Peru, Oct. 27 2015

I’m a pretty efficient packer when it comes to travelling. Over the years, I’ve learned to bring about half of what I lay out and most of the time I use what I bring.

This Peru trip has been crazy. The travel notes warned me about the temperature range in Ayacucho ~ 6-10 C at night, high 20s C in the afternoon. I monitored the weather for a couple of months before departing and watched the daytime temperatures climb slowly. So I packed a mixture of sweaters and t-shirts hoping I’d covered all the bases – layers would be the answer.

Turns out more than half of what I brought I didn’t need and haven’t worn. Didn’t need the wool socks, the sweaters and turtlenecks. Even the light silk/cotton pullovers have been on the warm side. I have worn the t-shirts and cotton shirts, the cotton ankle socks but I could have got away with the one pair of Sketchers sneakers – the sandals and shoes weren’t necessary.

And of course, now that I’m hotel bound, I’m wearing the same few items over and over again.

Friday we depart Ayacucho for Lima. I think the trip was over for me Saturday. “Montezuma’s Revenge” has laid me low. I’m still forcing the electrolyte fluids but every swallow is an ordeal. Again, I managed to shower this morning, and I had more toast at lunch time. I cannot face quinoa, rice, potatoes. Maybe a poached egg this evening, maybe some more chicken broth. I know I’m not going far the next two days.

Sab has also succumbed. She experienced the onset when she got back to the hotel last evening. She and I have been checking up on one another during the day. Elaine has been feeling off colour but able to carry on.

The serenity prayer starts – “give me the serenity to accept what I cannot change…” Well this I cannot change! No point in fighting it. Just hoping I’ll feel strong enough to get back to Lima and then on to home!

Peru, Oct. 26 2015

Not much to report on today. I slept for much of the night; felt strong enough to shower this morning. Went for a breakfast of toast and more electrolyte water. Had the Senioras clean the room. Had lunch with Anabel in the hotel Cafe – some chicken soup (Sopa de Pollo) – I ate the few cooked vegetables and a few bits of chicken. We made a visit to the pharmacy for more electrolytes and then back to my room to nap away the afternoon.

The group spent the day travelling to Vilcashuamana to visit an Incan archeological site, to picnic at a lake, and to explore the area around the lake. They left at six this morning and got back close to 8:00 pm! I just had “dinner” (more toast for me) with Elaine and she recounted the adventure:

  • They started the journey on one road which was under construction, sent to a detour to another even rougher narrow rural road with switchbacks and steep drops, wide enough for a single vehicle but they did meet oncoming traffic which Wilbert somehow managed to pass
  • They came to a narrow bridge on which was stuck a transport vehicle – they had to wait for that to be resolved before they were able to cross and continue the trip
  • At one point something happened to one of the wheels on the van – Wilbert, fortunately was able to fix the problem
  • The Incan ruins involved a climb – Beth wisely declined to go to the top and waited for the others below
  • The outdoor picnic was rained out, so they had their picnic indoors in a restaurant that allowed them to use their space
  • On the way to Vilcashuamana Elaine thought to herself “thank goodness we won’t have to return in the dark” – but of course the last two and a half hours of the drive were after dark!

I’m so glad I didn’t even contemplate the trip!

My only photo for the day is of the cappuccino Elaine ordered this evening. The barista who prepared it took great delight in the elaborate decoration he created for her.

I’ll see how I feel before committing to any travel tomorrow – I have to feel reasonably confident a bagno (bathroom) is close at hand even though I would take Imodium before departing.

One of the few things I did today was upgrade my Lima/Newark flight to Economy Plus – to give me more leg room on the return trip. It’s a long flight and with Imodium I should be able to sleep much of the way.