Greetings from Cuzco, Peru.
You may recall in my last blog I joked about altitude sickness, I wish I hadn’t… After 24 hours traveling and 36 hours without sleep I arrived in this beautiful city and was taken straight to a 2 hour induction meeting, then a Spanish test. By this time I felt so ill that I muttered ‘Put me in the Beginner’s group’ and stumbled back to my hotel. I collapsed into bed and that is where I stayed for 38 hours with just the worst headache, sickness and nose bleeds.
After 15 hours horizontal I made an international call to Reception to get some water. A delightful lady came up and told me I needed Coca Tea which she promptly produced. This is the most marvellous concoction made from the leaves of the cocaine plant. Mind you, at a height of 3400m, with altitude sickness, I did not need to get any more high. Nevertheless I tucked in. After 30 minutes I thought I felt slightly better, or I might just have been stoned. To be honest I didn’t care. I even wished I was 5’2” rather than 5’8” as perhaps those 6 inches might have reduced the severity of my condition. Even dwarfism seemed tempting in my abysmal state.
A combination of Paracetamol, Coca Tea and sleep meant I was able to emerge into the outside world on Tuesday and start Language College where I am learning Spanish before starting my voluntary work next week.
When I first met my Spanish teacher I thought she was utterly terrifying. She wears thigh high black suede boots and bright red lipstick. I suspect she has an evening job as a dominatrix. As she speaks no English and I spoke no Spanish, the first 2 hour lesson involved lots of arm waving and Google Translate. Gradually I am making a little progress, although I did tell her today that I owned 2 donkeys and had 56 brothers.
It is early days…