Thursday, February 25, 2010

First impression of La Paz

Flying into La Paz was interesting: many small brick buildings on the outskirts of the city's airport. The flight path brought us in over mountain peaks and flat plains with lots of small fields, green in their summer growing season. Rivers and creek channels dug high-power cuts into the slopes, turning into anastomozing channels once they hit flat land. River geomorphology in action!

As the plane sat on the tarmack in La Paz, passengers going to Santa Cruz were asked to stay on board, and as the plane was serviced by very efficient staff members, I could feel the thick Miami air pressure drain out of the airplane, and even as I was sitting at my seat, each breath became more difficult to take. I had traveled - by the opening of the cabin door - from sea level (Miami) to nearly 12,000ft. in the course of seconds. Maybe I did need to get altitude sickness pills...

It was interesting watching the ground crew, as they were loading and unloading the plane. Every time one of them wanted to enter the plane's cargo hold, the worker would dash up to the female supervisor, stand in front of her with arms open wide, and undergo a pat-down. I had never seen such actions before, and wondered if it is something that American Airlines decided to do at certain airports, if it's a Bolivian law, or something else.

The plane is now out over a plain of clouds, and on its way to humid, warm (maybe rainy) Sta. Cruz.

No comments: