My students have invited me on their class trip to Brazil.
We've just arrived at GRU, in Sao Paulo, and will be boarding our connecting flight to Florianópolis about three hours later.
This report in particular might be of special interest to you if your name is Count Dracula or you're part of his family.
Because you don't board a flying coffin every day, do you?
This is leg 2 of 4 of this trip. You can also read the report for leg 1. Legs 3 and 4 are coming soon!
The long way to terminal 3
We arrived from Chile at terminal 3. Now we head to terminal 2 for our domestic flight. I could use some exercise after the huge hamburger we had for lunch. Naah. I'll start next Monday.
Terminals 2 and 3 are connected. Just follow the signs and walk along never ending corridors…
…up and down elevators, and along some travelators…
…and you're there.
I wonder if check-in E is around here. XD No chances to get lost here! Just keep in mind that your gate will not necessarily be close to your check-in counter. You might have to do a lot of walking, so check in early.
Still a lot of walking after security.
Only one long line at the gate! I am used to seeing three or four different lines in my country for the different sections, preferential boarding, etc.
GRU supports the Pink October initiative. Always keep an eye on your gf’s or wife’s boobies. Ahem… I mean… in the good sense.
PR-MHX is a 10-year-old former TAM.
I'm hating this single-line boarding. We move very slowly along the jetbridge while passengers take their seats.
When we finally make it to our seats, all the overhead bins at the front of the cabin are full with the luggage of the passengers sitting at the back!! How messy!
The kids are talking excitedly as we board. I hear a Brazilian couple behind me giggling at the way they gesticulate. He asks her what language the kids might be speaking. "Spanish, I think" she replies. I'm surprised. I thought Brazilians could easily tell when someone was speaking Spanish. But then again, the Chilean version of the language can be challenging for foreigners, to say the least. P'ta la weá. XDDD
Once in our seats, we don't have to wait long before LATAM's safety video is played. This video has the double purpose of instructing you, and putting you to sleep.
As you might notice, I don’t have a window seat… again. I am supposed to have a middle seat this time, but when I enter the cabin a man is sitting in it! Next to him, on the window seat, is a lady who looks ill. He asks me if he can stay there in the middle in order to be close to her. In my mind I roll my eyes. OK. I’ll take the aisle seat. Moments later the lady miraculously gets better and starts reading a book. Gosh.
So all the photos here were taken from the aile seat. We depart only 12 minutes late in spite of the slow boarding process.
Up we go.
Lower right is a canal that flows from (or into, I’m not sure) river Tieté. Tieté Ecological Park is right there, beyond Ayrton Senna highway. Yikes! I'm afraid to ask about the speed limit there!
We bank to the left almost immediately…
…which gives me the opportunity…
…to get some views…
…of the city.
We eventually turn right again and leave the city flying towards the west, with a view on the huge dams bordering the south of the city,
Meanwhile, the cabin looks unusually dark, partly because it's cloudy outside…
…and because the dark colors, though elegant, make the cabin look darker than it really is, as seen in this photo taken as we disembark. Besides, only some hours ago we got off a 787 with bright green, red and blue seats, with lots of light flowing through the huge windows, and a fantastic legroom and seat pitch. Hence the contrast.
The antimacassar doubles as advertising for the passenger sitting behind.
The same magazine from this morning, but Portuguese is the main language now.
Paisagem Serena (Peaceful Landscape) is the name of this article about La Serena, a Chilean city that I visited last year. The word game works better in Portuguese. Paisaje Sereno doesn't fit the name of the city so well.
A visit to the local astronomical observatory is still pending.
Mercado LATAM (LATAM Market): The BOB menu.
Sorry. Not hungry. Just had a gigantic hamburger for lunch!
Besides, it's only a short flight to Floripa, the way locals call their city.
On this flight I learned that legroom and seat pitch are not the same thing. As you see here, the legroom is OK. My knees are at least 5cm from the seat back and I can even stretch my legs.
However, the upper section of the seat back is so bulky, that I’m starting to feel claustrophobic! I have to press my head against my seat and stick my cellphone to my nose in order to take this photo.
Not everything has been upgraded.
The BOB was not successful this time. A minute after the FAs pass by my side I take this picture, and they are already at the back! I really dislike the way they have been instructed to offer the BOB products. They keep calling Mercado, Mercado LATAM, Mercado, Mercado LATAM, like a mantra as they walk, instead of approaching the passengers and asking them if they would like something from the menu. They sound much like street vendors. Ugly.
Happily, we are soon descending above the wonderful island…
…of Santa Catarina.
Armaçao, on the south of the island.
…and the Lagoa do Peri.
Touchdown at Florianópolis’ Hercílio Luz…
Look at that! PR-TTW, a B727, started its life back in 1980 in Eastern Airline fleet! Much water under the bridge since then!
A light, refreshing drizzle awaits us. It quickly stops.
I fill my lungs with this wonderful tropical air as I check the surroundings. This airport is a bit like Dr Who’s telephone booth. It looks small on the outside, but it’s much bigger on the inside! You’ll see in my next report.
Arrivals. There’s something funny about that airplane above the door, don’t you think?
The view to my left. Avianca is the fourth largest Brazilian airline. Avianca Brazil and the “original” Colombian Avianca are two separate entities, according to Wikipedia.
I'm not going to miss this guy.
The view to my right. You can go to work in shorts here. Doesn't it make you envious?
We parked near that Gol aircraft. They fly to Chile, too. Hope I’ll try them soon.
So, all the kids disembarked. Let’s go inside.
From baggage claim…
…you go out to the main hall through those orange doors…
…with the strong warning to not return airside.
While the kids claim their baggage, I go for a short stroll around the main hall…
…always near the baggage claim area. But when I come back I get some angry looks from the kids. “Profe! Where were you?! Stay with us!” I take pictures of them while they complain. They look so cute when they get angry. XDD I won’t post them here, however.
And then we go out and board the bus that will take us to wonderful Balneário Camboriú, 60km north of Floripa.
I'll leave some photos of the trip in the next report. Thanks for reading!
Sao Paulo - GRU
Florianópolis - FLN
GRU An enormous airport from the point of view of a small-town boy like me (with everything I owe in a little, black case. Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain on a sad and lonely face. Ding ding, ding ding ding, ding ding, ding ding ding...) XDDD
Actually, it impresses me that it works so smoothly. It has all the services you can think of.
LATAM Take your lithium pills with you, or whatever you were prescribed for depression, because the cabin is dark, claustrophobic, and the seats are covered with that cloth that can house millions of mites per square centimeter. So take your antihistamines, too.
FLN Nice little airport. A bit too small for the current requirements, and a bit short on the cleanliness department, as you'll see in my next report, though.
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