My Route Half Way

Whilst being grounded I have had plenty of time to review my course around the world. I have decided to add many additional destinations to my route making my journey more than twice as long as originally planned. It would seem a shame to be close to parts of the world I am very interested in and never taking the time to have a look.

I have included a list of destinations below detailing my route to Australia. Coming from Edinburgh UK this would mean I have reached half away around the world. Not bad for someone with no real piloting experience eh?

I would love to hear from people all over the world who are currently living at any of the destinations on my list, or even from places I have already flown to. Please feel free to comment.

Flight 43) Moori – Salalah

Flight 44) Salalah – Masirah

DETOUR—

Flight 45) Masirah – Muscat International Airport

Flight 46) Muscat International Airport – Dubai International Airport

Flight 47) Dubai International Airport – Abu Dhabi Airport

Flight 48) Abu Dhabi Airport – Bahrain

Flight 49) Bahrain – Bandar-e-Shenas

Flight 50) Bandar-e-Shenas – Jask

BACK ON OFFICIAL ROUTE

Flight 51) Jask – Konarak

Flight 52) Konarak – Karachi

Flight 53) Karachi – Jodhpur Airport

DETOUR—

Flight 54) Jodhpur Airport – Ahmedabad (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Internation Airport)

Flight 55) Ahmedabad (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Internation Airport) – Surat Airport

Flight 56) Surat Airport – Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Area)

Flight 55) Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Area) – Karad Airport

Flight 56) Karad Airport – Mangaluru

Flight 57) Mangaluru – Trivandrum International Airport

Flight 58) Trivandrum International Airport – Male, Maldives (Hulhule Island)

Flight 59) Male, Maldives (Hulhule Island) – Ratmalana Airport, Sri Lanka

Flight 60) Ratmalana Airport, Sri Lanka – Jaffna Airport

Flight 61) Jaffna Airport – Chennai International Airport

Flight 62) Chennai International Airport – Hyderabad (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport)

Flight 63) Hyderabad (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport) – Nagpur (Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport)

Flight 64) Nagpur (Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport) – New Delhi

BACK ON OFFICIAL ROUTE

Flight 65) New Delhi – Kathmandu

Flight 66) Kathmandu – Dhaka

Flight 67) Dhaka – Mandalay International Airport

Flight 68) Mandalay International Airport – Namsang

Flight 69) Namsang – Hai Phong

Flight 70) Hai Phong – Hong Kong

Flight 71) Hong Kong – Da Nang

Flight 72) Da Nang – Bangkok

Flight 73) Bangkok – Phuket

Flight 74) Phuket – Penang

Flight 75) Penang – Kuala Lumpar

Flight 76) Kuala Lumpar – Singapore

Flight 77) Singapore – Jakarta

DETOUR TO CHRISTMAS ISLAND & BACK

Flight 78) Jakarta – Bali (Bandar Udara International)

Flight 79) Bali (Bandar Udara International) – Ende (H.Hasan Aroeboesman Airport)

Flight 80) Ende (H.Hasan Aroeboesman Airport) – Kupang City

Flight 81) Kupang City – Darwin

9 Months Later…

Well it seemed that the hard emergency landing had caused a lot more of a problem that I had first thought. My PC had been temperamental for a number of weeks before hand but I lived with it so long as it was still able to run my Flight Sim, FSX. In the few days after landing on Socotra my PC decided not to boot up at all. It seems that my PC has gotten into this World Tour realism a little more than I had expected.

At the time my PC had failed on me, I was earning a very low income and had no extra cash to spend on fixing my PC, although I am well aware that would be a lot less than it would be to fix a real Beech Baron aircraft. For this reason it was pretty safe to say I would be stranded on Socotra for the foreseeable future. To be fair there were worse places to have been stranded.

My PC sat in the corner of my living room for close to 9 months before my life turned around for the better, I am now in a much better job and able to earn some decent wages once again.

