The Nazca Lines Flight
Several people have warned us about being airsick on the flight but we are not in the least concerned about suffering from motion sickness in the air; we have both been on many flights in light aircrafts and even taken an aerobatics flight! Why should a two hour journey over the Peruvian desert be any worse than doing loop-the-loop and flying upside down over the Devon countryside?
I am awfully excited to be here but as the plane tilts left and then right an overwhelming feeling of nausea overcomes me. I swallow hard and try to concentrate on the representations below. Two more drawings and we are on our way back. I am not sorry to be flying on a level again, but the feeling of queasiness will not leave me. I feel a little better if I close my eyes, and I try to move my face to be in the stream of fresh air. I must look totally contorted with my head at an odd angle, my eyes shut and constantly swallowing. I feel such a let-down and disgrace that I can’t even partake in a short flight without feeling sick. How embarrassing. I decide not to mention it to anyone.
Never before have I been so pleased to get out of an aircraft. I descend from the cockpit and wobble my way across the tarmac, only to be confronted by five other green faces. We all look at each other sheepishly, no-one wanting to be the first to admit that they are feeling ill. Sitting in the front, I didn’t see any of this, but the man behind me spent the entire return journey with a sick-bag on his lap, and every time we leant over to one side in the plane, he would scream and cover his face with his hands. I don’t feel quite such a fool now that I am not alone. We are told that Coca Mate tea helps with the unsettled stomach, but none of us feel any better for it. Those who had not eaten breakfast do not feel any better than those of us who did, so bang goes that theory. Maybe we will feel better by having some lunch? After a sandwich, chips and the local Serveza I feel almost normal again.
Taxis without license plates: robbery!
Always look to see whether your taxi (or mototaxi) has a license plate (or plates) before stepping into the vehicle, as Ica has a big problem with taxi drivers robbing their passengers or setting them up to be robbed. Write down the license plate number, as well, before getting in, and report any robbery (and the taxi plate number) should one occur. Mototaxis without license plates are common in Ica! They ride around without plates in order to be able to rob, as you might suspect. Do not enter a taxi without plates! Another safety feature is the printing of the mototaxi registration number on partition separating the passenger from the driver. You should not enter a mototaxi without its number (painted in big letters) on the partition, either, as this is a feature that protects you from dishonest drivers (ones who will deliberately and repeatedly give you the wrong change, for example, ask personal questions, and set outrageous prices). Mototaxis are not allowed to have dark tarps or windows in back, either, although they exist; this, also, is dangerous. Taxi drivers will drive you to an uninhabitted area and rob you, or secretly signal a robber (with a hand gesture while driving, for example) to pull over your mototaxi in order to rob you (pretending not to know the thief). Of course, you should never allow a taxi driver to pull over to pick up another passenger (his "girlfriend," for example), as the pedestrian will be a robber. At least this isn´t Lima, where rape by taxi drivers is a problem. The best taxis are the ones painted to look like taxis (i.e. all yellow), as are less likely to be thieves (being professionals instead of just some unemplolyed guy who put a "taxi" sign in his car´s window).
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