Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 10 Quito and a bad case of altitude sickness

We explored 2 museums in the morning. Both were quite well done.

The first one was Museo de la Ciudad (museum of the city) which did an amazing job of explaining the history of Quito and how the people lived during each time period. The building itself was the former city hospital from 1563 to the 1970's. We were even given a private English tour for no additional cost.

The picture above shows one of the rooms in the museum. You can see a typical home of the area prior to the Spanish conquest in the back. The floor was a map of the city at that time all made out of wood. It was stunning!

The next stop was Casa de Alabado which was also an unexpectedly good museum. In this one, we were given headsets with an English guide so that we could get more out of the museum. The museum was filled with pre-Columbian art made from stone, pottery, wood, and metal. We learned about the ancient peoples who made the artwork and their belief systems about life and death, the spirit world, the role of shamans, and ancestors.

We got lunch at Tianguez in the Plaza San Francisco and I had a sudden onset of altitude sickness. Thought I had the flu, but it was much worse. I'm pretty sure that I passed out momentarily at the restaurant. I forced myself to drink some Mate de Coca (yes, that is the plant cocaine is extracted from, but no worries Mom and Dad there is not enough in the tea to get me high!) as it is a natural cure of altitude sickness. I couldn't eat what I ordered and I left Dylan at the restaurant to go back and rest at the hotel.

The sickness hit so quickly and I was on and off with fever and chills, a headache, entire body was sore, and I was severely nauseous and didn't think I could eat anything. This basically lasted until I left Quito, but with some rest I could walk around for a bit.

After resting for a few hours, I ventured out again with Dylan and we checked out the San Francisco church which was started in 1534, only a few weeks after the founding of Quito. 

We went to a pizza place called Pizza SA, unfortunately it took too much walking to get there and I started feeling very ill again. So Dylan had the best pizza he has eaten outside of America and I was stuck sitting outside by myself with a cup of tea for fear that I would vomit in the the restaurant.  Boy. What a day!