Sunday, March 27, 2011
You can google High Altitude Sickness, or perhaps find it even on Spark, but basically among the list of symptoms are: vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, dizzyness, loss of appetite, nose bleeds, disoriented, and can't think of the others right now, so perhaps Senior Moments are included in the list. I had several of those symptoms.
My problems with the Peruvian food actually started very early on the morning of March 17, so just 1 week after being in Peru. Went to bed OK, woke up at 4:00 very much NOT OK. Got very well acquainted with the bathroom and felt completely drained of energy by morning.
There were a couple of good days mixed in, for example Machu Picchu I felt good except for the wore legs, and the altitude is not really high there, perhaps under 8,000 ft. After that we left for Cusco for 5 days; much higher with a elevation of 12,000 feet. That's when the High Altitude Sickness grabbed me. I already had an infection working around in my stomach but did not know it. We asked for oxygen in the room and it helps a little, but I still felt very tired and the diarrhea stayed with me in spite of the many pills I was taking.
We then left for Puno at around 14,000 feet, and after arriving at night I asked my husband to take me to the doctor on Sunday morning. By this time my left hand was swollen to twice it's normal size as well as the right side of my face, starting with my lips and continuing over to cover my right cheek and jaw. If that's how my lips would look with Botox, think I'll save my money! lol
Doctor prescribed drugs for the infection, hooked me up to saline with additives for my bad dehydration and about 4 hours later, I walked out of the clinic feeling much better. Have a very restrictive diet for the next 5 days, but do it or die, right?
What a way to lose weight -- and of course I don't even know if I am losing! But I SHOULD BE!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
My husband has resized a few photo's so I can make a little blog, so this blog will kind of skip around parts of Peru that we have seen -- with a few comments to explain where the photo was taken.
The first one is of me holding a little Peruvian girl in native dress. Most of the women and kids dress this way at the markets where they are selling their wares. Tourists like to take photo's and the lady can earn 1 or 2 sola (about 35 to 70 cents US) I don't remember which town this was in, but they are all very typical.
We went to Paracus next and while waiting for the boat to take us on a tour of Ballastas Island, my husband noticed this man with his 3 pet pelicans. The same man was in this location in 2006 when my husband was last here. He makes his living this way as the tourists flock around him -- so unusual to see pelicans as pets, they follow him as a dog would.
After the boat tour we were taken to the Paracus National Reserve. It's quite awesome in the magnitude and beauty of everything.
A trip to Peru would not be complete without seeing the fabled Nazca Lines. We were flown in a little Cessna that seated 12 passengers. In this particular shot you will observe the line known as "The Hand." These lines are up to 1000 feet long and are thought to be about 2000 years old.
Our workouts at the gym paid off as we traveled to an area known as Cahuachi. The area covered some 0.6 miles, considered big, and contained 40 separate pyramids. It was quite windy and the area had deep sand -- my legs really felt the effort of it the next day.
After we left that site, we saw the cemetary which is always located next to the river. There were many square to rectangular deep holes and at the bottom you would see the mummy of perhaps 2 to 5 people still wrapped in the robes they were buried in. The holes would be excavated as a new person needed to be added. Grave robbers had been through this area and took most of the precious stones and even the textiles the bodies were wrapped in,.
As we had a few minutes to spare as we were driving around Ica, our guide took us to an area known to the locals as an "Oasis." Indeed, I could see how it earned it's name as there was a beautiful lake surrounded by many trees, flowers and shrubs. Of course it is now maintained by the government.
Last, but certainly not least, is the area Peru is most well known for = Machu Picchu! My legs were still very, very sore from the walks in the sand, so it was doubly hard to walk up and down the stone steps, but worth every agonizing moment. It is a view like no other, and it is well worth the expense of vacationing in Peru. Do try this before you are 70 years old, unless you are in exceptional shape!
Hope you all enjoyed this, brief as it was. We have hundreds more that we will make available when we return home.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
After several days in Peru, we finally found ourselves facing our biggest challenge of the whole trip -- hiking machu Pichu! You are either climbing up the stone stairways, or making your way down the stairways! Sounds easy, until you actually try it, do not underestimate it. The day before we travelled to Machu Pichu we were in an area known as the Sacred Valley, and to see the sights you were required to hike up and down many steps. Wow! We both thought we were in pretty good shape after using the stairclimber at the gym extensively.
