Saturday, 5 May 2012

A beginners guide to altitude sickness


We recently returned from an office trip to Yunnan Province in the West of China (boarding Tibet). The trip was altogether unforgetable, as we experienced rural China for the first time and the fascinating   mix of cultures in a boarder province. However it was also unforgetable for a not so pleasant experience.

On day two we were driven up into the mountains to experience the Shangri-La national park (paradise found, not so much!). As soon as we got on the bus I knew something wasn't right. I felt incredibly hungry, despite just having breakfast and travel sick. Once we got off the bus we were hearded (in true chinese tourism style) to get our tickets and get on a smaller shuttle bus, following the tour guide with the obligatory flag, of course.

Once higher up the mountains things got alot worse and I wasn't the only person feeling bad, my college kept lying down and then started to throw up. We decided to get another bus back down the mountain, hoping that it would calm things down a bit. At this point I was in such a state that I truley believed that Obama was on the trip with us and I was missing out, if I did not stay.  Apparently lack of oxygen does this to you.

However we discovered that the shuttle bus wasn't a simple up/down job but a full circle. Which meant we had to go higher up into the mountains before coming back down again. I started to feel a bit better as I had more oxygen sitting still rather than walking, but my college started to loose all feeling in her hands and feet as we went higher and higher. She kept asking me to touch them to make sure she could still feel. We had some oxygen cans on us so I started putting that over her mouth to get the blood flowing again. Whilst Chinese tourist took pictures on their iphones- considerate.. !

We eventually got back down the mountain, two english girls, speaking very little chinese.

Not something I EVER want to experience again, guess I will just have to stick to the beach. Shame.


Picture- Back on the bus

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