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Sam BOG-RCH-VUP-BOG On MD-83  
User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4395 posts, RR: 12
Posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4900 times:

BOG-RCH-VUP-BOG on Sam


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Photo © Diego Andres Torres Espinel



It was February and the school excursion was all set to go, we are 85 people in 8th grade divided into 3 classes, but only 15 of us went. Well, my friends and I has planned it and we booked roundtrip on avianca.com for the price of COP$378.500 (aprox. US$172).

The department of la guajira is an extremely poor part of the country, and the only flight it gets is the triangular BOG-RCH-VUP-BOG operation, RCH is Riohacha, the capital of the department, and VUP is the capital of the department of Cesar, another small but a lot richer city which gets 2 daily flights to BOG (one by AV and one by MM) and two daily flights to BAQ (by Aires). MM (Sam) is a subsidary of AV which operates two MD-83s and 4 Fokker 50s on behalf of its parent from the hub in BOG and the focus city in MDE.

So lets start with the report.

BOG-RCH, Flight MM8596 MD-83 EI-CEY Seat 26C
Scheduled departure for: 9:15am
Scheduled arrival for: 10:45am
Departed BOG 9:18 am (3 minutes late)
Arrived at RCH 10:35am (10 minutes early)
LOAD: 95%

Got up at 6:00am, took a shower and had breakfast, when I was about to go to ElDorado Airport, saw that my wallet was missing. Immediately started looking for it and found it at 7:55am. I was already late. Rushed to the car and my chauffeur took the usual way from Circunvalar Avenue to 26th street and then to ElDorado Avenue. As ther wasn't that much traffic, he sped up to 130 kmph and we got to the airport in an unbelievable time of 25 minutes from my apartment in Rosales. Entered the airport at 8:35am and checked in as fast as I could (thank god I had an e-ticket) and rushed to security and then to the gate where my friends and the counselors were waiting.




Pic of my boarding pass:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/robicamacho/AVbpBOg-RCH.jpg

Boarding started quickly, by groups and orderly, when I got in the purser smiled and said hello and showed me and one of my friends to our seats and in no time the MD-83 was filled with travelers going to RCH or VUP. Load factor in Y was 100%, while there were only 3 people in biz.

I was impressed by the amount of FAs these flights are staffed with, there were 2 male and 4 females! I mean, 6 FA´s are for a 757 international flight not for an MD-80! Well, anyways, we pushed back at 9:14 and began our taxi. The ramp as quite crowded with many flights to the US departing, and many others delayed (the Delta flight, one of CO´s flights, the Copa flight, a Taca flight...plus a handful of domestic flights) we taxied for quite a long time to runway 36L and began our rotation after a Cargolux 747 landed and a Satena ERJ took off. With nice climate and no turbulence, the flight continued nicely and when we were passing what I guess was some town in Boyacá, snack service started. There was a choice of Avianca´s own achiras (mentioned in other reports as the best achiras ever) or potato chips with a “bocadillo” (typical colombian sweet made of guava) for dessert. And water, coffee Postobon and Pepsi products for a drink.

I chose the Achiras and the bocadillo with Colombiana for the meal, and the flight continued nicely at a cruising speed of 875km/h with an altitude of 30.000 feet, according to the captain. After a flight of one hour and seventeen minutes, we landed in Riohacha´s tiny airport, and disembarked the plane in a special way, through the back!

Then we had 4 days of fun in the beach and in the desert, went to beautiful locations, like Punta Gallinas, South Americas most northernmost part and El Cerrejon, the biggest open-air carbon mine in the world.

Me and my best friend:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/robicamacho/Copyofguajira004.jpg


The desert and the sea:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/robicamacho/guajira015.jpg


Unfortunately it was time to go back

RCH-VUP-BOG, Flight MM8595 MD-83 EI-CEY Free seating
Sched departure: 11:10am
Sched arrival: 13:30pm
Departed: 11:10am (on time)
Arrived: 13:48pm (18 min late) (problem with a passenger in VUP)
LOAD: 92% RCH-VUP, 100% VUP-BOG.

We arrived to RCH 50 minutes before departure. There was almost no line and we saw they had to handwritten all the information, as there were no computers. Some minutes later we had to report ourselves to the DAS division for something about not carrying contraband. We then sat in the sole waiting room and soon EI-CEY, the same plane that had flown us from BOG, roared above our heads and parked in the tarmac. Only about 40 people got off, an I realized that's why there had been no line, b/c there were very few seats left, as you know, this is a triangular flight that stops in Valledupar, b/c Riohacha is so poor it cannot even sustain a sole daily MD-80. Well, we quicly boarded and I found myself this time with an older, more grumpy crew. The barely said hello and the safety instructions were done in a careless manner. We then buckled ourselves for the 15 minute RCH-VUP flight.

My boarding pass (hand written):
BOG.jpg" target=_blank>http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64...robicamacho/AVboardpassRCH-BOG.jpg



The plane closed doors with a full load again in Y but only 1 person in J. The purser thanked everyone for flying Sam on behalf of Avianca and we took off in no time. We cruised at 15000 feet and passed near the beautiful Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the tallest peaks in Colombia, and in a brink we landed in VUP after a rather bumpy approach.

Most people got off the plane and only 30 of us in Y were left. We were asked to stay in the plane and after it got cleaned, it got full with people in both classes (VUP is a high-yielding city), the FAs again did the demo and we took off after an Aires DHC8-200 landed from BAQ. There was a lot of turbulence, and the FAs could barely serve the achiras and bocadillos again. Drink service was only made when we were near BOG, as the turbulence had stopped. We then softly landed in runway 13R and we taxied towards gate 3 in the doemstic pier. Picked our bags and said bye to everyone, went with my dad and had luch in El Corral and finally got home after the wonderful trip.

