Monday, October 24, 2016
Flight over the Nazca Lines (2000 A.D.)
At the end of this short story, “Flight over the Nazca Lines,” of Peru, in 2000 A.D., of which I lived through, otherwise I’d not be writing this, there was a nice big soft lounge chair, painted white, as they carried me shoulder to shoulder all the way over to it, I was so sick as a poisoned dog, and who wants to be sick on a beautiful summer’s afternoon. I’m starting this story backwards it appears, not sure why, perhaps just to let you know I lived through it, from beginning to end; and for me, the sooner it ended, the better.
I don’t know his name, we can call him Juan, it’s a common name in Peru, the airfield lay in the shadow of a plateau stretched out, in front of what looked at one time to be, a desert. My wife and I had taken a bus up to the small airport, to catch a flight over the famous Nazca Lines, in south Peru, having gone through Ica.
The plane was a small prop aircraft, these airplanes are powered, fix-wing aircrafts, used for transportation of guests, one in the front with the pilot, and two guests in the back (often times just one guest, because of weight); thus, we have a total a four persons in the plane. Hence, I was up front with the pilot, my wife Rosa in the back with another woman. To be frank, this plane looked to be one of the Wright Brothers, who flew back in 1903. A classic.
And so here we are, in flight over the Nazca Lines, I can see the propeller in front of me, and I can hear the reciprocating engine (or piston engine) all such engines produce a low noise, and mush thrust, I’ve been in several before this one. We are inside the fifty-mile radius of the lines, snarled among some manmade hills, more like mounds (so they look), and the long plateau. It is like giants carved their itching’s into the ground and alongside the high mounds, more like the tops of icebergs. We must be flying 100 to 500 feet above these lines—at different times, and the pilot is starting to zigzag, trying to find his instruction manual, and his bony hand reaching here and there. The amount of thrust the propeller creates is determined by its disk area, in which the blade rotates, and I’m no plane mechanic, but I know, he doesn’t know completely what he’s doing, and the plane is rocking and rolling, and I’m getting sick, my wife is in the back doing fine, for all I know she could be drinking a martini. Maybe the blade is too small for this weight, not sure. His hands leave the controls. I command him, demand he get his act together, and put those hands back on the controls, and if he doesn’t know how to land this beast, do his best, but forget the manual.
Thus, he stops fumbling about, says: “I’ll figure it out later,” whatever that means.
Now we are seeing the so called outdoor Un-museum. The lines of Nazca, what we paid for. Some of the figures are 1200-feet long. The Nazca culture dates back to about 500 B.C., and much of what we see are simply geometric lines, as if they were once alien runways for aircraft. The other giant figures are: birds, fish, hummingbird, monkeys, jaguars, trees, flowers. I can see everything, and I’m taking pictures, but I’m sick as a poisoned dog, yet I’m holding it together.
After 45-minutes in flight, he lands the plane, and you know the rest of the story.