Sleeping a whole twelve hours never felt so good. There was a bit of sun in chilly Cusco, and no rain. I couldn´t ask for more. Machu Pichu was behind us and we were all alive. That was the good news.
The bad news - Nikhil´s jaw pain worsened. In fact, his lower lip swoll up twice its size and slurred his speech. He needed to see another dentist, and fast.
Jack´s cafe offered an all American breakfast, complete with English-proficient waiters and clients. The woman who appeared to be the manager strongly recommended Virginia as a dentist for Nikhil. So we set off to find this Virginia whose office was next to a LAN travel agency. It didn´t help that as we walked down Avenida del Sol, we saw at least six LAN offices, some of which had dentists next to them, but no Virginia. We hadn´t written down the name of the dentist, so second thoughts about the Western sounding name arose. Vernica maybe...or was Jessica her name? I was pretty sure it was Virginia. I was just about done looking when Nikhil noticed the biggest LAN office yet, and sure enough, there was Virginia´s name scribed on a plaque. A big poster of Aishwarya Rai´s and her toothy smile greeted us at the entrance.
She seemed nice enough, and Nikhil trusted her. Virgina claimed the antibiotics the previous dentist prescribed were too weak and hadn´t decreased the infection. The abcess in his lower lip and chin was pus. She would drill a hole in the tooth today to open up the infection and give him stronger antibiotics. Then, Nikhil would have to come back on Friday and Saturday to finish the root canal treatment and take out the infected nerve. Nikhil agreed to the plan.
He was brave, not making a sound even after three injections into his gums. After an hour, the tooth was done for the day. When we met up with Sucharit, decisions had to be made. Should we stay in Cusco until Friday? Should we go to Puno and come back to Cusco to finish the treatment? Should Nikhil finish his dental work elsewhere? After much deliberation, we came to a conclusion. Sucharit would leave Cusco day after tomorrow. Nikhil and I would leave for Puno tonight. Sucharit would meet us in Puno, and we would head back to Cusco Thursday night. Nikhil´s new medicines seemed to be working; the swelling was already going down.
At 11 pm, the two of us caught a Power bus, along with many other tourists. We made a point of
1. not sitting by the bathroom, and
2. putting our luggage in the bus ourselves.
The seats slid back and I dreamt of saphire blue waters and white sandy beaches.