Dorasi Designs Photography
Latest blog entry in "Photography, Travel and all that goes with it."
At long last I made it to South America. Wow, life really has its way of keeping it real. Pretty cool trip…very interesting. Landing in Lima with a full itinerary without a hint of knowledge that I would come down with the worst cold/flu I’ve had in years, it settled into my lungs, and the respiratory infection was no match for the altitude sickness. By the time I got to Machu Picchu I was sure I was going to die. Double whammy, pneumonia and altitude sickness. haha I didn’t die but it did force me to cut back on the itinerary, slow down and really appreciate the region.
By the time I got on the flight for Cusco my fever had broke yet it didn’t make much of a difference, by that time it was in my lungs and once in Cusco it was obvious I was in trouble, my driver luckily was waiting for me to drive the two hours to Ollantaytambo, the coca leaves and tea were a great help hehe but little did I know that the listing was incorrect and my “entire home” was a room and bathroom at the top of four flights of stairs furthest from the hostel’s main house. As you can imagine being in the state I was in and what should have been an easy trip turned real when I found there was no heat in my room and the night temps reached the low 40s.
Squelched were my aspirations of climbing Machu Picchu mountain, and a significant regroup and reprioritization of sites to see was in order. I had one day before the train left to figure out what was most important while I spent the week in the Andes exploring a destination of a life time. I headed into town to get a feel for how I was going to do and find the train station. LOL that was good idea, figured out real quick that I was going to have to get up a heck of a lot earlier than planned as my pace was slow …take five steps, stop, rest, catch my breath, repeat…
In my travels I tend to pack as much in as possible, this round the illnesses made me stop, regroup and take it all in. It really was a blessing in disguise, I was forced to cut back of a lot of my plans, kept things real and resign to the fact that I was going to have to come back.
And thats fine with me, Peru is a repeatable destination especially for a celiac. Here I thought Italy was easy! To be Gluten Free in Peru was sooo easy, their main staples are Quinoa, Corn and Potatoes, grocery shelves had quite a bit of gluten free food and restaurants had amazing gluten free dishes. For the first time I did not worry about being gluten free it was the easiest country to travel to oh my gosh and the food was so wonderful! Many of the foods are bigger, super sized avocados, eggs (poor chickens!), corn, asparagus etc
The people are amazing, friendly, helpful and thoughtful, everywhere I went I had really great experiences meeting new people. I have never met such a nice region. The weather in Lima was mild and foggy, and then cold and wet in the mountains. May is not a hot month for those planning a trip. The skies literally opened up the entire morning I was up in Machu Picchu, I knew rain was a possibility but wow that was a serious downpour!
It didn’t matter the place overall is utterly magical…something that was really shocking though was the jolt I experienced at Machu Picchu, I had hired a guide and he patiently got me through a tour of the lower area of the Inca city, and during the tour I leaned on a stone near the ritual area of the site. Omg I received an electrical jolt, mind you this was not a static shock or a grasp of an electrical fence but an omg serious current through the body knock the stance right out of you off your feet jolt. My guide was a bit worried and I was really taken back by the whole experience…after a few minutes I was able to shrug it off and got him to continue on. Very interesting experience that I will not forget.
The next day I headed to Cusco, took the scenic route and really had a nice day. My driver Max was great even though I don’t think he knew how difficult of a time I was having walking he was patient and stopped at the places I had scheduled. Very nice man shared his corn and cheese in Maras with me (OMG thats a have to have!!) and was helpful when it came to reading the ingredients on the coca candies (after showing him my GF card in Spanish he helped me figure out if I could have them) those little green candies made all the difference in the world once I started on those I noticed quite the difference with the altitude sickness. I had gotten antibiotics in Aguas Calientes the day before yet they hadn’t really had a chance to kick in – definitely the little coca candies are on the shopping list when i go back It was very odd that once I was in the highest elevation of the trip I started to mend. By the time I left Cusco I was walking like it was nothing (still hacking up a bunch of junk but able to go on a nice walk to the plaza)
Henry evidently didn’t have a good time while I was gone; the puppy I picked up is not the same one I dropped off. It was three days before he attempted to bark and a little squeak came out (it’s like he’s been debarked) The house was eerily quiet for a week. He was severely stressed, tail down low and exhausted, still to this day (two weeks later) he cannot not complete our normal walking route, is not his chipper self, still no voice and the vet is not a happy camper, he will not be going back to positive pooches again, we both are on the mends with many lessons learned…..
Over all the pictures I got on this trip are minimal and I’m ok with that, it was quite the experience, I’m looking at new lighter photography gear as I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just don’t want to haul all that weight anymore I have a new favorite destination and new goals to meet…..