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22 May 2006. Cascais to Annecy, France (IFR 4:49 hrs) to Geneva, Switzerland (VFR 0:13 hrs). HOME AGAIN after almost 7 beautiful months of traveling! Major difficulties Sunday evening with the Brussels Eurocontrol computer to find an IFR routing east of the Pyrenees (due to weather). With tailwinds up to 65 knots, we had groundspeeds up to 215 knots and made it to Annecy in record time.
19 - 21 May 2006. Went with Delfim to his weekend apartment at the beach near Vimeiro about an hour's drive north of Lisbon. Nice walk on the deserted beach and sumptuous dinner in a nearby village.
18 May 2006. Santa Maria, Azores to Cascais, Portugal (IFR 5:03 hrs). Back in Europe again! Smooth flight at FL110 where we had 5 - 25 knot tailwinds. Beautiful sunny day in Cascais where we were received by earthrounders Delfim Costa and António Faria e Melo. After a delicious seafood dinner in Lisbon with Delfim and Clara, we were invited to the inaugural Portuguese Corrida in the recently renovated bull fighting arena 'Campo Pequeno' in Lisbon.
17 May 2006. Santa Maria Island, Azores. Pretty walk around the villages of Santa Barbara, São Lourenço and Norte and a drive around the island with many typical Azorean houses.
16 May 2006. Ponta Delgada to Santa Maria, Azores (IFR 0:25 hrs). After a relaxing morning in the hotel we visited Lagoa and Ponta Delgada and left late afternoon for the short flight to Santa Maria, the only airport in the Azores with Avgas.
15 May 2006. São Miguel island, Azores. Hiked for a couple of hours around Furnas and finished it off with a swim in a natural hot pool with amazingly crystal clear water near Furnas - Flemming's favorite hot pool. Dinner in one of the best fish restaurants in the Azores: Bordo d'Agua in Lagoa.
14 May 2006. São Miguel island, Azores. Hiked the crater rim of the Caldeira de Sete Cidades. Yet another lobster dinner - this time Azorean lobster Cavaco - at Açores Marisqueira in Ponta Delgada.
13 May 2006. Horta to Pico, Azores (VFR 0:09 hrs). Pleasant short flight and great views of Pico, Portugal's highest mountain. Nice walk in the walled vineyards along the west coast of Horta. Then Pico to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel island, Azores (IFR 1:00 hrs) at the end of the afternoon. Spotted a whale from 8000 feet near the eastern end of Pico - like a big submarine! Checked into the charming Hotel Senhora da Rosa in the eastern suburbs of Ponta Delgada.
12 May 2006. Horta, Faial Island, Azores. While Jeppesen airport directory and the CAP555 UK AIS clearance manual lists Horta as an 'Airport of Entry', the Portuguese authorities claim that it is not an airport of entry although the AIP Portugal says 'Customs and Immigration: On request, min. 24 hr.'. After explaining our case to Mrs. Maria da Conceição Amaral at INAC, Lisbon and discussions between the airport, the immigration authorities and INAC, we were finally allowed to stay in Horta for as long as we liked!! Nice 3 hour walk in the afternoon in the hills around Horta.
11 May 2006. Saint Johns, Newfoundland, Canada to Horta, Azores, Portugal (IFR 7:36). Stressful foggy departure (visibility 1/8 mile, vertical visibility 100 feet, temperature/dewpoint 0/0 °C), but out in the sunshine at 1500 feet. Blue skies above and overcast below for several hours. Nice tailwinds of 25 knots for the second half of the flight. A few rain showers the last hour.
10 May 2006. Iles de la Madeleine, Quebec to Saint Johns, Newfoundland, Canada (IFR 2:46). Windy cool morning sightseeing in the Iles de la Madeleine. Unusually clear day in Newfoundland and Saint Johns with great views of the wild south shore of the island.
9 May 2006. Montreal to Iles de la Madeleine, Quebec, Canada (IFR 4:00 hrs). Saint Johns fogbound all day. Both Claude and Guy came to St. Hubert to see us off. Smooth sunny flight with an unusual 20 knot headwind.
8 May 2006. Montreal, Canada. Lovely spring day in Montreal visiting the sights and dining with Claude and Guy in L'Express bistro.
7 May 2006. Montreal, Canada. Delicious homard feast in the coutryside with Claude's long time friend and musician Guy Vanasse and his ballerina wife Betsy.
