Phoenix to Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Trip Start Sep 07, 2006
Trip End Sep 27, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, September 7, 2006

Hey everyone, this is my travelogue for my trip to South America. We departed Phoenix, flew to Dallas and spoke to a man from Lima Peru on the way - my Spanish is really coming along, it was neat to practice with people who speak clearly! An hour in Dallas, then to Miami for a three hour layover... what an awful airport! And it was about 60 degrees inside. We got on our flight to La Paz, Bolivia - a six hour flight that seemed like 15 hours. The guy between Leif and I lives in Seward Alaska from May to September then lives in Bolivia the rest of the time... he spends $3 per day on food, and $70 on rent for a nice apartment.

So, on the way to La Paz it was a full moon, but all i could see was dark... then there was what looked like clouds below us, then snow below that, then water below that. I swear i could see the plane wreckage from ¨Lost¨, ¨Alive¨, and tons of other airplane crash movies. We land in La Paz, and at 13,500 feet it is the highest airport in the world. I quickly felt bloated and light headed... Leif looked a little ill. then the paramedics came on board to deliver oxygen to someone... and this was just a stopover!!! afterwards i learned to stay away from carbonated beverages, as they have a serious effect on your stomach at high altitudes. People were talking about something about protests, demonstrations, constitution, something - and hardly any cars were on the road in la paz.

the plane took off for our last flight to Santa Cruz, Bolivia... uneventful, until the end. you have to understand that this is the burning season where all the slash-n-burn takes place, and the smoke was 100 times worse than anything I´ve ever experienced... you couldn´t see the ground and the plane smelled like smoke. soon you could see ground, and we were no more than 1000 feet off the ground... maybe a lot less, and we were going full speed, made a banked turn, and landed. with the smoke, burned trees, and superspeed landing, i feel like i can now say i know what the vietnam war was like.... at least for a pilot.

next - santa cruz
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