To get to our next `major destination, Rio de Janeiro, we have to fly back to Santiago in Chile.
We flew out of La Paz yesterday morning, fromm the `highest commercial airport in the world. La Paz Airport is a combined military and civil airport and is at a height of 4,300 metres (14,107 feet). Around the airport are the remains of a lot of old dis-used aircraft that will never fly gain. It resembles something between a museum and a graveyard. I could make out a number of old Russian planes, a Britannia and some old Lockheed Electras.
Our first stop, after 40 minutes of flying, was at the northern Chilean town of Iquique which was our entry point into the country. Here we had a very quick stop to clear customs and immigration. This area of Chile is a desert and from the plane window, it would have been easy to believe that we were in the middle east. The landscape was one of dry sand and barren hills. Perhaps with global climate change, this was a rainforest a few years ago, but ‘I suspect not!
After another 2 hour flight, we reached Santiago for a stopover at the Intercontinental hotel. This was just around the corner from the hotel that we first stayed in when we in Santiago at the beginning of this trip and we had a bit of a feeling that we knew something of the local area. Dinner was a nice meal at a restaurant run by a New Zealander.- I suppose both countries do breed sheep.
This morning, we had a city tour of Santiago, seeing all the sites that we came across on our` first visit. The only difference was that our guide was able to tell us a little more about the thins that we were looking at. From there it `was off to the airport for a four hour` flight to Rio de Janeiro.The main advantage of tse flights is that I have been able to use the time to write my journal and keep it up to date. WE have flown over the Andes which were a magnificent set of snow capped mountains, and now we are somewhere over Brazil.
I’ll upload this when we get to our hotel. Stand by for some news of Brazil. I’m looking forward to comparing the very conservative women with multiple petticoats fr3om Bolivia with the girls on the beach at Rio. I guess the one thing that they might have in common is that they both wear shoe strings!