I decided to look into purchasing a new PC and soon pushed my budget beyond £800. This is when I decided that it would be cheaper and more economical to fix the machine I already had. So 9 months and £50 to a PC repair guy based here in Edinburgh later, and I was back up and flying. After so long away from adding air miles to my Around The World Tour I have been itching to get back into the virtual sky.

I decided to sit down with my world map, Google Earth and flight list and have seen that there are several more places I would love to visit which are not on the official route. I have planned several diversions for the next phase of the tour which will be taking me well above the 80 original flights. I am now up to 80 planned flights which will take me to Australia. From the UK this is only half way around the world! Looks like I am in for many many more flying hours. And much more fun.

It has been great to discover so much more about the world beyond my door step and being able to do it from my own office chair is equally impressive. Technology certainly makes planet Earth a smaller place to live.

With only a few more flights until I reach the wealth and luxury of Dubai I have been considering an upgrade of aircraft to continue my journey around the world. I am very impressed with the Carenado E50P Phenom 100 and believe that this would be the perfect upgrade in a city such as Dubai. I shall be thinking about this upgrade a lot over the next few flights. Not long until I touching down in Dubai.

My PC now being fixed, the usual installations, upgrades and addon packs have now been installed and I was anxious to get back to flying. After stretching my wings, so to speak I configured my Beech Baron and located it at Socotra Island, Yemen, then took off for a short tour of the island to ensure I was comfortable with the controls and shortcut keys. The island looked rather bland from the air within the simulator. After learning how much beauty was on the island it left me wishing to complete this tour first hand so much more. Clearly a Simulator can never do justice to Earths actual beauty.

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Flight 42) Mogadishu – Moori, Socotra (Yemen)

I was glad to be leaving Mogadishu and extremely glad that this is a stop in a simulator and not the real thing. Everything I have discovered about Mogadishu has been negative. Even the overviews of the city online have warning not to travel there. If you do arrive by road make sure to use an armored truck with security agents on board. By air you have a high risk of being shot down. Much like the 2 Black Hawk helicopters in 1993. Alternatively, if you arrive by boat you run a high risk of being captured by the infamous Somalian pirates.

Once in Mogadishu, the food may or may not be ok to consume. Do NOT drink the water (if you can indeed get any.) And certainly do NOT travel alone at any cost! After being sold by this lovely destination I did watch the movie “Black Hawk Down” to get a deeper impression of the area.

I was keen to start the long flight to Moori although I left it late in the day. Rolling down the runway at 3:45pm was tricky due to strong cross winds. Once the wheels left the ground I turned without thinking with the wind. I should have turned to face the wind as that would have helped my aircraft climb. Once heading northwardly I saw the city below me, much closer to me than usual as I hadn’t had been able to gain altitude as quickly as I would have liked to. It made me think of pilots who would have to fly over the city for whatever reasons and if they would get nervous about the risk of being shot down at all.

Climbing slowly, a blanket of mist which covered the city began to thin out a little but not completely. The mist was more likely to be heat haze as it continued for a lot of the desert below. The sun still shone brightly over my left shoulder and I could see the moon rising in full at my 1 o’clock. I looked forward to watching the sky darken and this full moon get brighter on this leg of my tour.

The setting sun turned the sky to colours of deep dark blues mixed with pinks and purples. Even in a simulator it looked lovely.

My route I had pre -planned followed the coast for the majority of the flight before crossing land and flying over a small range of hills or mountains. This added a bit of fun to the very long flight. Although it was dark well before I reached the mountains I could still see the land as it was lit by the moonlight. I saw a band of yellow stretch across the view from time to time which would have been a main road. I don’t know if that road would have had street lights in reality though as it is certainly pretty remote.

I wanted some fun whilst flying through the mountains so dropped altitude and nestled in to a valley and followed it until I had to hop over a crest. As I did so I saw some dramatic scenery stretch out in front of me. It didn’t take long to reach the very eastern tip of Somalia main land and then found myself over water once more.

The cloud cover had increased somewhat and the low hanging cloud made it impossible to see the small islands I was due to fly over until I burst through a cloud with the land right below.

