We have been incredibly fortunate on our trip. (Knock on wood! We still have two weeks to go!) I had expected we would suffer from illness several times, but aside from Caleb and I getting 24 hour flu in China (way back in August) and each of us having a couple of days of upset stomach, we have remained healthy.
As Caleb mentioned in his blog, I had researched our trip to Machu Picchu and knew that many people struggle with altitude sickness in Cusco, so we drove straight to the Sacred Valley to try to avoid this. For whatever reason though, we all still suffered from headaches and shortness of breath in Urubamba. We had planned a mountain biking trip. We booked the bikes. But the morning of the trip we had to call and cancel because we did not feel well. I mean, we were not vomiting, but just had headaches and no energy. It was a laze around and do nothing feeling. So that’s what we did. By the time we caught the train to Agua Calientes (at the base of Machu Picchu) we started to feel better. But then Caleb got food poisoning and Connor spiked a high fever and got a soar throat. We were down for the count again.
We were grateful that we decided to go without a guide to Machu Picchu because Connor couldn’t walk more than 20 feet without having to sit down to rest. He still needed medicine to ward off the fever. Caleb wasn’t able to eat anything because he’d been up all night vomiting, so he was lacking energy as well. But fortunately the beauty of Machu Picchu did not disappoint and we all still enjoyed it as best we could – at our own pace.
Upon returning to Cusco we hoped we were all on the mend. Caleb started to feel better but I caught Connor’s cold and felt horrid and Connor was still incredibly lethargic. Luck was on our side, however, as I had (for once) booked a nice hotel in Cusco. It even had TV with a couple of English channels so we lazed around for another couple of days. The hotel sat high on a hill overlooking the city so when we ventured out for something to eat we had to climb down about 500 steps into town and of course, hike back up to get back “home”. That was about all that we could manage! We did laundry, got the boys haircuts and visited the market. But our plans for biking, ziplining, and hiking around Cusco will have to wait for another visit.
Goodbye Cusco! You have a lot to offer and hopefully we’ll be in better condition to enjoy it next time we visit.