6 May 2006. Chatham, USA to Montreal, Canada (IFR 2:34 hrs) to Montreal, St. Hubert (IFR 0:20 hrs). While the weather was excellent at Cape Cod, the forecast for Montreal was definitely IFR (low overcast with light rain). Boston Center did not like our filed direct route to the east of the Boston TCA, and sent us for a 40 minutes detour to Providence, RI and then to the west of Boston TCA. Weather deteriorated as expected in northern Vermont and Canada.
5 May 2006. Orleans and Chatham, Cape Cod, MA, USA. Nice spring day in Cape Cod. Angela and Barbara took Noisette (Gordon setter) for a walk on the beach while Bob and Flemming went to the airport and did the 50 hours maintenance (oil, oil filter and spark plugs) on Honey Mooney. Evening out at an excellent seafood restaurant in Orleans.
4 May 2006. Dogwood Air Park, Virginia to Cambridge, MD (refuel, VFR 0:35) to Chatham, Cape Cod, MA (VFR 2:53). After a hearty breakfast and more flying talk, we were soon in the air again for a nice flight to Cape Cod. The flying weather in New England had improved dramatically from the previous days where they had 1 mile visibility, overcast at 100 feet and 8 degrees Celsius! Following Bill's suggestion we descended low over the Hudson river near New York, and had a great aerial view of the Statue of Liberty and the skyscrapers of Manhattan. The busy New York controllers were friendly and efficient like most air traffic controllers in the US. In Chatham, we were greeted by fine spring weather and our old friend Barbara Dean, who drove us to Barbara and Bob's house set in a beautiful garden.
3 May 2006. Washington DC, USA. Tour of the Mall, before returning to Dogwood airpark by car. Lunch and afternoon tour of Fredericksburg, one of the major battlegrounds of the American Civil War. Then tour of Sue and Bill's airpark, and a delicious dinner in the garden with neighbours Rich and Jody Williams.
2 May 2006. Leeward Air Ranch, Florida to Dogwood Air Park, Fredericksburg, Virginia. (IFR 4:52 hrs). What a pleasure to simply put the bags in the airplane outside the house and take off! Nice flying weather except for the 20 knot headwind. Following CarolAnn's suggestion, we filed direct Dogwood (VA42) 600 NM away, and that was the clearance we got a few minutes later! Sue and Bill Harrelson greeted us on arrival in their charming airpark. Honey Mooney was put into their hangar. Sue and Bill (whom we met at the earthrounders meeting in Mexico) are busy building a Lancair IV and planning a round-the-world trip. They kindly lent us a car to drive to Georgetown, Washington DC, where we had a sumptuous dinner with Armand and Maria Lucia Pereira.
30 April 2006. Miami (Opa Locka) to Leeward Air Ranch, Ocala, Florida (IFR 1:50 hrs). Preferred IFR to deal with the complex and busy airspace around Miami. We were invited to stay a couple of nights with earthrounder and friend CarolAnn Garratt, who flew her Mooney around the world in 2003.
29 April 2006. Key Biscayne, Miami, FL. We were invited to stay with Spanish friends Aurora and Manuel Sanchez. Morning stroll on the beach, and two very nice parties in the afternoon and evening.
28 April 2006. Pittstown Point to Exuma, Bahamas (VFR 0:50 hrs) to Miami Opa Locka, USA (IFR 2:10 hrs). A last morning snorkel at Pittstown Point and after lunch we left for Exuma International, Bahamas. Customs and refuelling was very friendly and fast, and soon we were in the air again. Somehow our flight plan got lost in the system, and it took Nassau ATC about an hour to find it. Very friendly reception by the US immigration and customs in Miami, Opa Locka.
27 April 2006. Pittstown Point, Crooked Island, Bahamas. Relaxing, snorkeling and updating a few web pages. Flemming did a great SCUBA dive with Bob at the coral wall 1/2 mile west of the threshold of runway 9. Pristine clear warm waters with lots of fish, lobsters and pretty corals. The sun was right on the wall for excellent colours.
26 April 2006. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to Inagua, Bahamas (customs, IFR 2:35 hrs) to Pittstown Point, Crooked Island, Bahamas (VFR 0:54 hrs). Quick and easy entry formalities in Inagua, and great to park our plane next to the Pittstown Point Lodge run by a friendly American couple Heidi and Carter.
25 April 2006. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Flemming went scuba diving with Flavio, while Angela enjoyed a quiet day on the beach.
24 April 2006 St. Croix, USVI to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (IFR 1:44hrs). We visited the Whim plantation museum and Frederiksted at the western end of the island in the morning before heading for the airport where we returned our rental car. Smooth, quick and friendly arrival in Punta Cana.
