This morning I spotted a toasted sesame seed on my ankle that revealed itself to be a tick.  Further examination disclosed three more, and yet another this afternoon.  Ruth bravely removed all of them with tweezers.  The Internet tells us that ticks in Hungary can carry Lyme disease and encephalitis, so I am under observation for a bulls eye rash pattern and signs of insanity.  Ruth frequently suggests that I behave as though I’ve had a stroke, so it may be difficult to diagnose the encephalitis.

We have already had one bout of bedbugs.  It wasn’t too bad, though Ruth’s right breast bears a pattern reminiscent of the EU flag.

Continuing with the theme of blood sucking pests, I saw a large leech today.  I had to remove my shoes to cross a shallow waterway, and there it was, writhing and wriggling at the stream edge.  I have seen leeches for sale in a public market (Romania? Laos?) but this was my first sighting in the wild.  I walked through the stream very quickly and carefully.

Hungary hosts a rich ecosystem, and we have also seen many large, more charismatic animals.  We see deer and pheasant on a daily basis, as well as signs of wild boar.  I am enjoying my daily walks through the forest, and with any luck I will make it Slovenia with most of my blood and all of my sanity.

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