Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ontheroad Peru 2: Cusco and Altitude Sickness

Cusco elevation is 3, 399m or 11,152ft enough to produce altitude sickness. The cause mainly because most people fly from Lima where elevation only couple hundred metres then straight to above those 3,000.
I went some high altitude places before but done in slow pace: by train to Lhasa and trek in Everest Base Camp. I had severe altitude sickness while taking jeep to Mauna Kea, but recover quickly because we only spent few hours in Observatory.
But this time, I couldn't avoid the altitude sickness in Cusco. We arrived late afternoon 26th November but the effect I felt straight away. The light headed and headache just pounding my head. I suffered headache until the day after followed by vomiting. I managed to take Tylenol few times (minimum doses) and drink plenty of water. My appetite plummeted to zero and coca teas did a little help.
The next day, my state was like walking dead zombie. I couldn’t digest food, feeling weak, incapable doing high reasoning. We managed to do some tour in Cathedral Santo Domingo, then had lunch before thundering rain pouring the city of Cusco.
Surprisingly, Alaya did not suffer the same fate. It’s amazing how four years old survived the altitude without showing any symptom. She is having cough few weeks before departure. Since in Peru her cough just increase the consistency but not worse.

Apart from altitude sickness, we do enjoy Cusco so much. The city so alive even after nightfall. It’s looks like 6pm is peak time for children finished school and people back from their work. You feel the celebration mode on those time especially in main squares in Cusco. We felt so safe wandering around the city until bed time for Alaya. So friendly and people just try to be nice. Kang Paijo said if you are not going out in the evening, it seems like you were antisocial. This is evening city, full of light and joy.
Kang Paijo memories about Cusco back in 14years ago was not that different. He notices the city increasing traffic and the restaurant or pubs moved or changing management. But hey.. We try new things about food such as alpaca burger or Cusqueña beer.
The second full day in Cusco we were able to do city tour for archeological sites on top of the hill outskirt of the city. We just pop into a local travel agent and booked the trip on the spot. It was cost 25soles (adult) and 20 soles for children for half day. It was ok for helping me recover from altitude sickness and give enough physical activity to cope with thin air. (to be continued)

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