Of course when you add the higher elevation into the equation and the fact that we had a humidity in the area of 50% (rather than the 10% we in Arizona are used to) it was quite a challenge for me. I found the next morning the muscles in my thighs were so sore that I was forced to take the steps going down like a little baby. First the right foot went down, joined by the left foot, then repeat the process for as many steps as necessary. Going up the stairs seemed much easier on my legs than going down for some reason. And when you stop and think that I have been registering 10,000 to 12,000 on my pedometer, it is no wonder my leg muscles are sore!
At the hotel in Machu Pichu, although we are in a 4-star hotel, there are no private Internet connections -- therefore I do not have access to all the beautiful photos I have ready to share with you. But we will be is Cusco for the next 5 days so Internet connections will improve and I will see what I can do.
Miss being able to chat with you all -- wonder how my weight is doing -- find the food here a lot different from at home -- and while travelling is marvelous, there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME so even though there is a lot to see, it will be terrific to return home also!
Monday, March 14, 2011
I know it's pretty stupid, but when I saw that on Sunday we had a boat ride to Ballestos Island planned, with the opportunity of viewing several species of birds, including pelicans, and also sea lions; I wasn't thinking so much about the sun shining on me, as I was worried about if I would be WARM enough out on the ocean in an open boat.
I ended up deciding to wear a sleeveless blouse and long pants. I could have easily been comfy in a pair of shorts! Didn't think about the sun at all. Stood crouched on my seat a lot of the time, enjoying the wind blowing through my hair. The scenery was a delight, and the weather was better than perfect. Oh, and to add to that -- not one bird took a crap on my head, (lol) as I had been warned they might -- there are millions of them!
It was actually a little warm with my lifevest on. And it wasn't until I was back in the hotel and stripped down to take my shower that I noticed the red, red arms! A tiny bit on my nose, but not much. It doesn't hurt, and it may peel just a little at the top of my arms -- otherwise it's
looking pretty good.
Today we viewed some archaeological ruins and I DID opt for the shorts. Windy out, but quite hot. Great vacation so far -- and I'm getting in a LOT of walking.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wow! If you want to talk about being worn out -- I think I was past "worn out" by the time I reached Lima!
My day started at 6:00 when I jumped out of bed -- who can sleep the night before a trip? You wake up every hour or two and check the clock to see how much more time you have to sleep? Sleep? Poor choice of words for what goes on the night before a trip -- any trip, and the longer it is, the more you seem to worry. And especially if the travel isn't in your own car where you sort of have control over your comings and goings.
The shuttle service was right on schedule with his arrival at 7:25 -- although why he needed to pick us up at that hour is beyond my comprehension, we didn't need to be at the airport until 9:00! So we got there about 8:00 or maybe 8:10. And I'm happy to report that unlike all the horrible things I've heard about being "patted down" or "frisked" were unfounded. It was the same as always, walk through the scan, minus your shoes or any jewelry that might set off the alarm -- and away you go. I had my pedometer in place and decided I would get my much needed exercise by walking up and down the aisles between flights. Now was a good time to get started.
Time to board finally came, and as we were First Class we were among the handful of people who got to board early. I order a Bloody Mary because, after all, I'M ON VACATION! Luckily I have a good book to pass the time. The time passed rather quickly and we landed in /Dallas right on time. Plus it's one hour later there. And only 1 hour layover time.
More walking and soon it's time to board the plane again for Miami! When you're flying on Frequent Flyer miles they always make sure you have plenty of layovers. lol -- it's like the commercial for credit cards = "What's in YOUR wallet?"
We decided to pass on dinner! It seems like when you're flying 1st class they are always offering you something to eat or drink. The rest of the plane is starving, but not you! Our stomachs were still on Phoenix time. More reading -- and for me the fact that I didn't have to use the bathroom numerous times was a blessing.
In Miami it's a shocker to see that our plane doesn't leave for 4-1/2 hours! OMG! Just that fact was enough to make me very, very tired. People watching is fun, but who wants to make a career out of it? We decide to waste a bit of time in one of the restaurants we spot. Time well spent, we see an hour has gone by. AND we also realize that we had not reset our watches -- so we just knocked another hour off our wait time. Still a long time, but not too bad. Boring, but we expected it, so what can you do.
We finally get loaded and lo and behold are offered a "late night dinner" which I again passed up, but noticed the Ben & Jerry hot fudge sundae and indulged in that. Then it was sleep time or in this case "get cramps in your neck and a sore back" time. Again -- expected.
We make it to Lima -- immigration is a breeze, we see our guides -- ride to the hotel and OH, the comfort and pleasure of seeing a big, comfy king-sized bed was HEAVEN! Sinking into it and dropping off into dreamless sleep was even better! Ah! Life is GOOD!
Keep sparkin' while I'm gone, my friends, I miss you!
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