Upon arriving at our seats, Nancy and I stowed our carry-on's and began to settle in for our flight over the Andes headed for Cuzco. When I sat down in my seat, it felt as though the entire seat rocked back and then made a loud pop as it fell back into position. After a minor investigation I found that my seat was in fact, not bolted to the floor! Oh sure, the stud was there where it should be, there were simply no nuts fastening the chair to the studs. I suppose this makes swapping the seats out easier when one of the goats on board has an "accident" in flight.
My next surprise came when I grabbed for my seat belt... only one end was actually attached to the seat! I guess this wasn't so bad since the seat wasn't attached to anything. After all, why would I want the false sense of security of being firmly secured to a seat that would only fly out of the plane in the event of a nervous goat opening the door mid-flight?
When I mentioned these things to the stewardess pre-flight, she responded by smiling and walking on by. Well, I wanted adventure... here we go.
On the plus side, the flight from Lima to Cuzco was extremely turbulent as we skimmed the tops of the Andes the entire way. I have no idea why the pilot felt the need to fly so low. My only assumption was that he wanted to smoke and in order to be courteous to the other passengers, he felt it best to crack a window making it impossible to fly at a higher altitude. I mean what else could explain the tremendous wind noise that seemed to be coming from the cockpit?
Eventually, the pilot found a small crevice between the mountains into which he could crash-land our plane and bring a merciful end to this flight. Turns out the crevice was the airport in Cuzco, and the crash landing was actually a normal landing... I never would have guessed.
Stay tuned for part three, Cuzco and the train ride to Machu Picchu.