23 April 2006. St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. St Croix was one of the three Danish West Indian Islands, which was sold to the US in 1917. Visit of the beautiful historical buildings in Christiansted in the morning, and a tour of the north coast of the island in the afternoon.
22 April 2006. Bequia to Kingstown (refuel, VFR 0:05 hrs) to Saint Croix, US Virgin Islands (IFR 2:45 hrs). We were well received in US style by William BOHLKE, the owner of friendly FBO in Saint Croix. His secretary Norma was very helpful with the customs and immigration formalities. We checked into the historical King Christian Hotel in Christiansted, which was originally built during the Danish era.
21 April 2006. Bequia, Grenadines: We went sailing to the Tobago keys and back with Friendship Rose, a beautiful 40 year old 100 foot wooden schooner built by hand in Friendship bay on Bequia.
20 April 2006. Bequia, Grenadines: Exploring the island in the morning, snorkeling and diving in the afternoon.
19 April 2006. Tobago to Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines (VFR 0:46). Relaxed morning on the terrace of Yvon and Judy's house Bijou des Caraibes. After lunch an easy VFR flight to paradise: Bequia, Grenadines.
18 April. Georgetown to Tobago (IFR 2:21). Had planned to fly to Karanambu Lodge and Kaieteur Falls in the south of Guyana, but the security clearance from the minister of home affairs was still missing. After numerous phone calls, by noon we gave up waiting for the minister and left Georgetown for Tobago where we were well received by Yvon and Judy Gemmet. Flemming's birthday celebration dinner with them in the evening.
17 April 2006. Belém to Georgetown, Guyana (IFR 5:27). After two hours of discussions by phone with Petrobras, we finally managed to get the tax-free fuel at US$ 0.95 per litre. We took off into a low cloud layer, then flew between stratus cloud layers and light rain until we were over French Guyana where we started to see the usual afternoon CBs.
16 April 2006. Nice relaxed day in Belém. First feira de artesanato, then a superb lunch in Boteco das Onze set in a charming old house previously owned by a sugar baron. Sunset cruise on the Amazon with local dances followed by a sushi dinner at As Docas with a kiwi psychologist whom we met on the boat.
15 April 2006. Fernando de Noronha to Belém, Brazil (IFR 6:11 hrs). We were at the airport at sunrise (6 am) and thanks to the preparation the day before we were airborne at 6:35 am. Nice 15 knot tailwind the whole way and no problems with afternoon CB's and storms as we landed at 11:46 local time at Belem. Upon arrival, we spent more than an hour trying to persuade Petrobras to sell tax-free fuel, but it looks like we will have to wait until Monday so they can speak to the boss.
13 -14 April 2006. Discovered even more beautiful beaches. Angela likes Praia do Leão while Flemming prefers Praia do Sancho. At our Pousada, we met a charming Italian/Portuguese couple who not only live in Geneva, but also both work at CERN! Went to the airport to pay the fees and file the flight plan for a sunrise departure on 15 April. Lucky again, Infraero no longer runs the Noronha airport so the calculation of the airport fees was very quick.
12 April 2006. Enjoying the very beautiful beaches of Fernando de Noronha. Flemming went for two Scuba dives in the afternoon.
11 April 2006. Recife to 'Fernando de Noronha, Brazil (IFR 2:20 hrs). First we relocated (3 minutes flight) the plane from Recife, Encanta Moça to Reçife, Guarapes to fill up the wings of Honey Mooney with tax-free Avgas (US$ 0.95 per liter). To our surprise, the Infraero 'tarifador' was fast and efficient, and we only had to wait 5 minutes after finishing the flight plan. Smooth flight above the cumulus tops at 9000 feet with a slight headwind. This was Honey Mooney's fourth landing in Fernando de Noronha. We were quickly installed in our Pousado Dodo, and we finished the afternoon with sunset caipirinhas on the praia da Conceição.
10 April 2006. Packing the excess luggage up for shipment, 44 kgs of camping gear and clothes for colder climates were packed up in two boxes and paperwork made ready for shipment. Farewell dinner with Gina and Lena in a nice restaurant by the beach in Olinda.
9 April 2006. Went with Lena to Maria Farinha north of Olinda where we had lunch. Delicious Japanese dinner in Recife in the evening. Lot's of hooting cars, singing and screaming Brazilians around all night as the had been a football match that evening.
