Monday, November 22, 2010

Titicaca a "no-no"

Well, after yesterday's return to the 11,100 ft altitude, and the return of malaise by the majority of the group, Rick and I have decided to re-route and head back to sea level - Katie also can't wait to swim.  Dad and Betty caught a bus tour at 7am to head up to Puno, which is the entry to the "world's highest navigable lake", resting on the border of Peru and Bolivia.  It has been inhabitated by various indiginous groups for over 4000 years, and is the oldest center of agicultural practice in the "New World", but alas at 12,500 feet above sea level (or more?) this younger part of the family did not want to climb any further up hill..... back to the sea, Billy! for us.  In this case, the grandparents have won!

Jaclyn's fever broke during the night, but she is still not up to snuff, and the altitude is not great for Rick.  Travis seems to have recovered fully from his flu, though headache and a general feeling of "unwell" combined by insomnia (is it the altitude, the barking dogs, the horns all night long, the upset belly, or the "what if's" keeping us awake?) plagues us all.  Katie is the only one seeming unfazed, and Derek is just hungry.... This morning with the help of very friendly Cusi Wasi staff, we were able to change our flights to go instead back to Lima, skipping out the high altitude and the jungle.  We were also able to find a restaurant that served all-day American style breakfast (pancakes and maple syrup!) which calmed everyone's stomach, including Jaclyn.  Today will be a quiet day of rest, and tomorrow we head back down to the coast, where sea breezes can replace this high mountain air.  I don't see Mount Everest in anyone's future.  Except maybe Derek...

Speaking of Derek, it should come to no one's surprise that he is loving the bargaining shopping experience here.  If we need anything at all, he seems to be able to negotiate the best prices in both stores and at the markets.  His Spanish is coming along quite nicely too, as he can read the menus and talk prices, barter for lower cost and seem to come away with exactly the items he wanted.... quite the gift that boy has.  Si, gracias y por favor!

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