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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

High Altitude and the High Commision

With not long to go I (11 weeks, eek!) I had to get the paperwork done. I decided rather than apply by post for my visa to enter the United Republic of Tanzania, that I would go to the Tanzania High commission in London and apply for it in person.The plan was to apply for my visa on the Monday and pick it up the following day. I arrived into London early by train and went to the Tanzania High commision to hand my application and passport in. I decided to stay in London overnight to avoid travelling back and forth and made a day of it Monday. The hotel I booked was right across the road from the Natural History and Science museums so I went for a visit around both of them, after I had spent Monday morning and lunch in Picadilly Circus.
I had also booked an appointment at the Altitude centre in London for the Tuesday, for a consultation. After a leisurely Tuesday morning I made my way to the centre in central London. After a few  tests of my blood pressure and lung capacity, I was given a high altitude test. This involved using an oxygen mask hooked up to a special machine. I breathed normally through the mask for five minutes. The machine was set up to simulate 5,500m  above sea level. I then had to do the same thing with the machine set to 3500m above sea level.
The results seemed quite encouraging. The oxygen levels in my blood were measured and it showed that my body did cope quite well with the increased altitude, and I was also able to recover quickly when the mask was removed.
I was really pleased that I did the test. I have read up on the effects of altitude and it was a slight concern to me, the last thing anyone wants is to get unwell on a big mountain. But I feel a little bit more prepared for it now and hopefully I wont suffer too much at the high altitude.
After my visit to the altitude centre I went back to the High commission where my passport with visa were waiting for me to collect. I then travelled back home with another thing on the list ticked off.

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