Fuel was again becoming dangerously low despite leaving with fill tanks. It had been a good test of the aircraft’s range though. I held my breath over the last stretch of sea and breathed a sigh of relief once I was over the island I was due to land at. My relief was short lived however when both of my engines splattered and gave up on me. Very quickly adjusting the propellers to reduce drag, trimming the aircraft for low speeds and dropping the flaps and lowered the landing gear, I had a few moments to scout the ground ready for an emergency landing. With all of the trees and shrubs to avoid it was tricky but I managed to bring the plane to a safe stop without damage or hitting anything.

Although safe, I had no way of reaching my final waypoint at Moori airfield, also known as Socotra. With all of my flights I allow extra weight on board for baggage. My only idea I had was to suggest that at least some of that baggage would be emergency supplies. A regular jerry can holds 22 litres of fuel. That is 48.4 lbs worth. I reduced my baggage weight and added 48 lbs of fuel to the plane and fired up the engines once again. With my Beech Baron back to working order I taxied to find a suitable stretch to take off from. Using some flap and a slight slope I was soon completing a very rough and bouncy take off.

15 minutes later I caught sight of the runway and touched down in a much safer fashion for 9:45pm. From now on I shall be adding extra weight to longer journeys just in case this should ever catch me out again. I was very lucky not to be over water at the time my fuel ran out.

Parking the plane facing some hills it was nice to hear the quiet once the engines were off. That had to be the longest flight yet. Let us hope that Socotra is a nicer place to see than Mogadishu was!

SocotraMAP

The time I spent here was unusually long. I discovered the island of Socotra held a huge amount of natural beauty. From diverse animals and birds to exotic and alien like plant life. I had come across images of Dragon Blood trees before I had ever looked into the island of Socotra. Despite their unique appearance the name “Dragon Blood” certainly inspires the imagination. I had never realised where they grew or why they were named “Dragon Blood.” Apparently when cut, the sap of the tree oozes with the colour of deep red, like blood.

The magnificence of the island was a world away from my previous destination of Mogadishu. I was happy to stay here for a little longer. Which was a very good thing as it turned out… yemen-socotra_shuab4 socotra-watering-hole-172 socotra-island-yemen socotra-island socotraisland28 socotra-080 socotra-249 socotra-dragon-blood Socotra-7 Socotra.640.1994 Socotra_Beaches_08 socotra1 Socotra wadi socotra trees Socotra traditional cave house Socotra tank Socotra Island dragon_trees_socotra1-3 Shelter Socotra Amazing-View-Of-Socotra-Island Isla de Socotra, Yemen Socotra (13) dracaena_cinnabari_forest_socotra bottle-tree-socotra-3 4837333516_9f5185797f 4924294-Biggest_pool_in_Socotra_Socotra 4E7

15 Mins of Beautiful Socotra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxkLc1M8880

Photos from Socotra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEEqHnuDaTo

Go To Socotra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t658D5KsjgU

Socotra by Janez Doler 2013 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF7-QMvo8pQ

Kite Surfing in Socotra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Dp4ZNStbo

Landing 01 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qssOzpfiUs

Landing 02 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkUYYdP-loQ

Paragliding in Socotra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB_v0f_n4l0

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Flight 41) Kisimayu – Mogadishu

This was going to be a short run up the African coast, setting off at 12:35pm from the lonely Kisimayu airfield runway 23. Taxiing down the runway I could see the crescent moon peering over the few clouds nestled on the horizon.

My Beech Baron has a tendency to bank left so I simply allowed this to turn my aircraft until I was following the coast line at a heading of 030. Within a couple of minutes I was flying over Goobwayn, a small town clinging to the banks of a river. Once cruising at 6000 ft I checked the estimated flight time and saw I had roughly 1 hour, 30 minutes of air time ahead of me. My rather plain view of the desert sands was pretty accurate when compared to google earth. I used google earth to follow my path and saw a city on the coast called Baraawe. Photos of Baraawe make it look extremely old and remote. These are the places I love to discover on this journey. I would never have heard of this city if I hadn’t flown over it.