My friends at BOG:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/robicamacho/guajira023.jpg

Hope ya liked it!

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKomododx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4745 times:

Nice trip report! You should've included pictures of Rioacha and Valledupar. I was in Cabo de la Vela back in Semana Santa of 1997. Probably one of the most beautiful places on earth! A Perfect blue sky, turqoise waters, and occre dessert and beach. Really hot too, but at night it was freezing!

Quoting RCS763AV (Thread starter):
RCH-VUP-BOG, Flight MM8595 MD-83 EI-CEY Free seating

Oh and not to be picky, but EI-CEY is a 752.


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jay Selman



User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4395 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 4691 times:

Woops sorry my mistake it was EI-CDY! Messed up E with D! I must have the new livery messing with my head!

User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4395 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4687 times:

Yes, Cabo de la vela is indeed beautiful! We also went to Manaure, Pilón de Azucar and Maicao, and stayed for 2 days in Riohacha.

User currently offlineKomododx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 2):
Woops sorry my mistake it was EI-CDY! Messed up E with D!

Fresco!

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 3):
Yes, Cabo de la vela is indeed beautiful! We also went to Manaure, Pilón de Azucar and Maicao

I went to Manaure and Uribia as well. Manaure is a bit depressing since they don't even have one single paved road, at least when I went, although the surroundings are beautiful. In Uribia they had a Wayuu festival and I got to eat Friche and Bollo Limpio (fried goat... YUMMY! Big grin)

On the way back to SMR (El Rodadero) we got stop by FARC... no big deal though, they stopped us because we were in two Land Cruisers (Burbujas) with tinted windows.

Nice times...

Stefano


User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4395 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4601 times:

Well, Manaure is a lot nicer then when you went. We went to a Rancheria (wayuu community) the forst day and they gave us Bollo Limpio and Chirrinchi.

User currently offlineSumma767 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2566 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4565 times:

Thank you for a very detailed trip report!
Great to see the pictures too!


User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4531 times:

Quoting RCS763AV (Thread starter):
I was impressed by the amount of FAs these flights are staffed with, there were 2 male and 4 females! I mean, 6 FA´s are for a 757 international flight not for an MD-80!

I can expect that from a great airline as AV. I flew in an A300-600 of AA yesterday, carrying 7 "professional" flight attendants, that exactly did nothing during our flight from MIA to SJO.

Great report!

[Edited 2005-03-23 06:00:56]

User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4395 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4491 times:

THX everyone!

BTW: AV staffs its MDs with only 4 FAs, I dont understand why SAM has 6.


User currently offlineRICARIZA From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2393 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3886 times:

Quoting RCS763AV (Thread starter):
The department of la guajira is an extremely poor part of the country, and the only flight it gets is the triangular BOG-RCH-VUP-BOG operation,

Great report, but hey La Guajira is not as poor as you say. Is filled with Coal, Gas, Salt and a whole bunch of minerals. The Cabo de la Vela, Manaure and other beautiful beaches and places are protected by the indian reservations and the government or any private party can't build anything there.. not even roads.
Cabo de la Vela (Sail Cape) is considered by the indians as their heaven, where their spirits are going to rest when they died, so it is impossible to build infrastructure there, believeme, the government has tried..

Quoting RCS763AV (Thread starter):
b/c Riohacha is so poor it cannot even sustain a sole daily MD-80.

Again.. its is not a poor issue, is a demand issue...



I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4395 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3876 times:

Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 9):
Great report, but hey La Guajira is not as poor as you say. Is filled with Coal, Gas, Salt and a whole bunch of minerals. The Cabo de la Vela, Manaure and other beautiful beaches and places are protected by the indian reservations and the government or any private party can't build anything there.. not even roads.
Cabo de la Vela (Sail Cape) is considered by the indians as their heaven, where their spirits are going to rest when they died, so it is impossible to build infrastructure there, believeme, the government has tried..

I have been there, i know there are a lot of resources but the population is not getting increased salaries or a better lifestyle.

Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 9):
Again.. its is not a poor issue, is a demand issue...

It is also a poor issue, have you been there? I mean, Girardot is a 1st world capital compared to Riohacha.


User currently offline757MDE From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 1753 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3858 times:

You and your comments again...
Guajira is not poor, although nowadays there's some sort of crisis at Maicao, Riohacha is average and almost the rest of the region belongs to the indians and their rancherias...
Give us a break.



I gladly accept donations to pay for flight hours! This thing draws man...
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3813 times:

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 10):
It is also a poor issue, have you been there?

with all respect, but Ricariza knows much more about that region than you or anybody else here..

regards
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineRICARIZA From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2393 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3388 times:

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 10):
I have been there, i know there are a lot of resources but the population is not getting increased salaries or a better lifestyle.
It is also a poor issue, have you been there? I mean, Girardot is a 1st world capital compared to Riohacha.

Hey, it is a small secondary city but not the piece of "..." that you are describing. Besides, it is a sea front city with very nice beaches, malecon and pier.. many tourists spend very nice vacations in Riohacha...
I hope you never travel to small towns all over the world because it is obvious that you won't see past your eye view...

Some pics of RCH:
The convention center (first avenue, water front):

http://www.maloka.org/2003/malokaorg/Imagenes/2005/viajera/Fachada%202.jpg











Quoting Avianca (Reply 12):

with all respect, but Ricariza knows much more about that region than you or anybody else here..

Thanks. Yes RCH is my hometown, although I lived in BOG since I was 5.
This is a good website to check:http://www.tierraguajira.com/index_eng.htm



I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
User currently offlinestandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1685 times:

Many thanks RCS763AV and all who contributed.

We are going to Riohacha this summer for a few days break and this posting reminds me to write a new trip report or update this one  

Thanks


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