Peru 2008: Day 4 - Sacred Valley Tour and back to Cuzco

Ollantaytambo Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 11 › view all entries
Today was quite possibly the worst day of my entire life. The morning started off on a bad note as I awoke to the now familiar altitude sickness symptoms. Dizzy, heart pounding, tired. After a quick breakfast at our hotel (Ninos, a beautiful place with a touching story behind it - the owner started the hotel to fund the care of the children she adopted - more than 20! - and makes enough to support, feed and clothe more than 500 street children now) we boarded our tour bus for a full day tour of the Sacred Valley.

First stop was a couple of markets. First a small market on the highway as we made our way to the larger and famous Pisac market. We picked up a few things at the first market and practiced bartering in broken spanish. At the Pisac market (which is very large and held 2x a week) we saw both the tourist sections and the streets set aside for the native people to barter goods with each other- mostly farm products and clothing.
We had a quick snack here of fresh boiled corn (I didn't like it, it had a strange taste) before making our purchases. I got an authentic Peruvian skirt in the style worn by the native Inca descendants. Can't wait to wear it somewhere back home. We saw the cute rodents in their cages awaiting the ovens (eaten as a staple protein here in Peru). After the market experience, our guide took us to lunch. A fantastic buffet spread of traditional Peruvian cuisine in Urubamba. Mid-lunch i started to feel queasy.

Back on the bus we headed to the Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo. They were amazing! Not as spectacular as Machu Picchu of course, but still pretty cool. They were built so high- so many death defying steps to climb.
I am really coming to understand that I'm afraid of heights as I clung to the walls and edges while others freely walked near the dropoffs. Coming down from the top of the ruins, and still suffering from altitude sickness, a wave of nausea hit me. By the time I got down to the tour bus in the parking lot I felt really sick.

We left Ollantaytambo and headed for some other ruins on the way back to Cusco. When we arrived at the ruins I couldn't accompany Jon to climb them. Instead, I sat on the grass at the base of the site clutching my stomach which was increasingly painful. By the time Jon returned from the tour of the site i was in tears, sweating and literally crying for my mother. Within 5 minutes on the bus back to Cusco I started vomiting and didn't stop for more than 24 hours. 24 hours! The good news was since I was so sick the tour bus dropped us off right at our hotel, first stop back in Cusco.

Although we were supposed to tour Cusco that evening for a night out on the town, we never left the hotel room at Ninos as I was very very sick. I've never felt so horrible in all my life.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: lrecht