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Soaring Like an Eagle Just Makes You Sick (28/04/07)

Well i´ve managed to get the hell out of Lima, thank fuck - spent 3 days trying to find a decent bar with no luck. Also had to deal with psychotic American gun freak Nazis and crazy Peruvian hookers who still didn´t back off even after a told them i was gay!

Arrived in Cuzco yesterday on a short, but midly terrifying, one hour plane journey. Now i am by no means afraid of flying or turbulence etc. I´m not really even afraid of crashing because there not a lot i can do about it if it happens.

This flight was i little different though. I had a slight inkling that it wasn´t going to be all smooth sailing when i sat down next to a native Peruvian woman who started some sort of prayer ritual before take off. Fine, i thought, she is just a little afraid of flying and this comforts her. No problems then. Then we had another prayer upon the plane taking off which was intensified when she felt the jets kick in.

Again i thought "ahhh thats a shame for her". My pity was probably misplaced as i soon discovered she probably knew a lot more about flying over the Andes than i did. Now on the flight over from Madrid there was a bit of turbulence around this area but me being clever clogs knew this was likely due to the air currents coming in off the Pacific and so on. What i had not taken account of was that i was on a rather large jet on that flight. This one however was quite a bit smaller...

Thirty minutes or so after take of we had the first warning when the plane dipped rather violently and shuddered like a dog drying itself. Although only slightly alarming for me this set off another prayer ritual and was obviously scaring the shit out of the poor woman next to me. I tried to talk to her in my piss poor Spanish to calm her down. This worked for a short time before we had another pants wetting episode. By this time the captain, being the consumate professional that he thinks he is, proceeded to advise us that we were in a turbulence area and to sit down and buckle up.

Just as fucking well he told us cos i was ready for doing cartwheels up the aisle, idiot. I mean you have a woman praying for us all on one side, children crying on the other and few other who managed to cover themselves in whatever beverage they were enjoying when the last bit of turbulence hit. Trust me - not one person needed to be told to sit down and buckle up.

Anyway, we finally managed to get out of that and the praying woman seems to have calmed down but we still had the landing to go... This brought on more praying (shock horror) and her clutching onto the seat in front. Naturally i had to do the decent thing and put her out of her misery...

Just kidding i took her hand and didn't let go till all the wheels were on terra firma. Kudos for me.

On to the hostel. Was picked up by agent who i am going to Macchu Picchu with. By the time we got there i was shattered after being out in Lima the night before and having to get up 3 hours later for the knightmare flight. The 12,000ft altitude probably wasn´t helping either. Had some coca leaf tea, completed the forms and got to my hostel as quickly as possible. Got to hostel, more forms, tour of hostel then to my room. Dumped my stuff and went to hostel bar for a beer. Had one beer, spoke to the Scottish guy working there and decided i really needed some sleep.

Three hours or so later the American girls who were also in the room arrived and invited me to go for something to eat. As i was starving, having only had a McDs at Lima airport, i said yes and off we went. All was well for a while, we went down to the square to get money, the girls looking around in the shops at rings and necklaces and such.

It was around the time we were in the fourth shop that i sensed all was not well. I had begun to feel really tired, slightly nauseous and really warm - despite the fact it was freezing. Sat down on the pavement and the girls started to notice something was up. "are you OK" , "yeah i´m just tired", "OK we need to get you something to eat".

SO off we went in search of a restaraunt that everyone would be happy with. This one doesn´t have good stuff for veggies, that one just has a shit menu altogether and so on. Then came the elephant that broke the camels back. They wanted to look at one that was up a flight of stairs...

Since by this point i was slightly delirious i went up with them. Now it was only about fifteen steps but fuck me it felt like 500. Needless to say that one was too expensive and down the stairs we went. You would have thought going down stairs would be no problem but, since the altitude sickness was taking hold, not a chance. A short, painful walk along the road and we were checking other menus. By this time by brave attempts not to look sick were no longer doing any good. I couldn't even hold myself up, having to lean against the wall, shaking and sweating. It was then that the girls decided "fuck it- we need to get him a seat and some coca tea". I managed to make it to the table without passing out and sprawled myself across the table. By the time the food came the coca tea had done me no good at all and the waiter noticed i wasn´t eating. After explaining he said he thought as huch and came back with a bottle of indusrial alchohol. After a few sniffs of this i was back in the land of the living and able to eat, albeit tentatively. I was even able to walk back to the hostel.

Anyway the moral of the story is when you at altitude, on your first night and you feel fine: For the Love of Fuck do Not get out of Bed!

Posted by george1979 17:53

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