The Highlands

posted in: Peru, Posts - Jennah | 3

It is very refreshing to be in the mountains again, after the hot, coastal beaches.  Unfortunately, with the pleasantly cold climates comes altitude sickness, which we all got in varying stages. Dehydration, aches and pains, headaches, and nausea are some of the symptoms.

The first mountain night we spent in a lovely spot next to a creek on the mountainous moor. It was nice to sleep with a blanket, even if my legs hurt.

The next morning Jack, Ryan, Max and I crossed the highway to explore the tussocky moor. Jack was wearing his bright, rainbow jacket he got in Otovala and promptly departed to attempt to ‘become one with the llama herds’ leaving the rest of us to trek up to where a tiny, stone shack without a roof was. Ryan had started taking pictures and whatnot when he started screeching: “Something’s on me!” So I went over and told him there wasn’t anything on him until I realized that there was in fact a big black beetle on his chest. I ran away in terror and Max had to come brush it off.  I started to head back to the camper when I saw the whole ground glittering. I thought it was dew in the sunlight. I was wrong. It was the remains of a llama, and it was coated in black beetles. It was very gross and disturbing.

The car wouldn’t start, so we hung around for a while until Dad was able to start it.
The next night we were at fifteen thousand feet, the highest we had ever been. We were all dizzy from altitude sickness. The next morning Mom awoke us at five am, but we couldn’t leave since once again the car didn’t start. We ended up leaving around seven.
We started to descend, and we got to a town called Abancay, which was at eight thousand feet. When we arrived, it was the Saturday before Fat Tuesday, and there was a parade going on. We were stuck in traffic, so Mom, Ryan, Jack, Sylvia and Annabelle walked around whilst Max, Dad and I stayed in the car. They came back wet from water balloons that people were throwing about.

We camped in front of a restaurant that a kind old woman owned. Ryan, Sylvia and I were the only ones who didn’t eat there, since we were vegetarians. Well, Sylvia wasn’t but Ryan and I were.

The next day we left early and started up the mountainous, curving roads towards Cusco, which was only about a hundred miles away. Someone on the side of the road needed help, so we stopped and helped them. Dad then found out that the car was acting funny, so we turned around to a gas station where we camped.

For the next couple of days we just stayed in the camper whilst Dad fixed the car.
Yesterday we walked around downtown Abancay and went into stores. We went out for dinner at a restaurant,  which was serving a truly Peruvian meal of chicken and french fries. There was a rusty, circular ride that Sylvia, Annabelle and Max rode and then we left.

We convinced Jack and Ryan to go to a club, which they did after much cajoling from Mom and Dad.

Dad thought he fixed the car, so the plan was to leave today, but then it turned out the car batteries were bad, so he switched them out. Since it’s now two o’clock, we’ll most likely stay here tonight.


3 Responses

  1. I love the part about the beetle and you running away! We really miss you all!

  2. Wow, I’ve never been anywhere near that high up! Hope you’ve recovered from the altitude sickness! Not to mention the beetle excitement…

  3. Grandma Kay

    Sounds like a true adventure of a lifetime. Love reading all comments Miss you all!

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