A very interesting talk on teaching methodologies is taking place in Santiago.
What are the chances that my school will pay for me and two other colleagues to attend the event? There's no precedent of such thing.
I can not believe my ears when the principal says YES, GO!!
So, here we are: Claudia, Romina, and truly yours, ready for our trip. The three of us teach the same subject, but what makes this trip particularly exciting is that we're having some free time after the talk, which for the ladies means… SHOPPING!!
and for me…
God, help me. :'''(
At the time of this flight…
…only two airlines land at Pichoy (ZAL)
This will change in January 2018…
…when JetSmart, the new ULCC…
…starts flying to Valdivia, too.
But ZAL is prepared to face any challenge. They have added a second check-in kiosk!! XDDD No, really, that’s more than enough for the local needs.
My colleagues have not arrived, yet. I’ll go through security now that nobody is queuing, and wait for them airside. Whoa! Deja vu! Haven't I seen buckets like that at SCL, too? It looks like this rainy winter has wreaked havoc everywhere. LATAM’s passengers have already boarded. Their flight must be about to leave.
Yes! Pretty good timing. There it goes.
At Pichoy you can board using the jetbridge at gate 1…
…or (an avgeek's favorite) on foot. I wonder what it depends on. The weather, only?
Passengers start pouring into the boarding room. When my colleagues arrive, Claudia engages in lively chatter with that man talking on the phone on the right. They used to be colleagues years ago because Claudia is a US-trained helicopter pilot!
And this is what ZAL’s guts look like. They’re probably trying to fix the leak.
And there comes CC-AMP…
…hitting the brakes.
As if hit by lightning, everyone jumps to their feet and scramble around the bucket.
Meanwhile, CC-AMP slowly reaches the apron…
…and taxies towards our window.
Its fat A319 nose…
Until it almost touches our own.
At this point Claudia, who's standing by my side, says "The captain is a woman." I am like "What?" I look carefully, but I can't see the people inside the cockpit. Then I zoom the camera into the cockpit window as much as possible, but I still see nothing.
"How on earth can you know that?!" I ask. "Easy," she says. "Her earrings sparkled." Gosh. How was she able to see that? Well, that's why she is a pilot and I am not!!
We are not in a hurry at all…
…so we wait and stand almost at the end of the queue.
Nothing like these "scenic" jetways…
…ideal for the mandatory patriotic shot. Actually, I'm not being patriotic. I'm just impressed that they've finally changed the flag! The old one was tearing to pieces!
While being held here for a moment…
…I keep trying to see the captain's earrings. I give up.
So many times boarding at ZAL, and this is the first time I notice that the jetbridge is a bit more sophisticated than the average: it has doors, not a metal curtain.
Almost everybody is sitting and the hand luggage is orderly placed in the bins by the time we board. I can even see some space available in the bins at the front. Sometimes you take these things for granted, but this is something I really missed in a recent trip abroad.
A much needed visit to the restroom before we leave.
Is that a drawer? I didn't check. Now I’m curious!
Well, that light means something. I’d better go back to my seat.
The galley. Dios mío! That newspaper over there is Las Últimas Noticias (lit. The Latest News). It used to be respectable, but nowadays it’s the best example of Chilean yellow press… of the worst kind. Nothing but showbiz and sensationalism.
View from my row.
New BOB menu!
Here’s a nice surprise. I was expecting a new menu in September (from what I overheard when a FA was talking to a passenger in my previous flight), but it’s already here in August!
The word sandwich is strangely challenging for the average Chilean citizen. Some can't even deal with its plural form! The words there should be nuestros sandwiches ("our sandwiches").
The thing is, I will try the marraqueta version. Bread is a staple in the Chilean diet (that's why we tend to be fat), and marraqueta is one of the most (if not THE most) popular kinds of bread here. We also give it other names, like pan batido, or pan francés (I wonder if there really is some reason for it to be called French bread)
Too bad the descriptions in the menu are only in Spanish. My sandwich contains smoked salami, spinach, olive paste, and cheddar cheese.
A piscola? My dad used to love piscolas. It’s pisco and Coca Cola.
There are the classics, too…
…and a variety of additions.
And look at this! For the first time Sky has started selling earbuds, charging cables, and even power banks… and Brazilian Natura products, very popular in Chile!
Ah! The trolley comes at last! I gasp at the size of the sandwich. You get the whole marraqueta. I was expecting only half of it, because that’s the usual portion we eat at home. Well, this marraqueta in particular is a bit smaller than the one you find at your local bakery, but it still makes for a large sandwich!
Inside, all the ingredients as promised, and all of them look fresh, especially the spinach. I take a bite. Mmmm!!! Wonderful!! Exquisito!!
I usually post a good deal of aerials, and I was getting ready for an intense photographic session when I reserved the seats for the three of us: I picked the window seat, of course!
But it so happens that Romina, the youngest one of us, is flying for the first time ever! I don't have the heart to take away from her the chance to behold the mountains that I admire so much, so I’ll make do with this little bit of snow this time.
Never mind. I’m travelling with two chatty female teachers, and we laugh and gossip all our way to SCL. Besides, I have a privileged view on the latest shoe and pants trends.
To finish with, I find out on flightaware.com that CC-AMP has had a very interesting life. Tatarstan Air? Well, I guess that Chile and Sky Airline must sound equally exotic to Russians!
How weird. There's an easyJet in the picture. There must be a mistake.
We arrive at SCL on time, and head for our respective accommodations. Tomorrow will be a busy day, and I will get an unexpected job!
Thanks for reading!
Valdivia - ZAL
Santiago - SCL
Sky Airline I can't complain. H2 has a record of punctuality, and now they have a great BOB menu. Fantastic for an LCC, in my pinion.
ZAL Looks nice and well kept. No long queues. Kind staff. Saw a policeman in charge of terminal security.
SCL Please give them some award!
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