11.03.2013 - 11.03.2013
Today wasn't the greatest day I must say. Tyler woke up feeling a little bit off but we didn't think much of it and so we got on a bus to take the bumpy twenty five minute ride up to Machu Picchu. I don't think I need to go into detail but his stomach did not like that bus trip up and let him know about it into a Longos bag I conveniently had with me..and then twice more once we got there. He was a trooper though and we walked slowly around Machu Picchu and took it all in. It is stunning to see in person. It's basically Incan ruins on top of a bottom with clouds all around. There is a 45 minute hike you can take up to the "Sun Gate" which is the top of a mountain across from Machu Picchu to get a good picture of it from far and above. Tyler was in no shape to go and I didn't want to go without out him but he said "you have to do it for the picture"... so I had to go. He sat in some shade while I made the trek. I was trying to go as fast as I could, all uphill, huffing and puffing but passing lots of people. I got there in 28 minutes, rather than usual 45 minutes it takes. I dropped all my gear, took a few pics, got someone to take pictures of me and felt pretty impressed with myself and my superior fitness. I then heard someone in the background say to a friend "we're half way there". This was not the sun gate, I think I swore, gathered all my stuff and started the trek again, a little less enthusiastically this time. When I got to the top, I was sweating and short of breath then a huge mist appeared, rain came down and I actually could not even see Machu Picchu. Seriously, I'm not joking... I think I swore again. Luckily I took pictures along the trek before the clouds appeared which I'm sure are just as good as the ones from the exact top. I then quickly headed back down, and I met up with Tyler, a little green in colour, back where I left him (which I'm still feeling guilty about) and we came back into town. We already checked out of the hotel, but our bags were still there so we went back and Tyler was able to lay down on a couch in the lobby. He started having chills and being lightheaded and we didn't know if this was altitude sickness versus a stomach bug or something. We were due to catch a train back to Cusco in the afternoon which is a much higher altitude but I didn't want to do that If he had altitude sickness. This is totally beyond my expertise so I asked the hotel people to call a doctor. They came right to the hotel, and by checking his oxygen saturation they could tell he didn't have altitude sickness which is very good, but he did actually have a fever and they suspect picked up a stomach bug which left him dehyrated. Not great but better than the idea of altitude sickness. They gave him a shot in his butt along with a prescription of antibiotics, and ordered him to drink lots and went on their way. Tyler is feeling much much better, don't worry! He got to sleep the rest of the afternoon and evening as we took a four hour ride back to Cusco city. Never a dull moment. We didn't get to enjoy the train last night really because it was dark but today it was during the day and it was spectacular. The train had windows in the roof so you old just look up the entire time and watch the green but snow tipped mountains go by on both sides of the train and the river running alongside.
Sunscreen update. Today I brought the sunscreen with me in my backpack to Machu Picchu and told myself that at the first sign of any sun I would slather it on. I swear I did not see any sun whatsoever, and so didn't put it on . Well tonight I am left with red cheeks to match my Rudolph nose from yesterday...and I had a hat on! Man, this sun is something else.