Baraawe1
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Baraawe

The second city I could look forward to was Merca. Merca looked a lot larger than Baraawe with many white buildings, some of them looking rather grand. With mountains shielding the city from the rest of Africa I could see it being a well protected port. Enjoying the flight with calm skies and only a handful of clouds the time when pretty quickly. Not wanting to miss I requested an altitude of 4000 ft from air traffic control and decended to get a better view. Flying over the water for a little while I saw a selection of small boats. I guess these could have been the infamous Somalian pirates for all I knew.merca

Merca – Somalia

My flight plan was taking me further and further from the coast line so I decided to cancel my IFR and have the freedom to see the shores close up. Going lower and faster meant I was making good time. At 48 miles from the Mogadishu airport I spotted a main road and with no IFR directions I figured that following this road could be a good option.

 

Whilst I was looking to land I confused myself a little when I spotted a runway which was not at an international airport. I checked on the built in SatNav and it wasn’t listed. Google Earth told me that it was infact the Uadan Highway Strip. Not sure why the landing strip was there when there is the main Mogadishu airport is simply a few miles further up the same road. It was a runway built right in to the main road. That is certainly a highlight for strangest runways on this trip. I passed the airport and flew over Mogadishu. It was a large city. I vaguely remember Charlie and Ewan talking about this place on their motorbikes whilst filming “The Long Way Down.” Ewan McGregor also starred in the film “Black Hawk Down.” A movie about the events of 1993 when 2 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in the middle of enemy territory in the city of Mogadishu.onesheet

My final decent to the airport was restricted due to low laying fog. The lights helped and seeing the runway on Google Earth earlier meant that I knew where to expect the runway to be. It is interesting to note that only Runway 05 is used as the final approach is over sea. This is to avoid possible anti-aircraft gun fire!

Landing with no real troubles, I turned off the runway to see the same crescent moon in the same patch of sky. I forgot to check the time I landed but it could not have been a long flight. I know the next flight will be a very long one.

mogadishu2People escape from the direction of a huge fire-ball after an accidental explosion at a petrol storage facility within the former U.S. residential housing in MogadishuMogadishu’s old townOB-JI010_eastle_G_20100721140250x1

Landing At Mogadishu - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbqfuhE1rgQ

A Drive through Mogadishu - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehesWgvmY2U

Mogadishu 4.0 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-GfL4NCS8I

The Real Black Hawk Down Story - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6fMLoVATck

Lido Beach, Mogadishu - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGdk0P8gRgQ

Flight 40) SEYCHELLES – KISIMAYU

Although I was aiming for a mid-day take off I ran a little late after refuelling and allowing for other aircraft taking off and landing on the single runway. When it was time to depart I followed a Learjet down the runway before turning around to take off from runway 31. Once lined up and I had eased the throttle to full I could see the flash of lightening in front of me. I only saw the one flash and knew that I would soon be above the clouds.

My IFR route was set at 10,000 ft for the journey. My Sat Nav was advising of just over 5 hours in the air and with a huge expanse of ocean passing below I wasn’t too concerned about staying low. I’m glad I spent that extra time refuelling now.

I had soon left any signs of bad weather behind me as the sky became completely clear. Climbing even higher I cut back on the fuel mixture as I needed to use the fuel rather sparingly on this flight. I should really look into the maximum range of this aircraft on a full tank. I keep the plane pretty light as I only need to account for myself and for a modest amount of luggage.

The occasional tone difference between the blue of the sea was pretty much the only points I could relate my travel to. Without them it would have simply been an endless void of ocean. I wonder how later flights between continents will go.

sey-kis 01

Reaching the half way point I looked like I was doing alright for fuel. With nowhere to land until I reached mainland Africa again, it was safe to say I was a little nervous.

I passed over a couple of thunderstorms over the ocean but neither of them lasted for long and the clouds thinned out again to a gentle dusting. I will also admit to using the auto pilot on this flight. It is something I try very hard not to use but once I had climbed to the correct altitude and pointed the nose in the right direction there was little else to do.