8 April 2006. Spent most the morning organising the luggage (we need to airfreight at least 40 kilograms to be compatible with the extra fuel), finishing the maintenance and reinstalling the 35 US gallon tank on the rear seat for our return journey over the North Atlantic. Lena took us for a visit to the Ricardo Brennand musem and we finished the day with the traditional dinner in Olinda's best restaurant: Oficina do Sabor.
7 April 2006. Lençois to Recife, Brazil (IFR 3:42 hrs). Fortunately Lençois airport is not managed by Infraero, and the landing and parking fee bill was ready when we arrived at 8:15 am. Flight plan and fees were done in less than 5 minutes. Warm reception by Lena and the Aeroclube de Pernambuco.
5 - 6 April 2006. Lençois. Our guide Rogerio took us by car to car to various waterfalls and caves in Chapada de Diamantina: Andaraí, Mucugé and Ibicoara. The best was the spectacular 80 m drop of Buracão waterfall and the smaller Recanto Verde waterfall.
4 April 2006. Lençois. We rented a little Gol car, and tried to visit a number of caves on our own using a good map. Well, suddenly the road disappeared into a lake at least 2 m deep, and we had to make a 45 km detour on dirt roads before arriving at the Pratinha and Gruta Azul caves. Only to find out that they were both closed due to high water levels.
2 April 2006. Brasilia to Lençois, Chapada de Diamantina, Brazil (IFR 3:27 hrs). Hoped again for an early start and Gérard drove us to the airport at 8 am. Due to the usual Infraero landing fee calculation delays, we were only in the air 2 1/2 hours after we arrived, which meant landing at Lençois at 2 pm. So thanks to Infraero it became again afternoon flying in a tropical CB environment. Climb-out mostly in IMC, and at FL110 we could zig-zag between the tops of the CB's in comfort.
1 April 2006. Brasilia. Margi and Gérard took us on a tour of Brasila in the morning, and a visit to Nelson Piquet's airstrip in the afternoon.
31 March 2006. Brasilia. Nice lunch at Patricia and Gunnar's house and dinner out with Margi and Gérard.
30 March 2006. Belo Horizonte to Brasilia (IFR 2:42 hrs). Up early to drive to Belo Horizonte to return the rental car for an early start. Infraero was quick for once, but when doing the pre-take-off magneto check, the cylinder #2 left magneto spark plug was dead. The replacement of the spark plug went smoothly, but the spark plug problems nevertheless delayed us by 45 minutes, so we only left by 11:23 LT, so we were again fighting challenging storm cells during our IFR approach into Brasilia, and it was bucketing down with lightening 10 minutes after landing. VIP reception by Gerard Moss.
29 March 2006. Drove from Tiradentes to Ouro Preto for more colonial town tourism....
27 March 2006. Went by rental car to the charming little colonial town of Tiradentes near São João del Rey where we checked into the equally charming Pousada Solar da Ponte. Angela localized a friend Gregory Somers from her past on Ilha Jaguanun....
26 March 2006. Fazenda Mangabal, Pantanal to Campo Grande (VFR/IFR 0:50 hrs). Breakfast at 6:00 and a 7:00 am take-off, overcast at 200 feet at Campo Grande, so we made an ILS approach to minimums. Then Campo Grande to Belo Horizonte (IFR 4:30 hrs) with many detours due to afternoon CB's.
25 March 2006. Up at 05:30 for an early morning horseback ride with Jura and Nivaldo. Water high, occasionally up to the belly of the horse. Capybaras, macaws, parrots, savannah hawk, and an owl just by the Fazenda.
24 March 2006. Fazenda Barranco Alto to Jardim (VFR 0:49 hrs), from where we drove to a great river snorkeling trip on the Rio da Prata. Jardim to Pousada Mangabal, Pantanal (VFR 1:12 hrs), dodging the usual afternoon storms and rain showers over the spectacular Pantanal plains. Very hot and steamy. Water level high, so access to Pousada Mangabal only by plane or horse!
23 March 2006. Fazenda Barranco Alto, Pantanal, Brazil. Early morning walk with Lucas (saw an elusive ocelot!) and a canoe trip with Marina on the Rio Negro late afternoon.
22 March 2006. Fazenda Barranco Alto, Pantanal, Brazil. Boat trip with Fernando on Rio Negro, lots of kingfishers. Later Lucas found an anaconda on the airstrip, which got very attached to our Mooney. In the afternoon, a game drive with Lucas and Fernando, where we saw lots of birds, had a superb sunset and filmed a potoo in the dark by flashlight.
