You can’t hike in flip flops!

The last time I wrote about Honduras, I shared a story about hiking to The UnbelievableIMG_0108 Falls and my fall. Today I would like to share a story about another hike along a loop trail in the Pico Bonito National Park. This trail is marked and a guide is not needed. However, we made arrangements to have a guide join us so we could learn more about the landscape and the critters who inhabit the area. And I’m really bad about following directions. Don’t get me started with maps.

We met the guide early in the morning. He took one look at the better half’s flip flops and said, “Those won’t do.” I had on sandals made for hiking through small streams, which was the plan for the day. I sniggered. Before we left our cabin I questioned the feasibility of hiking in flip flops. The guide and I waited for the better half to return with proper hiking shoes also known as tennis shoes.

IMG_0104Part of the excursion included stopping at a small waterfall and taking a dip in a swimming hole. The better half complained about wearing tennis shoes with wet feet. I tried not to act smug, but the better half always made fun of my big and clunky hiking sandals. Who was laughing now!

On the way back the guide stopped us on the trail to point out some fungi. That’s when I felt a stinging sensation in my right foot. Then my left. Soon it felt like hundreds of tiny pins were piercing my feet and working up my legs. I started to shout and hop on one foot. Then the other. I was standing in the midst of ants. Tiny ants barely visible to the eye.

The guide started pouring water all over my legs and feet and I kept shouting, “These

A clue that I missed!

A clue that I missed!

ants are bitey!” I have to admit, the better half waited until we were alone to mock my sandals and pointed out that no one else was bitten. I acted maturely and said, “Oh shut up and get me a beer.”

The rest of the day I lazed about the pool keeping my feet in the water to deal with the stinging sensation from all the bites. And the beer supply never dwindled. Now that is true love.

Next week I’ll share a story from my trip to Guatemala.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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45 Responses to You can’t hike in flip flops!

  1. I loved this post!! I was getting ready to ask you how good it felt to have an “I told you so moment” and then when it kind of backfired on you I couldn’t stop giggling. I don’t mean to laugh at your misfortune, but just the way you wrote it was perfect!! I am sorry about those bitey ants though but glad you were able to “drown” the pain :).

  2. Beth Ann says:

    What a great story!!! That would be me—-totally me—thinking I was all smart and all and then having it all go very wrong very quickly. I had an encounter with some bitey ants in a family photo shoot on the beach a couple years ago. The oldest son and I both got bitten up like crazy and no one else did!!! Not fair!!!

    • TBM says:

      Stand next to me. All insects love me. I’ve been bitten by so many types and have ended up in the hospital on more than one occasion. I feel your pain.

  3. when i was a girl scout i remember having to wait for one of the girls to change shoes because the leader wouldn’t let her wear open shoes on the hike. if only the leader had had your story to tell! i love the picture of you cooling your feet in the pool while your husband brings you beer. in my mind the beer is served on a tray. 😉

    • TBM says:

      I’m suggesting when hiking in a jungle, open toed shoes may not work. I learned the hard way. a tray and ice bucket–it gets hot there.

  4. Brilliant post – damn those bitey ants!

  5. Funny! Ouch! Lesson learned….

  6. ilargia64 says:

    Oh God!!!! Poor thing!!!! I was feeling so sad for you!!! Last year, when walking through the forest with Sigh, we stopped a little bit to take a pic,….Suddently, I saw Sigh had something black and red on her legs…There were ants!!! Big ants…I started to taking them off and then, suddently, I saw my tennis were full as well…It was awful!!! We run out shouting (me)….
    You know? I think I hate ants because of a film I saw when I was a child: In English is “The Naked Jungle”, with Charlton Heston…I still remember the marabunta….
    Thank God you had a good beer to help with the suffering…That is always a point…:)

    • TBM says:

      I haven’t seen that movie and I’m not sure I should. I love ants from afar, but I do fear them. You and poor Sigh–sounds awful! I hope it all worked out. I would run screaming as well. They’re fast aren’t they, when they invade.

  7. Caroline says:

    This sounds worse than an encounter with poison ivy. They can be nasty, ant bites.
    At least you got pampered nicely.:)

    • TBM says:

      Never had an encounter with poison ivy and I don’t want to. yes they are nasty. Fortunately these I didn’t react to too much. In the past I’ve had terrible experiences with ant bites. This time just uncomfortable but nothing serious. And I was pampered. The better half is great that way.

  8. The Hook says:

    What a great title! You never disappoint!

  9. Whatever I was expecting to read, t wasn’t this story! Great.

  10. Northern Narratives says:

    Before I even finished reading I was afraid you would get bitten by a spider. Glad it turned out OK.

    • TBM says:

      The spiders there were big and intimidating. Ants are less terrifying. And I’m glad it wasn’t a snake. we didn’t see one until our last day.

  11. “Oh shut up and get me a beer.” Best answer ever. 🙂

    They must have been fire ants? Hope I never encounter them.

  12. pattisj says:

    I would have thought the hiking sandals to be a great idea. I may have to think about this a bit more…

  13. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Oh poo if its any consolation it would have been me too, several pairs of my trusty merrells have walked I don’t know how many miles with me!

  14. petit4chocolatier says:

    Excellent post! Ant bites are the worst!

  15. Fergiemoto says:

    Oh, ouch!! That would hurt. Beer probably helped with some pain reduction.
    My lower legs and feet were bitten by a swarm of little flying bugs when I was walking on a beach in Kauai. I still don’t know what they were.

  16. Meredith says:

    That is a funny story. I can totally picture it. Hey, do you remember hiking that time I had flip flop type shoes on and my feet hurt so bad that we traded one shoe so that we each had one good shoe and one bad shoe so that I could make it back to the parking lot?

  17. Iamrcc says:

    Open shoes for hiking. Really? At least you were able to relax with a beer while soaking the toes the ants found to their liking. Thanks for stopping by again and the like of my post “Undisturbed but Waiting”.

  18. lynnsbooks says:

    Excuse me please for laughing out loud at your predicament with the bitey ants. Your other half was very measured there wasn’t he (small pun).
    Great story. Thanks for sharing. And, I think I’ll stay with the covered shoes thank you very much.
    Lynn 😀

  19. bocafrau says:

    I stepped into a red ant pile one time. We had taken the kids to the circus and we had to park on a field. When we left it was dark and I was busy herding the kids to the car and didn’t watch where I stepped. Even though I was wearing sneakers they still got me… the pain was horrible. A cool pool would have been much welcome.

    • TBM says:

      Ouch! This has happened to me. Actually my first allergic reaction was from a red ant when I was five or six. I still remember the pain.

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