Later into the journey the sun was getting lower in the sky and was glaring through my window. It was a bit of a race to see who would touch the horizon first.

At 100 miles away from Kisimayu airport I was given my first instructions for my landing approach which took me off the route set by the sat nav. Not long after a tiny slither of land crept over the horizon. I was heading back to Africa.

As I came into land on runway 23 the sun was very low in the sky but hadn’t quite began to set. I was greatful for the clear weather so I could spot the runway. I flew low over a main road with a lot of traffic and struggled to line up with the runway due to strong crosswinds. Making a few adjustments I landed the wheels either side of the central white line. I think I have got the hang of this landing business by now. There are no parking spots at Kisimayu airport within FSX so I parked up next to the control tower to switch the plane off with still a quarter of my fuel tanks left. I did well to conserve fuel but I need not have been worried.

sey-kis 02

Now, where’s the fuel….

kismaayo 0 kismaayo 02 kismaayo 03

Back to Africa and back to the violence. Kisimayu was a stark contrast to the beauty I saw on The Seychelles. It’s a shame that there is so much beauty in the world which is often spoiled by the mentality of mankind.

It has been tricky trying to find suitable video about Kisimayu. It seems there are a lot of news broadcasts documenting the violence and warfare. I am confident to say Kisimayu is not exactly a tourist destination to say the least.

Kisimayu Airport Worker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LkyIstIQes

Refurbished Kisimayu Airport - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObGg6t8RM7w

Short video from Kisimayu – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWEzOiQjkbo

Flight 39) SAMBAVA – SEYCHELLES

I left Sambava South at around 2:15pm and was met with vast blue skies. Being on the coast I was merely 500ft high before I saw the sun sparkle off the turquoise seas. I took off with a third of my fuel capacity and hoped that I would make it the 45 minutes north to Antsiranana airport where I was going to touch down and refuel briefly. 20 minutes in to the flight patches of cloud began to form until eventually I was hopping from one to the other as I climbed to 10,000ft. Other than clouds the skies here were very quiet, only seeing one other aircraft all the time I have been in Madagascar. At around 9,500 ft my Beech Baron 58 began to bounce around due to heavy turbulence. It felt rather calm until I saw and incredible flash and was instantly shock with a loud clap of thunder. It seems that Madagascar gets a lot in the way of thunder storms.

After catching site of the runway I was to refuel at I headed downwind before turning 180 degrees and landing among a large forest. Without any rain falling, I could still hear the rolling thunder in the distance. Gaining IFR clearance again I took off at 3:35 and tackled the long flight over the water. Large clouds had formed off the coast and created a slither of horizon just visible beneath. It was time to climb and fly above them. Above the clouds once more, it was a simple matter of following the sat-nav and keeping the wings level.

Sambava to Seychelles clouds

By 4:30 I was closing in to Farquhar FSFA. I called in my landing intentions at 21 miles away and thought it a good idea just to top up my fuel before the final long leg. The island itself was very very small and could even have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for the turquoise coral highlighting its shores. The clouds disappeared and allowed for a lovely smooth touch down.

Sambava to Seychelles island hop Sambava Refueling at Farquhar

Refuelling at Farquhar

The next 2 hours of the journey was always going to be quiet. The sun set over my left shoulder and one by one the stars came out. I looked for constellations that I recognised, however I am not so good at that at home, let alone on the southern hemisphere.

Sambava to Seychelles sunset

Sunset on the way to Seychelles

By the time I was 30 minutes to the airport the clouds had reappeared and would light up the inside of the dark cockpit with occasional lightening. At 73 miles out I was given instructions for my approach. In the dark this was a pretty fun landing. The low cloud meant I couldn’t see the runway until I was on final. The final lined up with runway 31. Luckily the lights guided me in and the PAPI made sure I was at the correct altitude. That was important as I am sure I saw outlines of trees passing just below in front of the runway. When the wheels touched tarmac at 7:35 pm I had to wait for a 737 to make it to the gates before I could reach my own parking bay. It was good to finally see some other aircraft again.

