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Thursday, 19 June 2008

Out of the Jungle

17th June 2008

With much anticipation, we walked to the office of Transporte Aereo Militar, the well known Bolivian airline! Check in was carried out at the office in town, as the airport in Rurrenabaque is little more than a grass airstrip and a wooden shed containing a number of people who you have to pay numerous airport taxes to!

The plane landed a little late, but the turnaround didn’t take too long. The pilot got his set of ladders out and poured some oil into each of the engines, and we were ready to go. The formalities of a safety demonstration or video didn’t seem to happen, but a little light saying FASTEN BELTS NOW did light up, and before we knew it we were bouncing down the grass runway heading for a very big river.

Luckily, we managed to become airborne before we got to the river. The numerous digital cameras, phones and ipods that people were still using obviously didn´t affect the plane’s ‘systems’… in hindsight we weren’t sure it had any. Anyway, at least I got lots of good pictures of the takeoff and landing.
We touched down over 4000 meters higher than we had started from, infact, the whole flight as just a climb up to La Paz. TAM fly into the Military air base, we didn’t hang around to find out any more and headed on to Copacabana.

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