Monday, May 2, 2011

Thin Air

A soaring bird over Cordillera Vilcabamba mountains in Cusco, Peru. The bird is a bit difficult to see against the snowy background, but it is a condor, and it is has the best view of the beautiful Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage city, below.

Cusco is where the Vista Dome train departs for Machu Picchu. Dora took this train and writes about the special tea people drink to avoid altitude sickness, mate de coca. It is made from coca leaves, and Dora says it tastes awful. However, altitude sickness is much worse. Dora experienced it first hand and the feeling that her lungs would burst. It is amazing what we will put ourselves through to experience those things that we dream about.

1 comment:

  1. I've never had altitude sickness but I have dealt with the fun of going from sea level to mountain altitudes. I spent two summers hiking in the Valais while I was living in Switzerland. The first week in La Sage was humiliating for me! I was physically fit, running 10 km regularly and I remember our first "hike"--I have never been so winded and exhausted in all my life! Your body does adapt, for me it was a little under a week, but it still came as a shock to me. I guess it all comes back to the "theory" (read it a book) vs "experience" (gee, I really am tired) part of living.

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