Seychelles landing

Night landing at Seychelles

Now… time for a cocktail!

 Seychelles-Safari-Retreat-4 seychelles_cnt_9nov09_istock_b Seychelles-Alphonse-Fishing-03-big Seychelles-01400seychelles image_176

Landing at The Seychelles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQF8QQ4nrQk

Untouched – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdibaJMnuVs

Offical Video of Seychelles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhtBt7CCc3U

Tourist Guide to The Seychelles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN0bn9ftmxA

Culture of the Seychelles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AHkKYUKiHQ

Victoria – Capital of Seychelles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bceSPSTheM

Under the Coconut Tree – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQHY5rZkkVQ

Seychelles Underwater – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3Kuh4itLKc

A Seychelles Holiday – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hiBJVerndg

GOPro Seychelles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zX2Fl12Q78

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Flight 38) TOLIARY – SAMBAVA (Via FARAFANGANA)

It would have been another 3 hour flight from the Toliary on the south west point of Madagascar to Sambava which is almost the north east point. Looking around at images I would love to take a tour of Madagascar first hand some time. I understand that the crime rate is a lot lower than mainland Africa too which makes it that much more appealing. I wanted to see more of the island than I would have done if I had taken a direct route so I planned in a slight detour.

I stuck with the Beech Baron 58 and took a couple of hours to fly over some other parts of Madagascar. I’m sure that there is lots of amazing stuff to see which simply isn’t justified on Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Maybe I need to get hold of some terrain add on packs for this part of the world.

Madagascar

Madagascar through clouds.

My plane headed east over mostly flat landscape across the width of the island until a thin line of mountains rose up ahead of me. It didn’t take much to hop over these and descend towards the eastern shore. As I climbed over the mountains I could hear soft rumbles of thunder somewhere off in the distance. I couldn’t spot any lightening though. Once over the water I turned north to follow the coast line and saw many of the island’s rivers flowing out into the ocean. It was difficult to keep track of which one was which, despite using Google earth and the various towns and villages as locators below. About a quarter of the way up the coast I checked my fuel gauge which was reading rather low so I checked the sat nav for a suitable place to land. Unfortunately there weren’t many options and I was limited to a small landing strip known as Farafangana. Looking into more detail about this landing strip I learnt that it was actually a small city. FSX obviously didn’t agree it was so large.

It was over a week before I loaded up FSX again and took off from Farafangana with full tanks of fuel. Once again I flew north along the coast line for about half an hour before giving in to the temptation of flying through the mountain range again. The mountains stretch for almost the whole length of Madagascar from north to south. As I headed towards them the clouds began to increase in number and I often found myself with no visibility at all as I passed through some of them. Once out of the clouds I had to keep a keen eye on the ground below as it was very quickly rising to meet me. I checked my altimeter and I hadn’t dropped at all. It was simply the topography rising as I flew closer to the mountains.

Flying over some of the peaks I felt like there was some spectacular scenery passing below although it would feel pretty lonely to live there. I didn’t see many towns or villages for a long while. This may be down to the simulator though. My aircraft soon left the mountains and flew very low along the top of a plateau. The sense of speed was an added bit of excitement as I watched trees and rivers pass a couple of hundred feet below. The clouds were still building and by now were getting to be darker although the clear blue sky above was able to peek through some gaps.

Once above the clouds the highest peak on the island passed smoothly below my wings and I began a gradual descent. The clouds lifted and dotted the sky above me on the last straight of the flight. The sun was setting over my left shoulder as I caught sight of the run way. Without knowing which way the wind was blowing I circled the airfield, out over the sea and back to land pointing in land. I think I came in a little fast but made for a good landing. With only a petrol pump to the side of the runway, I am looking forward to my next destination with an International airport.

Madagascar evening

Madagascar Sunset.

