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Parasites in Argentina? Yuck!

Categories: Travel Hog
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Say hello to my little friend
When most people travel, they take double-decker bus tours, buy cheesy souvenirs, snap corny photos, and attempt to immerse themselves in the culture.

I recently visited my best friend in Argentina. I didn't take double-decker bus tours around Buenos Aires, (though, much to my best friend's horror, I wanted to). I didn't snap corny photos (no, really, the only photos I have from the trip are of food, plants, and animal life). I didn't buy cheesy souvenirs either (the only souvenirs I came home with were two soccer jerseys for my nephews). 

But I did somewhat take in the culture of Buenos Aires and a small town just south called San Miguel del Monte. 

Mostly, I went all the way to Argentina and all I got was this lousy parasite. 

From the start, we feasted on parilla-style steak and pastries called facturas. I made it a point to visit at least one of Anthony Bourdain's BA stops, so we went to El Cuartito for pizza. I even had homemade milanesa and fresh ice cream by the bucket load.

I spent some time out in the country on a farm in Monte. At night you could see every star in the sky. My nickname is Poca[hontas] so I was definitely in my element. It was a pretty neat experience. 

But then I came home. For three days I had fever higher than a pot head at Woodstock and every night I would sweat like a sinner in church. I had terrible stomach cramps, and completely lost my appetite. I finally caved in to see a doctor and, after a little tapping here and some painful pressing there, countless tests, and plenty other extensive doctor activities, the news finally broke: "You have a protozoan parasite in your small intestine. You have all the symptoms of an infection from giardia lambia."

Fantastic. 

Now, there's no telling how I ingested this giardia lambia (characteristically known for its "smiley face" symbol), but the point is that it was ruthless.  I'm writing this after being out of commission for over a week. 

Moral of the story? It was a great trip, and seeing how I can't pinpoint an exact (or approximate) moment when I might have ingested giardia lambia, I have no regrets. Here are some non cheesy photos from my trip. 

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Sweet mother of Jesus. It took every ounce of me not to buy out the whole store with these

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Freshly churned helado (frutilla, chocolate, and canela)

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These were made the day I arrived to Monte

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Assorted facturas

How to get to Monte: follow the dirt road until just before it ends, then make a right at the cattle


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