Flying in Cochabamba


grafik_inca grafik_inca Until recently, when hearing the name Cochabamba ( Quechua: cocha = lake, bamba = plain, since the town is situated in the inaccessible mountaneous backcountry in the eastern range of the andes amidst a wide open area with several lakes) I always thought of Coca leaves and their derivatives. About 90 % of bolivian legal and illegal Coca cultivation takes place in Chapare, the warm surfaces at the closeby eastern slopes of the andes. Which makes the Region Cochabamba being a major trading place. Besides that however Cochabamba is the center of the bolivian paragliding sport. There are competitions held here, well trained local pilots live here and there are nicely maintained launching spots.

Best flying is at the southern slopes of the mountain range, that limits the wide valley to the north. The highest summit of this range is 5200 m high. The main launching point is near Huyllana at 3400 m, taking a left turn halfway on the road from Cochabamba to Sacaba uphill to the north. Landing in the valley at 2800 m.



Launch in the Cochabamba valley. To the right in the background the city. At the small oblong hill that is surrounded by the city local pilots flew as well. Apparently good thermals, but strictly forbidden because of the airport nearby.


View during the flight towards the east. Cochabamba is only the third biggest city in the country, but the fruitful valley around it forms the most densely settled department of Bolivia.


Plowing oxen from above. The campesino is on his way to his house for lunch time.


All Souls' Day altar in the Plaza de Armas, Cochabamba. During the protests in October 2003, which led to the president's abdication, more than 80 men, women and children died, when the army was given the order to shoot into the crowd.



----------------------------------------------- With a paraglider above the Inca roads -----------------------------------------------