21 March 2006. Fazenda Barranco Alto, Pantanal, Brazil. Horse riding with Marina and Fernando in the morning, and a game drive and hiking with Lucas in the afternoon: marsh deer, pampa deer, grey brocket deer, howler monkey, and loads of fireflies after sunset
20 March 2006. Foz do Iguaçu to Aquidauana (VFR 2:30 hrs) to Fazenda Barranco Alto, Pantanal (VFR 0:30 hrs). The last third of the trip was done low (1500 to 2500 feet) zigzagging between showers and the last 8 miles before destination was scud-running in rain and marginal VFR conditions, 500 feet AGL.
19 March 2006. Florianópolis to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (VFR 2:44). Nice flying weather with scattered to broken cumulus clouds. Beautiful approach to runway 32 over the Rio Iguaçu, with a great aerial view if the falls. Later in the afternoon, an exciting and wet zodiac boat ride below the falls.
18 March 2006. Watching kitesurfers and windsurfers on Lagoa da Conceição. Jack was having a great time.
17 March 2006. Walk to Praia do Lagoinha do Leste, lunch in Mandala restaurant, Pântano do Sul. Oyster dinner with aviator friends Jack and Linda, who arrived late last night from Mexico.
16 March 2006. Boat trip to lovely Ilha do Campeche, snorkeling, fish for lunch, beer....
15 March 2006. Colonia, Uruguay to Florianópolis, Brazil (IFR, 4:24 hrs). Low overcast / undercast until Durazno, otherwise fine flying weather. Nice to be back to tropical beach life again!
14 March 2006. By rental car to San José de Mayo, where we visited Villiam and Isabel's dairy farm, Cabaña Malkeko (milking cow in Danish) and saw how they make cheese (Danbo and Maribo - Danish type cheeses). Lots of eggs too!
13 March 2006. San Fernando, Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay (VFR 0:19 hrs). Quick flight across the Rio Plata to the nice old colonial town of Colonia.
12 March 2006. Lunch with Storm and William in San Isidro. Recoleta, Buenos Aires in the afternoon.
11 March 2006. Afternoon and evening in La Boca, Buenos Aires. Great tango music and dancing in the streets of La Boca, tango show (Señor Tango) in the evening.
10 March 2006. La Plata to San Fernando, Buenos Aires (VFR 0:23). Had to speak aviation Spanish a few times during this short trip. Tour of San Telmo in Buenos Aires in the afternoon, dinner with Storm and William Horsey in San Isidro in the evening, who kindly invited us to stay with them.
9 March 2006. Puerto Madryn to La Plata, Argentina (IFR 3:30 hrs). Op early to drive from Puerto Piramides to Puerto Madryn. Great tailwind of 45 to 55 knots at FL110 all the way, so we were above 200 knots ground speed most of the way. Warm reception by Carlos Christiansen in La Plata, great tour of the city highlights, nice dinner with Carlos and Hilda in the evening.
8 March 2006. Puerto Piramides. Quiet day for internet duties and walks on the beach.
7 March 2006. By rental car from Puerto Madryn to Puerto Piramides and a round trip of the Peninsula Valdes: armadillos, guanacos, rheas (type of ostrich), magellanic penguins, elephant seals (elefantes marinos in Sapnish) and Sea Lion colony at the North point.
6 March 2006. Sea Lion Island to Stanley (VFR 0:26 hrs) to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina (immigration and refueling, IFR 4:07 hrs) to Puerto Madryn, Argentina (VFR, 1:29 hrs). Very windy and turbulent arrival and departure in Comodoro Rivadavia, winds 290 at 29 knots gusting to 43 knots.
5 March 2006. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands. Walk to west end of the Sea Lion Island, elephant seals, striated caracara, kelp geese, rock cormorants, rockhopper and magellanic penguins. Rather windy day, which is normal in the Falklands.
4 March 2006. Pebble Island to Sea Lion Island (VFR 0:40 hrs). Great flying weather with light winds and mostly clear skies. No headwind component for landing on the short (496 m) runway 36 (winds 270 at 10 knots), but we managed nevertheless to stop after 300 m or so. Walk to the east end of the island, gentoo and magellanic penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, striated caracara and much more...
3 March 2006. 4WD trip with Allan and Jacqui's son Aidan to the west end of the Pebble Island to see rockhopper, gentoo, macaroni and magellanic penguins, war memorials for HMS Coventry, Argentinean LEAR jet crash and Pebble Island SAS operation (Disabling of 11 Argentinean aircraft on Pebble Island 14/15 May 1982). Another warm summer day with light winds and sunshine!!
