Raising Gravel

02 raising gravel

The flight into Cuzco itself is amazing. You spend an hour over angry jagged mountains, until suddenly they break apart like a ska-circle in a moshpit and reveal a basin. Cupped in it is a city. You fly past the airport the wrong way, almost down the length of the runway. Then veer off sharp to the right, round a range of smaller hills. The bank is steep and consistent and incredibly tight, and dropping all the time. You cross the last hill but it can’t be by more than fifty metres. You’d swear you must be raising gravel. The shadow is beneath you, as big as the plane. Then you’re round, and coming in over the town, desperately trying to complete the turn in time to line up the runway. They can’t land a plane off a turn that tight, you think. But they do. There’s always some smartarse who knows better than you.

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