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Day 13 – Lake Titicaca to Lima

(Tuesday September 3rd )

Today was going to be the flight back to Lima. And we got a lie-in! Just as well, because my cold was even worse – and I had the start of a sore throat.

And as it’s going to be a quiet day, I’ll include my section on….

Altitude Sickness

There’s a lot on the Internet about altitude sickness (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude_sickness) so I’ll stick to how it affected us. On our first evening in Lima we’d chatted with a group of UK travellers who were on their way home. They reckoned that out of a group of 20, 50% had suffered symptoms, some to the extent of needing oxygen. We were concerned, but there wasn’t much we could do about it so we started taking the Diamox tablets, two days in advance of going to altitude, as recommended..

We’d been recommended these by our travel doctor. Apparently they work for some people, but they don’t know why, and there’s no guarantee. Also, there’s no rhyme nor reason why some people are stricken and others aren’t. It doesn’t seem to follow age, health or fitness. The strongest, fittest person can be hit just as hard as the most out of condition elderly person.

At our first stop, at Cuzco, we felt very light-headed. You also get very breathless when doing any form of exercise – even walking too fast or up a small number of steps. So you do everything at half-speed. The only other ‘symptoms’ I had were the occasional pins and needles in various limbs. Sometimes in my fingers, other times in my legs. For some obscure reason, at night I’d get pins and needles in the heels of my foot! Not painful, but annoying and it made it difficult to sleep.

Looking this up on-line, a couple of websites say it’s a symptom of altitude sickness while others say it’s a side-effect of Diamox. Who knows. All I know is we didn’t have any headaches.

Nookie at 3800 metres is a challenge

Juliaca Airport

Juliaca airport is tiny. There is no scanner for luggage, so they open your suitcases before you check them in. We were also recommended to go to the café that is before the departure gate, as the small kiosk inside doesn’t do much. It’s good advice – the café does a selection of sandwiches, cakes, coffee and beer. Juan’s careful approach to eating in places he didn’t know had obviously rubbed off – we ended up with a beer and Twix apiece.

Through departures, the seating area is small, and has three shops – the aforementioned kiosk, an expensive ‘Sol’ alpaca clothing shop, and another little shop that sells more reasonably priced souvenirs. The bargains of the day were knitted finger puppets at 2 sols each. I bought a selection of coloured alpacas.

The flight back to Lima was uneventful.

Lima (again)

We were back in the Jose Antonio, and as this was the last night of the trip for three of our group, we decided to meet up for a drink in the bar of the ‘upgraded’ party. This was on the 21st floor, and gave us a good view of Lima by night. But none of us had really eaten anything since breakfast, so two drinks of anything left us feeling squiffy. We decided to have a final meal as a group.

Café La Paz

Juan had recommended a restaurant called ‘Café La Paz’, on one of the squares a short walk from the hotel. We found it in a block with three other cafes – it was very full, unlike the café next door, which was virtually empty. What a good sign – a full café next to an empty one on a Tuesday night. And even better – there was a table for 7 available outside.

Juan certainly knows his restaurants – it was excellent. A good choice of cheaper meals (pizza, pasta etc) through to top of the range seafood. And everything was excellent. The service was good too. I just wish that I had been feeling better so that I could have enjoyed it more. (I might add that my wonderful husband did not take the hint about my worsening health, and stayed for a final large Pisco Sour to farewell the departing members of our group) At last, we wended our way back to our hotels.

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holidays/abroad/peru/day_a13.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/19 20:26 by art
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