We woke up at various times all morning. Every half hour or so. I still felt like garbage, but at least I wasn’t getting sick anymore. Just really queasy and my entire body hurt. The soreness I attributed to hiking on an hour of sleep two days prior, and not really following up with good nutrition to restore my muscles. I think the rest was altitude sickness. We ate breakfast at our hostel around 8:00 am. It was typical Peruvian breakfast; bread with butter and jam, fruits, juice, and coffee. I was hungry but didn’t feel much like eating, if that makes sense. I was mostly scared, I think. So, I just ate some bread and coca tea. I ate a granola bar that we had in the room. I still hadn’t really gained my appetite back. The bread in Peru is the same everywhere and it kind of sucks. It’s just dry and flavorless. It’s weird how identical it looks everywhere, as if only one bakery is making bread for the whole country.
After breakfast, we set out towards the historical center. Here we were bombarded by people trying to sell paintings, jewelry, guided tours, and who knows what else. The same people came to us multiple times trying to sell us the same things. How many times do you have to say no gracias?? This was really the first time in Peru that we have experienced this. We watched some students practicing a march on the road, and observed the ornate old churches. After we were sick of being bugged by salespeople, we moved along towards San Pedro Market.
San Pedro Market is wild. Here, you can buy all types of prepared foods, ingredients, spices, fruits, meats, vegetables, clothes, trinkets, etc. The smells, colors, sounds, are all so vibrant. Every aisle is completely different. Sanitation is highly suspect. We were far too afraid from having been sick the last few days to mess around here. Which was unfortunate, because we really wanted to try all of the things. It was taking most of my energy just to walk around, and I could feel I was fading fast. We decided to split from Shaun and Jenny, and head back to the hostel for more sleep. I felt so guilty passing up the opportunity to explore the city, but I was completely unable to enjoy it.
We got back to the hostel around 11:00 am and got a few hours of sleep almost immediately. I felt somewhat better, though still really lethargic. It was so frustrating. I wasn’t necessarily tired, but my body just didn’t want to move. That doesn’t leave many options when you’re on top of a hill and surrounded by other hills, and you don’t have a vehicle. Eventually, the Sweeney’s returned and we mustered up the strength to go out for some food. By now, it had been over 24 hours since I’d kept down any food besides a slice of bread and I was starving. We found Inkazteca because Mandy was dead set on pizza. We ordered a large mixta, which had ham, chorizo, salami, and cheese. The flavor was fantastic. Jenny bolted to the bathroom partway through the meal to be sick again. It reminded us all how delicate the food situation was, and we all decided it would be best to not eat any more. We’d had about a slice and a half each. We hung around a little while to make sure Jenny was good enough to get back to the hostel, then we paid and left.
We walked slowly back to our hostel. It’s all uphill, so we took breaks often. It’s crazy how easily one gets winded at this elevation. And just general lethargy doesn’t help at all either. We aimed for shade wherever we could find it because the sun is incredibly intense, even though it’s not very hot outside. The UV index everyday has been 11, which is classified as "extreme". It’s a weird experience to feel like your skin is burning at 65-70F. We made it back to the hostel with no further incidences, and retired to our rooms before dusk to watch Netflix and relax. It was a rather boring day, and we felt somewhat guilty. But we did the best we could. We eventually decided to call it a night around 8:30 pm.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.