Salkantay + Machu Picchu trek / 7 days / April 29 to May 5, 2016 / Alpaca Expeditions
We’d booked a group trip but no one else signed up for the seven day trek so it ended up being a private trip!
Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa
Day four of the trek started about 2 o’clock in the morning. No, not because we needed to start early. My sister was the one who shook me awake. I rolled over sleepily…and I quickly saw what the matter was. Since yesterday, Danyèle’s lower lip had been swollen. Now, it was practically three or four times its normal size! I poked at it but it didn’t hurt her so I calmly said something to the effect that there was nothing we could do about it right now and we’d talk to Juan Carlos at sunrise. I rolled back over, visions of exploding lips dancing in my mind. Poor Danyèle.
Waking up again just after 5am, I crawled out of the tent looking for our guide. I could tell Juan Carlos, like me, was torn between sympathy, concern, and hilarity. He, too, poked at my sister’s lip. He and I mused over the possibilities – could it be a bite? Could something have laid an egg or burrowed into her lip? Was it sunburn? We didn’t know so after breakfast, we went over to the medical centre. Thank goodness this medical emergency happened in Wayllabamba, where there was a doctor easily accessible!
We spent about 40 minutes with the doctor who ultimately said Danyèle’s lip was swollen due to a combination of the cold weather from our first days of hiking and sunburn. I didn’t get this problem because my chap stick had SPF. She ended up prescribing anti-inflammatory pills and cream and gave my sister a pile of gauze with which to cover her lip. Surprisingly enough, all of those things plus the consultation was only 40 soles!
Oh your poor sis! I’ve experienced puffy lips before at high altitude – the combination of cold wind and high UV is tough.
Sounds like it was another great day regardless.
I’m also a ‘hike at your own pace’ believer. I find it just as hard to hike slowly as it is to try to keep up with someone faster.
you have! oh that sucks. and yeah, you really have to go at your own pace on these things. besides, I’m of the opinion, how do you enjoy the scenery if you’re rushing!