Please not that this is not medical advice, and is not being given by a medical professional. I simply want to recount my experiences for your education and reading pleasure, and hopefully pass along a few tips.
Three days in Cancun is enough time to seriously screw your body up. The equatorial sun is hot and direct, and the reflection of the sun off and in water will fry you as well. The dark-skinned mexicans aren’t to be emulated, because their bodies naturally protect them better.
The first day, we arrived around noon, and went down to the beach. I was wearing a shirt for some of the time, not for some of the time. I didn’t feel anything, and it was cloudy, but when I went back to the hotel, I had a bad sunburn. The next two days I tried to avoid the sun, wear clothes, and wear sunscreen. It worked, but the damage was already done.
Intensely painful to move or touch, my entire upper body was covered in red, burnt skin, as well as parts of my foot, and my calves, the back of which were particularily tender. The etremities and my chest began to slowly heal first, my face gently peeling with the rest of them. However, my upper arms and shoulders developed severly burned skin and blisters, and seeped clear fluid for many days.
Aloe Vera gel and topical anaesthetic and anti-microbial agents help. Taking an anti-inflammatory such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) works well. Tylenol may not be as effective in relieving swelling and pain. Avoid scratching, tearing, or irritating the skin. Avoid more exposure to sunlight. Avoid alcohol or other drying agents. Eat and sleep well, and drink lots of water.
All in all, I think I’ll be ok, but it’s not an experience I want again.
Coming back from 90-degree weather in Orlando is like stepping from a frying pan into the freezer. It’s snowing here in Ithaca:
No pictures today–we went to Blizzard Beach, which is a waterpark, which is wet, which means no camera! Blizzard Beach is on the Disney property in Orlando, so we took a cab to get all the way there (it’s pretty far from the hotel). Taking cabs sucks, since they charge $2.25 / mile in Orlando.
The park itself is lil’ weird. I mean, who goes to Orlando on Spring break, looking for sun, to BLIZZARD beach!!! Disney decked out their waterpark in this ski/snow theme, which definitely feels out of place on a sunny day. On the upside, since everything’s white, the surfaces are cool to the touch.
You can read all about the slides on the guide pages. I went on all of them, except the famous 60-mph-one, in part because the lines were long, but really because I’m scared to fall hundreds of feet off a mountain. My favorite, though, was either this ride on a blue whitewater raft with up to five passengers down a big tube on the mountain, or the slow ride in inner tubes around the perimeter. While it was sunny in the afternoon, it felt nice to sit and relax in a gentle current:
Runoff Rapids – Climb aboard an inner tube and rush down this 600-foot course through twisting and turning flumes, passing through corrugated steel pipes and falling into total darkness at the end.
Teamboat Springs – This 1200 foot whitewater raft ride, the world’s longest, takes six passengers down a series of twisting and cascading waterfalls.
The sun didn’t last all day, though. Around 3 PM it became partly cloudy. We asked a lifegaurd if Blizzard Beach had either Sauna or Hot-tub, but it didn’t. She recommended the infant pool as being warmer than the rest because of its shallow waters, so we ran over there and watched babies play in the water for a while.