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100 South America Trip report

Settling in at Titicaca – taking it easy to acclimatise to altitude

I haven’t been doing very well with the travel blogging yet, have I?  We’ve had an eventful week on the steaming Amazon on board the Delfin II and I haven’t posted a single photo or even a story!  In my defence, there were no radio waves, and no time to write.  In the nature of these sorts of things there was organised activity from 5:30 in the morning until well after dinner at night, the whole time.  I lie: there were scheduled siestas every day for an hour or so, but it turned out that they were entirely necessary — so sleep happened instead of writing.

Titicaca is an interesting place.  The lake is much larger than I expected.  It’s cool too.  Even though we’re at about the same latitude as Cairns (we’re at 15.9S and Cairns is 16.9S) it’s 12 degrees in the shade.  In the sun it’s very warm, and we’ve been warned to keep our sunscreen coverage and wear a good hat.  Haven’t done that yet, but I figure that it’s still early, and I’m in the shade of a lovely day-bed gazebo on the balcony, protected from the direct rays.

We took the Diamox our doctor had prescribed for the two days before we flew up here (yesterday.)  That seemed to do the trick for me: my measured oxygen levels are the same as the locals, apparently.  Still easy to get out of breath when climbing hills or stairs, or feel faint when standing up, but tolerable.  Cath’s acclimatisation has been slower, and I think affected by the head cold that she cought from me a day or so ago.  She has been given oxygen twice, and had quite an uncomfortable night last night, with a serious headache.  She seems much better this morning, and her blood oxygen level was also “normal” after a stroll around the hotel this morning.

I’ll try to post some photos soon.  Really!