Sambava, Madagascar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iybAC43Lsw0

Diving with Sharks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbYg2EpbLtQ

Driving around Sambava: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4Phw-gK_E4

Flight 37) DURBAN – TOLIARY (MADAGASCAR)

With an early start, I left the tarmac just as the sun was beginning to rise over the ocean. I turned the aircraft over the city of Durban to fly north over the Dolphin Coast. Whilst looking at Google Earth for images from the ground, I was flying over some truly wonderful white sands and clear waters.

My flight plan was originally going to take me directly to the island of Madagascar which was over a 3 hour journey away. Having done many smaller flights and managing my fuel well I wasn’t 100% sure that I would be able to make the whole journey in one go. I thought about making a stop of for refuelling further up the African coast line at Maputo. However that wouldn’t have saved much in the way of distance to travel, so I climbed gradually to over 12,000 feet and cut back on the fuel mixture to prolong my air time.

As I descended very slowly at only 200 feet per minute the island of Madagascar came in to view. Everything I have seen of Madagascar has made it wonderfully beautiful. I am really looking forward to seeing what this island has to offer.

The landing came sooner than I thought with my arrival and the airport being on the west coast. I will have to explore this place from the air after I take off again.

Madagascar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj9mUkwgLeE

Diving: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlu13neAMMo

Andringitra,_Madagascar_by_Effervescing_Elephant-10bandeau-pays-madagascarmadagascar_africa   madag beach

Andringitra, Madagascar.

3 Great Videos of a traveller to Madagascar:

The Madagascar Journals. Ep1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWIX53sD5O8

The Madagascar Journals. Ep2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUbqNvVsoSA

The Madagascar Journals. Ep3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlP_gwJiPOg

Flight 36) EAST LONDON – DURBAN

Flying almost twice as far as the last journey whilst almost the same scenery passed below made this trip a little too familiar and I found myself already becoming a bit over accustomed to what was still very beautiful landscapes. I broke up the creeping boredom by darting between the clouds which lightly peppered the sky and by climbing high out to sea before slowly descending as I flew back towards the land. I’m sure this added extra flight time to the journey and I kept an eye on the fuel gauge as we got closer to the runway, although I needn’t had worried at all.

The landing at Durban was the final point of my own detour from the official route. I enjoyed seeing Cape Town and was glad to explore the south coast a little more too, however it was good to push on with the rest of the around the world tour as it feels like I have been in African territory for a very long time now.

Durban is South Africa’s third largest city after Johannesburg and Cape Town, so I’m pretty glad to check out this city before leaving Africa. The artwork produced from sand on some of its beaches is very impressive to see and I also fancy trying a local meal called a “Bunnie.” A Bunnie is basically a curry put inside half a loaf of bread. That’s certainly something I could try to make at home.

Durban-beach

Durban Beach

A Taxi Driver’s Tour of Durban: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNjU3DXMgcY

Images of Durban 01: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHhUSOEoSoY

Driving through Durban: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXaOOhzThzU

The Wedge Beach. Durban: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNq2GPaN2GQ

Back On Official Route

Flight 35) PORT ELIZABETH – EAST LONDON

This flight was a pretty quick run north east back up the coast line of South Africa. I thought it would be rather counterproductive to climb excessively so kept the aircraft low and fast. I was trying to use points of interest on the shore line to keep track of where I was against the map on my IPhone but the sheer number of rivers which flowed into the ocean made it impossible.

I got the impression that East London was rather similar to Port Elizabeth. I had not known anything about the south coast at all so it has been a good experience discovering more about this part of the world.

Whilst checking out East London, I found many properties for sale which look rather impressive. I wonder what the prices were though and what the job market is like. Not sure how I feel about wanting to live in South Africa. I’m sure it is more of a case where it would be great to visit, but wouldn’t want to live there.

SONY DSC

East London Airport

 

FetchImage

 

East London , South Africa

View from a Hotel Room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgsetT6QILo

East London Lifestyle Film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YjVrQvUxk8

East London Holiday 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc_7A_tNW_I

1 Minute Guide to East London: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frt7OJmEX4E

A wonderful house for sale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkQyfQUJs5E

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