When you are about to start a long journey, one of the things you have to keep in mind and take care of is, without a doubt, health. I got all the necessary vaccinations, I supplied myself with medications of various types - from simple aspirins to antidiarrheals to vitamin complexes - and I try to eat my best so as not to lose my strength in so many days of travel.
However, along the way you always find things for which you did not come prepared. In my case, they were tiny blood-sucking parasites that are normally associated with our pets: fleas.
These uncomfortable travel companions joined me somewhere in the Chilean territory. They are usually located in rural areas and use pets - mainly dogs - as a transition vehicle. For about 10 days we distributed our accommodation between guest houses in Chiloé and Valdivia and a hostel in Puerto Varas and in some of these places fleas caught on my clothes and fattened with me.
Although they are more common in dogs and other animals, fleas feed on the blood of warm-blooded beings, among which we find humans. They survive in temperate temperatures and often remain hidden in the seams of our clothes. Their bites are very similar to those of mosquitoes: a reddish swelling with a small red dot in the middle. What leaves no doubt is the amount you will have in your body and their disposition. They bite and jump, bite and jump, this is their usual sequence leaving behind a lot of bites that make up little paths on your skin. They usually draw blood from the areas around the waist, armpits, neck and back of arms and legs.
When I arrived in Santiago I had more than 100 bites of these bugs all over my body and I bought a cream to relieve itching because I woke up at night scratching myself like crazy.
To eliminate them, it is best to wash all your things - I washed the backpack and threw away all the plastic bags in which I was carrying the clothes - at a temperature of 60 degrees or higher and then let them dry in the sun. I washed them with warm water and it didn't help.
As for the bites, they will disappear in a couple of weeks or something but they will bother you less gradually. Luckily, I have managed to end them in Mendoza but they gave me a week of little sleep and great discomfort, so I advise you to follow the steps I have told you as soon as you see the first symptoms. I did not act before because I had never suffered his bites and did not know for sure what it was. One and no more, Santo Tomás.