Funny Flights and Amusing Airlines

In my last post, I lamented our transition from land to air as a means of travel – if you haven’t read it you can find it here:

I was sorry to be saying goodbye to the constant transition that land based travel offers – new people and new scenery, and I was worried that hopping on a plane at one airport and getting off at another would be the same as the world over.

Like so much else in Brazil, things panned out entirely differently from what was expected.

Planes here (particularly the low cost option preferred by us) operate incredibly similarly to buses. Our flight from Salvador to Belem is a prime example. The route is little over 1,500 miles, less as the crow flies, and could be achieved by plane in roughly 2.5 hours. However this would be too straight forward for Brazilians, and nowhere near as much fun. After 90 minutes our plane landed in Fortaleza, about 500 miles up the coast, we then flew to Sao Luis, roughly speaking another 500 miles, this time in just over an hour. From there we flew the remaining distance to Belem in 45 minutes, where we left the plane to fly on to Santarem and then Manaus, a route we’ll be taking in a couple of days time.

At each airport we were on the ground for just shy of an hour, making a 2.5 hour flight last nearer 6.

That said, it had its charm. Each time you land, you flew low over the landscape to study the change in scenery. People got off and new people got on. It made for great people watching and allowed for the connection with the country to be maintained – not to the same extent, but still more so than a standard A-B flight.

Don’t misunderstand me, having had 1 hours sleep the previous night, being on day two of what was shaping up to be a three day hangover and with the pilots making their Ryan Air counterparts look like they handle planes like Ming vases, I would have given my right arm not to be on that plane. But such are the woes of the international jet setter.

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