Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

< Previous: Better | Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue | Next: Hiking >

Errands run Cuzco, Cuzco, Peru, Friday, 18 March 2005 7:44pm

I was remarkably successful with my errands. I even found a place that offered to measure my current prescription from the glasses and make me a pair of sunglasses in half an hour!

Ok, it turned out they were lying about that. We came back in an hour and they told us the glasses wouldn't be ready before evening. But I have dark glasses once more, which makes it a little easier to accept that the ones in Santiago are probably gone for good. They're not a permanent replacement (the lenses weren't cut very well, and they're surprisingly deeply green-tinted), but they should serve until I get back to the States.

Of course, immediately after I picked up the sunglasses, it started raining.

I got some silly hiking-style pants (lots of zipper pockets, zip-off conversion to shorts, excessive use of velcro, &c.) at a place near the upscale hotels. Surprisingly, they weren't more expensive than their equivalents in the US.

Dave and I went to the handicrafts market and spent an hour or so telling people that no, we weren't interested in alpaca sweaters or scarves or mittens, or little stone carvings of pumas, or ponchos (I'm tempted by the ponchos, actually, but, though I like the look, I'm utterly convinced that I would never actuallly wear one). There was an alpaca hoodie that I probably would have bought if it had been my size (it was much too small), since I do wear hoodies. I bought a plain canvas hat and a fancy shirt. Dave bought a woven wall hanging that was said to be based on the Inca calendar.

If anyone wants that kind of thing, email me detailed requests (colors, materials, sizes) and I'll see what I can do. I'll use Dave as a pack llama. He's flying back to the States after we return to Cuzco from Macchu Pichu, so he won't have to lug stuff around.

The prices here are so low that I'm almost embarrassed to haggle, but it seems to be the custom. While my brow is furrowed thinking about whether I'd wear something, the price drops without my having to say anything.

I'm definitely getting more accustomed to the altitude. I'm still out of breath after even short walks uphill, but the dizziness is mostly gone, and the headaches are coming less frequently. I think I'll probably stop taking the Diamox when I go to Arequipa (which is lower) because it's giving me pins-and-needles in my hands and feet, and probably not resume when I return to Cuzco unless the symptoms come back. Hopefully I'll be used to the height by then.

Unfortunately, I seem to be coming down with a more ordinary cold (coughing and sore throat aren't symptoms of altitude sickness). Time to hit the Cold-eeze.