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Witches market and altitude sickness

Lucky Foetuses?!

sunny 13 °C

Yesterday we woke up at around 9 and went for breakfast in the upstairs restaurant of our hotel. We were red eyed, tired and feeling like death warmed up. We went to the witches market which was walking distance from our hotel and saw lots of strange and puzzling items in the stalls. Among them were potions for longer lasting sex, llama foetuses (both hanging my their necks and decorated with what looked like an arts and crafts pack), good luck talismans and the usual touristy knitted items. Most if the women were in traditional dress, for example long colourful ruffled skirts, aprons and ponchos with tall bowler hats that somehow didn't move in the wind. I also noticed most babies were carried on their mother's backs wrapped up in a blanket.
The people seemed friendly and quite smiley but a few asked for money. We saw some very artistic graffiti and walked up and down the steep hills through the bustling food market. After the morning out, we were exhausted and I found it very hard to catch my breath because of the altitude sickness, plus we both had bad stomachs so we went back to the hotel to rest for a while. I tried to sleep but couldn't breathe very well so I woke up every minute or so panicked and gasping for air. We decided that we might feel better after some food, so we went to a cafe half an hours walk away called 'Alexander's cafe'. I had a vegetarian wrap and chocolate cake while Brad had a Mexican wrap and a kids sundae. The food was ok (chocolate cake was amazing and HUGE) and the prices were fair. Unfortunately, the food went straight through us and when I came back from the toilet Brad had had an accident. A hilarious worst case scenario kind of accident related to food poisoning. So we cut the day short and took a taxi home where we got washed and watched the Blair witch project in our room on our tiny tv with our beds on wheels pushed together. We got a call from reception informing us that our guide was here and to be in reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting. Some people were late so we didn't meet the whole group, but most of us sat and introduced ourselves, and we were taken through the itinerary. The others went out for dinner but we decided to skip it because we were still very ill and wanted an early night. It took us a while to pack and Skype my Mum and Dad, and the plug socket in our room was pretty sketchy so it took us forever to charge our phones and we got to bed at half eleven.
The night was not restful. We both had horrible dreams and trouble breathing, and in the dark that causes panic so it's hard to catch your breath again. We talked for almost an hour before going downstairs for water and hydralite, because we both felt dizzy and dehydrated. It helped us get off to sleep at around three but we were both very sick in the night and when the alarm went off this morning at 6am I felt shattered and so did Brad. We ran out of hot water, we ran out of toilet paper, we were in a rush and feeling a bit emotional. Breakfast was for ten minutes at seven- I just had coca tea and two peices of buttered bread which stayed in me for about 5 minutes. Then we had to check out and I waited downstairs with my bags for Brad who was taking a while. I went up to see him and he was in a state and very very ill. Everyone was waiting for us and I asked our guide to wait as I was told to get on the coach and wait. Bear in mind he was only ten minutes late, the coach driver was getting irate and decided to simply drive off with me still on the coach and Brad inside with the guide waiting for him. I heard someone say that whoever we were waiting for would have to stay behind and I turned around and told them that he was sick! I was feeling very defensive and tired and not in the mood for gossip or other people's whinging. Plus I was panicked. I had no idea what was going on and I appeared to be going on a three week tour alone! Half an hour later, they met us at another pick up point.
We both had headaches and felt sick throughout the day as we passed the border to Peru and climbed to a higher altitude, but after the bus ride our group leader took us to a local restaurant where the food was amazing! On our journey today we took a ferry across lake Titicaca and passes lots of little villages with half finished buildings and all sorts of farm animals dotted around. In the restaurant we had these hot drinks made with coca leaves and honey which was a bit grainy but sweet, and it helped with our headaches. I ate a salad with avocado and rice (we were told this place was safe for salads unlike some where the veggies are washed in dirty water), and Brad had a chicken and rice dis. It was nice to sit down with everyone from the group and get to know a few people. After that, we walked into town to a supermarket to pick up some food as a gift for our home stay hosts for tomorrow. Right now I am exhausted so I will be having an early night in our new hotel.

Posted by Kirstyonwroot 18:26 Archived in Peru Tagged food travel peru bolivia titicaca coach

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Kirsty this is terrible. Why do you both keep eating if you have to travel though? You need medication. Xxxx

by Jacquelinet

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