semuc Champey and the Caves of Lanquín. My mouth didn´t start in very good shape: I had trouble making mucus, so it took me about 40km to eat a piece of toast with jam. My legs didn´t get the memo, though, so I had a nice hike. The benefit of a guide became clear as we waded across the river
and he said "Okay, dive here!" and plunged into the clear water. After we went down two levels, he thought to ask Molly "Can your friend swim?" to which I shouted "¡Más o menos!" After climbing a slick limestone formation to inspect the underside of a waterfall, I found I was able to eat a sandwitch fairly rapidly. Maybe next time I feel sick I should take the day off work and go for an adventurous swim. I've still had a residual sore throat and periodically not wanted to eat anything, but when I've eaten, it's been quick and tasty.
The morning of the next day we got in an extra caving expedition, holding candles as we climbed steep wet ladders held in place by two pieces of jute and clambering from one murky pool to the next, all without helmets, naturally. Aside from the inner tube ride afterwards, the whole area was a "You can't do this in the U.S." zone. The Lanquín caves were significantly safer, though slick with a fine layer of batshit. But without crossing a thin barrier of crazy, we wouln't have had as much fun.