2 March 2006. Stanley to Pebble Island (VFR 0:40 hrs) where we were welcomed by Jacqui and Allan. Nice walk on nearby beach, ponds and airstrip with wreckage from the Falklands war. Great weather and sunset. Allan thinks it is the first time a foreign aircraft lands on Pebble Island since the 1982 conflict.
1 March 2006. Stanley, Falkland Islands. Land Rover trip over the soft and soggy 'camp' to Volunteer bay to see the largest King penguin colony in the Falklands.
27 February 2006. Ushuaia to Rio Gallegos (IFR 1:40 hrs, refuel) to Stanley, Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas (IFR 2:45). Cold early morning start from Ushuaia (5 degrees and winds at 25 knots). Some delays both in Ushuaia (airport fees) and Rio Gallegos (fuel company computer problems), so we only just made it into Stanley airport before it closed at 4 pm. Gusty westerly winds and rainshowers. Friendly welcome and smooth arrival. Customs was friendly and efficient. Bernadette in the tower closed the airport and gave us to town and we went for a drink in the Victory pub.
25 February 2006. Ushuaia, Argentina. Nice weather for a 5 hour boat trip on the Beagle channel to watch penguins, sea lions, cormorants and pretty rainbows. Still surprisingly very light winds.
23 February 2006. Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas, Chile (VFR 0:39 hrs) to Ushuaia, Argentina (VFR 1:00 hrs). High pressure, light winds, blue skies - very unusual for this part of the world. We had looked forward to overflying Cape Horn on the way to Ushuaia but the Chileans did not allow this unless we took a Navy pilot on board, so we had to give up the idea. A pity since we had such good flying weather.
21 - 22 February 2006. Drove to Torres del Paine National Park by rented 4WD for some hiking. Unexpectedly, we had superb weather both days. The second day we did the number one hike in Torres del Paine up to 'Mirador las Torres', 4 hours each way, but worth it for the great view of the 'Towers'. Angela is still alive in spite of her injuries from falling twice on the way down.
20 February 2006. Internet, web site updates and other duties in Puerto Natales.
19 February 2006. Puerto Natales, Chile. Pleasant boat excursion on the Sena Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound) to the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers in the Parque Nacional Bernardo Higgins. Less windy today.
18 February 2006. Puyuhuapi to Puerto Natales (VFR 3:51 hrs). Well, that was not the original plan. Planned to go to Laguna San Rafael through the fjords, but had to abandon 10 NM short of destination. Then we tried VFR on top to Villa O'Higgins or Cala Tortel, but due to weather we had to abandon that as well and continued VFR on top (FL175!) to Purto Natales.
17 February 2006. After a night in Casa Ludwig in Puyuhuapi, we went hiking in the Parque Nacional Queulat to see the hanging glacier (Ventisquero colgante), after which we went by boat to the luxurious Termas Puyuhuapi where we thoroughly enjoyed their hot pools and good food.
16 February 2006. Cochamó to Puerto Montt (VFR 0: 15 hrs, refuelling) to Puyuhuapi (VFR 1:19 hrs, NW of Coyhaique)
14 - 15 February 2006. Sea kayaking on the Reloncaví fjord and hiking in the Cochamó valley.
13 February 2006. Villarrica to Cochamó (VFR 1:04 hrs) by the Reloncaví fjord, where we stayed at Campo Aventura's riverside lodge.
11 - 12 Februray 2006. River rafting on the lower Trancura river and climbing the smoking Villarrica volcano (top 2847 m, start at 1400 m, mostly on snow)
10 February 2006. Molco to Villarrica (VFR 0:18 hrs) by Lago Villarrica.
9 February 2006. Santiago, Chile to Molco, Choshuenco (VFR 2:57 hrs) by Lago Panguipulli, where we were invited to visit Chilean shipowner Sven von Appen in his splendid summer residence 'Paillahuinte'. Superb weather, nice company, swimming in the lake, sauna,...
8 February 2006. Madeleine DUPONT and Günther MUND left Santiago (Tobalaba) heading for Antarctica.
3 - 8 February 2006. Santiago, Chile. 100 hours maintenance, web pages, software installation, southern Chile and Falkland Islands planning, etc.
2 February 2006. Ovalle to Santiago, Chile (VFR/IFR 1:48 hrs). Santiago, Tobalaba overcast and below VFR minima. Santiago, Cerrillos below VOR/DME approach minima! But before we got there, Cerrillos lifted a bit, and we could make the VOR/DME approach followed by a special VFR approach into Tobalaba. Welcoming reception by Madeleine DUPONT (French/German/Chilean - Abuela Voladora) and Claude REYMOND (Swiss) followed by superb lunch in the Santiago Aeroclub. And our new Toshiba laptop arrived by airline from Geneva thanks to Eliana MIRSKI - muchas gracias Eliana, Wojciech y Sibylle!!
