I’m sure that, like us, you’ve listened to the aircraft safety announcement and wondered how anyone really needs instructions on how to fasten and unfasten their safety belt?
It was time to leave this lovely place and using every spare minute to pop outside and take photographs whilst we waited for Marco to take us to the airport, I nearly came a cropper with the poser girls outside the church next door. Spotting my camera, she grabbed the reins and I scuttled back inside, chased by lady and llama – it could have been a scene from a Benny Hill show!
Anyway, back to the story. Whilst checking in at Cusco airport, we followed a super cool young man with backward facing baseball cap and ripped jeans though the security and on to the waiting area by the gate. Clearly rather anxious, he came and sat next to us and asked in super fast Spanish, if he was in the right place (we think that’s what he asked, anyway!) My hero looked at the paper he was showing us and seeing the same flight number, said “si” and indicated that we too were on the same flight. Gestures of sticking together all round!
As the time went by and announcements were made, he looked at his paper again and queried where he should go – Peruvian airport boarding gates have several queues depending on seat number, so we pointed out the line he’d need to join and went to stand in ours. We waved and smiled when we boarded and finally called “ciao!” at the baggage carousel in Lima. All ok.
From our seats fairly near the front of the plane, it was fascinating to watch as people boarded. Alessandra, the flight attendant welcomed every single one of us as if we were family. An unaccompanied child was given a hug and a kiss and gathered up to be taken to a seat, others were told where their seat number was to be found and advice was given about where to place their luggage. Because clearly, for quite a few people – including, we think, our new friend - this was their very first flight.
Having noticed this, the announcements including the seatbelt instructions took on a new perspective. I thought about how strange everything would seem, how we fall into place and follow the usual routine when flying somewhere and just how much we take for granted.
So, I decided to do something different too and instead of my glass of water, I went for some chicha morada – an interesting alternative to some of the other sweet juices on offer.
An hour later, we were landing at Lima, having enjoyed our snack and a drink. I’d got to an unputdownable bit in The Goldfinch so the flight had passed very quickly indeed.
As we stood by the baggage claim, a sack of corn cobs went by amongst the rucksacks and the other suitcases.
Maybe a tale of the Town Guinea Pig and the Country Guinea Pig?