Look Ma, I'm Flying!
If there were no birds, would angels have wings or human beings airplanes? One day in November I flew on flexible, polyester wings of an ultralight trike powered by a two-stroke engine. Mounted like a papoose behind the pilot, I soared over the Colotepec River and from there over the fields of the Barra de Navidad, los Naranjos and Neptuno and then above the waves for the flight back to the Barra de Colotepec.
Was I scared? No, I was terrified. As soon as the motor started for take off, I closed my eyes tight and gripped the shoulders of the pilot, Captain Roberto Canton, for dear life. “I don’t have to do this,” I thought. “There is still time to bail out.” But another voice said, “Roberto has been flying these things for over 30 years. Trust him.”
By the time I opened my eyes we had already crossed the river. The view of the countryside, the mountains, the ocean on a sunny morning, at 300 meters was just heavenly. I relaxed and started taking photos. However, flying over the ocean without a life vest did cause me some anxiety.
In fact the ten-minute flight offered a satisfying cocktail of adrenaline rush, brought about by fear, and serenity - in the air I lost the tiresome chatter of my mind. Back on the ground (I closed my eyes for the landing), I felt wonderfully energized. I told Roberto that ultralight flying was great therapy, and he agreed. I said that although I was really happy I made the trip, I would never do it again. But I will.
Roberto, who moved to Puerto from Italy two years ago, has been flying trikes (3-wheeled, ultralight, propeller planes) since he was 18 and has flown as high as 3,000 meters. He worked professionally as a helicopter pilot.
Roberto started the Club de Vuelo with four partners and two Aliferrari planes he had shipped from Italy. A 400-peso club membership fee covers the cost of one 10-minute flight over Zicatela or across the Colotepec River.
The Club de Vuelo operates from a hanger in the Barra de Colotepec (Barra Uno) belonging to the Herbal Garden of Mexico. The airstrip is on a sweet basil field now lying fallow. To get there, you take the main road through the Barra. The pavement ends at the restaurant El Río, but the dirt road is well maintained. You pass through a grove of neem trees, and the entrance will be on your right. Call 954 124-8448 or 954 544 0914.