Into the Jungle

I leaned my shoulder against the inside of the car door as cool air whipped across my face through the open window. I tried to forget about the queasiness in my stomach as I focused on taking slow, deep breaths. But as we climbed higher and higher into the mountains, each breath felt less refreshing than the last. The oxygen in the air was thinning and I could feel the beat of my heart increase as it struggled to keep pace with the rising altitude. I knew that I should be enjoying the view before me, but every moment was a fight just to keep my eyes open. I was tempted to let my body drift into sleep. I wanted nothing more than to be snuggled up in my bed at home where the altitude was barely above sea level. Yet ironically, moments like these were the ones I lived for. I remember telling myself to take a mental picture of view as I gazed out into the rugged mountainside of Peru. The color of the rocks was darkening from tan to a deep purplish-brown as we neared the top of the mountains. Clouds hugged the land around us and the altitude was so high that I had to concentrate on breathing in enough air to keep my head from spinning. I willed myself to sleep. I hoped that if I slept, I would no longer feel the bumpiness of the winding road beneath me and I might be saved from my nausea.

Luckily the road reach its peak before I managed to puke and we started winding our way back down. I couldn’t feel more grateful for the decreasing elevation. Each breath began to clear my head a little and the nausea in my stomach started to abate. I finally let myself nod off to sleep. 

Posted on May 27, 2013 .