Cusco, Puno, not for Momo

Yes, the names of these blogs are silly and slightly narcissistic but what can I say, my name is a flexible one. Anyway, it gets the point across.

After getting back from Machu Picchu, we arrived in Ollantaytambo and got a taxi back to Cusco.

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On the way back the sun started to set and it was gorgeous. The sky seemed so big and the colours were stunning. Added bonus: the taxi driver had some AMAZING tunes on in the car.

We arrived in Cusco that evening and grabbed some food and headed to bed at the hostel.

I woke up the next morning feeling close to death. I could barely move and I could feel a great force trying to drag me to the floor. It was almost as if somebody had turned up the gravity levels for me. Breakfast was situated upstairs in the hostel and I’ve never had such difficulty in climbing stairs in my life! I crawled up them really slowly and then got to a table in the breakfast hall and draped myself across it. I felt hideous.

The thought of getting up again to grab breakfast or even eat any for that matter seemed impossible. I asked Alicia to grab some breakfast for me because I know that when you’re not feeling great you absolutely have to get some food in you. I could barely speak though and kept gagging. The issue was that although I was clearly exhibiting symptoms of altitude sickness I was also exhibiting similar symptoms to somebody with a hangover might have. In which case, not a single member of staff or other hosteller came to ask if I was okay.

The chef in the kitchen offered me a coca tea, something I would become acquainted with over the next few days in many of its forms. I had really nasty altitude sickness and I had no idea what to do with myself. So, I went back to bed. If only the wifi in the hostel was any good maybe my stay in the crappy bunk bed would have been slightly more pleasant.

I was in bed for many hours and managed to get myself out of it for the late afternoon.

The next day, similar had happened. I woke up hideous and shoved breakfast down me. My internal organs were incredibly messed up and that is all I will detail you about it because quite frankly, it’s one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. Alicia went out for a walking tour, we were even now as I went on one in Lima while she was unwell.

You’re probably thinking “Woah, this post is text heavy”, and yes, it is. But I was that unwell that I couldn’t even go outside really and when I did I was so busy focusing on staying upright and breathing that I didn’t think about photo taking. Here’s a few I got while sitting down!

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After 2 days in Cusco in which I saw almost nothing we then got a bus to Puno to stay for the night before heading to Isla Del Sol in Lake Titicaca.

I thought I was doing better when we got to Puno but oh I was so wrong. Wrong enough for the waiter in a restaurant to tell Alicia in Spanish that basically I “looked like shit”. The pizza I ordered was then taken-to-go because my stomach was not wanting to play.

Altitude sickness is hideous but on reflection I wonder if a stomach bug had a part to play in my illness too. Either way, my little Suffolk body (used to basically a few metres above sea level) was not coping at 3,800 metres above sea level. I appreciate oxygen more now. That is an absurd thing to say but it is true. I’m also pretty pissed that I prepared so much for the chances of bugs biting me to then learn mosquitos don’t appear at such high altitude. No preparation for altitude at all.

So that accounts for my adventure across Peru. The next post will tell the tale from what happened after Puno and what happened in Bolivia!

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