My father is very fond of telling me I've got my head in the clouds (when he isn't telling me to pull it out of my ass), so this post is dedicated to him. However, I would like to preface that it is hard NOT to have your head in the clouds when you spend a week at over 3650 meters (11,975 feet - for some reason I am much more comfortable talking in meters when it comes to altitude...maybe it's less daunting).
I was really worried about the altitude. I had problems with it last summer, and Puno was only at 3830 meters (the highest I got last week was Everest Base Camp, 5200 meters above sea level). Of course, my body then was used to being near sea level, whereas for the last year I've been living comfortably at UB's 1300 meters. On the other hand, los farmacias around Puno carried all sorts of wonderful drugs for dealing with altitude, while nowhere in all of China, let alone Tibet, can you purchase Diamox. I am stubborn and I didn't WANT to spend a few days acclimating, so I did some research, and came up with my own altitude cocktail...a coke twice a day and two Advil three times a day, at least for the first few days. Caffeine and ibuprofen both help relax your blood vessels, so even if I couldn't breathe, at least I wouldn't be crippled by headaches.
|Day 1: Yumbulagang Palace, the one non-standard sight I wanted to see.|