30 January to 1 February 2006. Three leisurely days at the Haceinda los Andes horseback riding, reading (Clark Stede´s arctic NW passage by 13 m sailing yacht) and hiking. Met lots of interesting South America travellers.
29 January 2006. La Serena to Ovalle (VFR 0:30 hrs), then by taxi to the Hacienda los Andes lodge in the Hurtado valley.
28 January 2006. Breakfast with Reto and Trude Godly. Visit to ESO´s (European Southern Observatory) at the La Silla mountain by rental car.
27 January 2006. San Pedro de Atacama to Antofagasta, Chile (VFR 1:20 hrs) for refuelling. Antofagasta to La Serena (IFR 2:45 hrs). While listening on Antofagasta radar frequency, an N-registered Cessna made contact. Soon after, Antofagasta radar called HB-DVN to pass us on to Santiago radar. The Cessna called us: ´Is this Flemming? It is Reto and Trude! Where are you heading? We are heading for La Serena!´. It was another pair of Swiss earthrounders Godly Wings who were touring South America like us! We answered back: ´Godly Wings from Honeymooney, we are heading for La Serena too, let us have dinner together tonight!´ So four Swiss earthrounders met up in La Serena that evening for lots of wine, fish, and flying talk about South America.
25 - 26 January 2006. Sightseeing around San Pedro de Atacama: Early morning El Tatio geyser, Moon Valley trekking and sunset, Atacama salt lake and laguna Chaxa, Andean lagoons Miscanti and Miñique.
24 January 2006. Arequipa, Peru to Arica, Chile. (VFR 1:05 hour). Entry formalities went smoothly, domestic permit obtained from Santiago within 45 minutes, and 18 US$ paid for flying in Chile for 1 month! Then Arica to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (elev. 8000 feet, VFR 2:15 hrs) near the Lincancabur volcano.
23 January 2006. Morning sightseeing in Cusco, then we flew Cusco to Arequipa, Peru in the afternoon (IFR 0:30 hrs). The LAN Peru Airbus 320 had absolutely no problems with high density altitude take-off from Cusco´s 11´000 feet elevation, nor any problems reaching the MEA of FL230 to cross the Andes mountains. A VFR crossing would not have been possible in the Mooney.
22 January 2006. Cusco, Peru. Quiet day visiting the Cusco tourist attractions. Still not completely adapted to the high altitudes around here (3300 m), so our brains are a bit fuzzy!
20 - 21 January 2006. Cusco - Pisac - Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco (taxi/train/bus). Had great weather for visiting both sacred valley Inca ruins and Machu Picchu.
19 January 2006. Puno, Peru. Great weather! It had been raining in Puno the previous 10 days (it is the rainy season here now). Visited the Uro indian floating islands and the Yavari floating museum in the morning. Then by bus (6 hours) to Cusco in the afternoon.
18 January 2006. Left Arequipa by bus for Puno (elev. 12500 feet = 3840 m) by lake Titicaca. Took 6 1/2 hours in stead of 5 hours as the engine was overheating and letting out steam at altitudes up to 5000 m (17´000 feet). Cannot land (or even worse take off) the Mooney up here.
16 - 17 January 2006. Two day tour to the Colca canyon. Great views of flying condors over the canyon.
15 January 2006. Arequipa, Peru. Nice day exploring the Santa Catarina Monastery and the Museo Santuario Andino.
14 January 2006. Nazca, Peru. Had a great early morning Nazca lines flight at 500 feet AGL with AeroIca´s Swiss founder Franklin Horler´s son Stefan in their Cessna 170. All AeroIca´s pilots plus mechanic were there to wave us goodbye as we left Nazca for Arequipa (elev 8300 feet, IFR, 1:40 hours). Marginal VFR weather at arrival, so we did yet another high altitude ILS approach with oxygen masks.
13 January 2006. Chiclayo to Nazca. (IFR, 4 hours). Had the DGAC authorization for overflying the Nasca lines, but only on the condition that we also obtained the authorization from I.N.C. (Instituto Nacional de Cultura). With the kind help of Rudolf Wiedler we soon found out that it would take several days and now costs US$ 244 to obtain such a permit for Honey-Mooney, so we quickly abandoned the idea, and decided to fly with a local Nazca operator AeroIca.
