Can I go if I won't take Diamox?

Old Apr 18th, 2008, 01:44 PM
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Can I go if I won't take Diamox?

I know this is a crazy question...I'm really excited about our upcoming trip to Peru and am in the midst of planning it. I did get a bit scared reading all about the altitude. Turns out I cannot take diamox. Besides headaches and having to take things slow (and I know to drink water and the coco tea) does anyone have any real problems? I'm a bit nervous about continuing on with Peru... thanks for your help!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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I did not have any problems in Peru; however, two of my travel companions did. They had oxygen sent to their room in the evenings. It does not appear to be related to fitness or age.

Interestingly about two years after my trip to Peru I was hiking in Idaho and was hit with a terrible bout of altitude sickness. It seemed so unlikely that I did not recognize it at once. I walked down a bit, the symptoms let up and I was able to resume my hike after about an hour.

Peru is a wonderful country. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/altitude.htm

When I was in Peru last year, I was okay in Machu Picchu (8,000 ft); when I got up to Puno/Lake Titicaca (12,000 ft) I definitely noticed the difference. After my first night there, I went down to the lobby of our hotel and sat for 15 minutes w/ oxygen. That helped, and I was fine for the rest of the day (excursion to Uros Islands & Taquile).
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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The key is to acclimate gradually. We flew from Lima to Cusco and immediately got in a car to drive to Ollanta. We stopped for an hour or so in Chinchero (over 12,000 feet), and felt a bit light-headed. Then we went on to Ollanta (just over 9,000 feet) for the night. We took it very easy that day. The next two days were spent in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu (all at 9,000 feet or less). When we went to Cusco (over 10,000), we could feel a little different, and at Lake Titicaca (over 12,000) our heads were spinning. So I wouldn't recommend starting at Lake Titicaca, or even Cusco. Give yourself a couple of days below 10,000 and that that should help. And yes, take it easy, drink plenty of water and coca tea - and stay away from alcohol. If you follow that advice (especially the gradual acclimatization), you'll most likely do fine. And Peru is well worth it!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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hi, you could also try the homeopathic remedy for altitude sickness which you shouldnt have any problems with. Give it a go, and enojy yourself there. Drink lots of coca tea, suck the coca candies, take it easy.
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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shotyme77 (hey, aren't you from the Africa board as well?)-

we just got back from Lima and Cusco two weeks ago. I was REALLY worried about the altitude before going. We did take diamox, but out of 17 people that went from our office, only three others took it. We have a variety of fitness, sizes, ages, etc. in our office.

I was winded & breathless quite a lot of the time, but nothing that taking it easy didn't fix up. I just walked slower and then I was OK. The worst was Machu Picchu - climbing up those steps took every ounce of breath I had, and I had to tell the group to go without us as I kept lagging behind.

I didn't even attempt Ollantaytambo, those steps scarred the wind out of me just looking at them! I just did the first little bit there (20 steps maybe) and said, hey I made it to the first level, life is good...

No one else in our group was affected as much as I was from being breathless, but at least 4 or 5 others had a headache the entire time we were there. And most people said they couldn't sleep. Me, I slept like a baby, and never had a headache. So you really just never know!

You will LOVE it though!
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