My wife and I had been travelling for a total of 2 years in some pretty remote places which included the Amazon Rainforest, jungle of Borneo, Outback Australia and “off the tourist route” parts of Bolivia, Peru and Argentina.  We had met some fabulous people and experienced things that we will never forget.  All this had been done on a very minimal budget, staying with local people when possible, a tent, camper van and budget hostels.   For the last week of our trip we were in Brazil and decided to splash out on a bit of luxury on the Brazilian Island of  Ilha Grande,  a stunning biodiversity hotspot 150 km from Rio de Janiero and 450 km from São Paulo. I cannot remember the name of the accommodation that we stayed in near the village of Abraão but it was a little slice of heaven compared to the type of places that we had been staying in on our budget!  We basically spent the last week relaxing on the beach, swimming in the sea, walking through rainforest tracks and eating!  The most difficult decision was which restaurant on the beach to eat in each night.

Nasty Sandfly!

Nasty Sandfly!

The irony is to follow!  Having visited extremely primitive locations and conditions and maintained good health, luxurious Ilha Grande was going to be my downfall! By the time we arrived back in the UK several days later, a mosquito bite on my arm had become what I thought was infected.  However 2 unsuccessful courses of antibiotics and a trip to Liverpool Tropical School of Medicine later I was in hospital for over a week on a mercury drip for leishmaniasis, caught from an infected sand fly bite in Brazil.  I have still got the scar to prove it although prefer to say I was attacked by a shark rather than a sandfly!