12 January 2006. Nice day around Chiclayo, Peru where we visited the outstanding world class ´Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán´[Royal Lord of Sipán Museum] in Lambayeque, the Sican museum and the Túcume piramids. In class with the Tut ank Amon tomb in Egypt.
11 January 2006. Guayaquil. More bad news. In our room early in the morning we discovered that also our laptop computer and an external 40 GB firewire hard disk (with photos and back-ups) had been removed from its case. Spent the morning watching the Sheraton hotel security videos, which comfirmed that it was not stolen while in the lobby during checkout. Most likely it was two suspect persons (recorded on security video) boarding the Sheraton airport shuttle mini-bus seconds before the bus left the hotel. One of the robbers had access to the luggage from the rear seat, emptied our Pelican case and computer case for their most valuable contents, put it into his own bag, and then suddenly left the bus before arriving at the airport. Back to the Guayaquil police station again (3 hours!) to file an additional complaint. Flew late afternoon from Guayaquil to Chiclayo, Peru (IFR 2:20 hours) where we landed an hour after dark.
10 January 2006. Guayaquil. BAD NEWS! When loading the luggage in the plane in Guayaquil, we discovered that our Canon EOS 20D and 2 additional telephoto lenses had been stolen. Flight cancelled, return to Sheraton and police station to file complaint
9 January 2006. Baltra Island, Galapagos to Guayaquil, Ecuador IFR 4:45 hours. Cloudy IMC approach into Guayaquil. Landed with 16 US Gallons remaining, only light headwinds at 9000 feet
2 to 9 January 2006 Motor yacht cruise on board the Fragata yacht in Galapagos islands. Unique wild life viewing here!
1 January 2006. Ibarra to Guayaquil, Ecuador, VFR/IFR 1:30 hours. Amazingly quick refuelling stop in Guayaquil, then Guayaquil to Baltra Island, Galapagos, IFR 4:30 hours. No Avgas in the Galapagos. Landed with 50 US Gallons remaing and added 5 USG from our jerry can, looks good!
30 December. Quito to Ibarra, Ecuador, VFR 20 minutes. Elevation 7300 feet. Four offices involved in calculating and paying the landing fees, took 2 hours! Quite a few afternoon thunderstorms under development, but otherwise fine VFR weather.
29 December. Panama City to Quito, Ecuador, IFR 4:30 hours. Elevation 9200 feet. Few isolated CB's in the intertropical convergence zone. Planned for a VFR arrival, but mountains were totally obscured so had to do an IFR approach, with oxygen! Highest landing altitude ever.
24 - 28 December. Isla Contadora to Panama City, VFR 0:17 hrs. Christmas in crater town El Valle and the Panama canal.
21 - 24 December. Santiago to Isla Contadora, VFR 0:56 hrs. Keith and Marion's charming bed and breakfast
18 - 21 December. Santa Catalina and Isla Coiba. World class diving at an unspoilt tropical island.
17 December. Arenal la Fortuna to San Jose, VFR 0:34 hrs. San Jose to David, Panama, VFR 1:20 hrs. David to Santiago, Panama, VFR 0:43 hrs. Santiago to Santa Catalina by car. Flying and flying and driving - a long day.
10 - 16 December. Barra de Tortuguero to Arenal la Fortuna. VFR 0:30 hrs. Macaws, iguanas, volcanos.
9 - 10 December. San Jose to Barra de Tortuguero. VFR 0:30 hrs. Watching wild life with Daryl was a treat.
8 December. Turrialba - Rio Pacuara - San Jose. Great river rafting on Rio Pacuare
4 - 7 December. Tikal - San Jose, Costa Rica - Turrialba. IFR 4:20 hours. Bumpy CB ILS approach into San Jose. Great quetzal viewing and horseback trip to the Turrialba volcano.
1- 3 December. Bahia de Huatulco - Tikal, Guatemala - Flores. IFR/VFR/IFR 3:00 hours. Magic sunrise over Tikal city, charming island city of Flores.
28 November - 1 December. Toluca - Bahia de Huatulco, Mexico - Puerto Angel, Mexico. VFR/IFR 2:07 hours. Great to have Claude Reymond with us for a few more days. Great lunch and beach in Posada de Cerro Largo.
24 - 27 November. Oaxaca - Toluca, Mexico. Earthrounders meeting in Mexico City. VFR 1:41 hours, 2 minutes behind CarolAnn's Mooney throughout the flight. Very well organized Earthrounders meeting thanks to Jorge Cornish, everybody had a great time.
20 - 23 November. Tamarindo - