Last year, after a dramatic situation in my personal life, i decided to heal my soul wounds travelling. So i went to the heart of South America (Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil). This is the second leg of that Trip.
As the flight was "earlier", i wake up earlier with a nice view. I was excited because i was about to broke my traditional flights with Lan in South America (Almost always with Lan, a couple with Tam, and another couple with Sky Airline). So my i was anxious to board this flight in the Bolivian Flag Carrier.
I had a spectacular breakfast in the hostel where i was staying. As Chilean we have some prejudice towards Bolivia, mainly by political issues (Pacific War), but my experience at Santa Cruz was very good, and i was treated very kindly by bolivian people. So my expectatives for the next leg on the trip where higher (and thanks God, the whole staying in Bolivia was A+). Then i asked a Taxi for airport that was quite cheap for an airport that is outside city (8 dollars approx). Also i had the option to take a bus to airport, but was not advisable to do it in the morning.
The trip took about 30 minutes, and then i was ready to make the check inn
Really it was more about to drop baggage, because i had made the OLCI the night before.
Lan Counter serves both Lan (Iquique, Lima) and Tam (Asunción)
The baggage drop was quite faster, because there wasnt a big line, and there were just two flights of Boliviana at that time (to Cochabamba and to La Paz). After the documents were checked, i was free to roam in the first floor of the departures sides.
Counter of GOL and American Airlines, this last with ongoing check inn for the early departure to Miami
In Bolivia the mediterranean issue is omnipresent, and even the airport becomes a place to make propaganda (As Chilean i found it very picturesque)
Old Style board for departures in the Main Hall
After make a walk in the first floor, i went to the second floor to pass the security checks.
The Int'l departures in the Morning
The Nat'l departures with the omnipresence of Boliviana and a honour mention to Amaszonas
Bolivian Art decorating the waiting hall in the airside
After the checks, i went to have a coffee (very expensive for being just a instantaneous coffee), so then i tried to connect to internet, but didnt work, so i deal to kill the free time, watching the planes on the tarmac.
The Boliviana 737 to La Paz
An American 757-200 arriving from Miami
A Copa 737 waiting for midday flight to Panama
A Amaszonas CRJ200 arriving from La Paz
My Boarding Pass. An interesting stuff, was that before make the Security checks procedure, you have to get that sticker (Boarding Tax, despite you had paid for it when you book your ticket), without it, you can't board the plane.
About 9:22 our flight was called to board.
My seat during flight. The Plane looked older but good maintained. The leg room a bit tight (i'm 1.85 tall), but as the flight lasted less than hour, i was able to stand it without problems.
View of the cabin
The presence of the sickness bag made me thought that was a hint of a bumpy flight, but wasn't the case in this flight.
A sanitary advice for the always menacing cases of Dengue
Another Boliviana 737 next to our plane
Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism together
A DC 10 far in the Cargo Tarmac
I'm used to the video of security instructions in Lan, but here, we have a live performance by the stewardess
While the plane was heading to the runway, i took some pictures of the planes that were in tarmac
American 757-200 boarding people to Miami
A Boliviana 767
The Copa 737 resting
and the Amaszonas CRJ in remote position
Then, in the opposite side i could catch this doomed birds of the former Aerosur (some 737 and 727)
As there was not so much movement, the plane departed on time
The takeoff was smooth (not as the bumping approaching and landing some days ago when arriving from Chile)
After takeoff, the plane turned left to head towards the west and cross the sierra mountains that are almost in the back of Santa Cruz
When the plane reached cruise level, efficiently the crew started a little snack service that was served in a box with some pastries and a sweet, and a choice of soda, juice or water.
After the service, the plane started to descend towards the Cochabamba Valley where the colours were quite different to the ones that one could appreciate in Santa Cruz Prefecture
And the Valley has a lot of villages, and the Cochabamba Metropolitan Area is quite big.
The Lake Angostura
Touch Down! The Landing was smooth but took almost the whole runway, and was like a large gliding, as the geographical disposition of the airport, forces to a approaching toward the valley.
Welcome to Cochabamba
After Left the plane, i noticed that some passengers that were connecting this flight (this flight share the number with the one that arrives from Madrid), has to make the immigration procedures in Cochabamba instead of Santa Cruz.
As the airport was little, and then the flight continues making the leg Cochabamba Tarija, when we arrived to the baggage carrousel, the bags were there.
One good thing of Cochabamba, is that the airport is 4 kms from the city center, so take a taxi is a good, fast and cheap alternative to reach the center.
Some Bonus from Cochabamba
Boliviana de Aviacion
Santa Cruz - VVI
Cochabamba - CBB
The flight was good, without inconvenients, on time, and with a correct service for a short flight. To highlight the service of the crew and that it seems (as i had experienced) Boliviana is a good choice to flight in Bolivia.
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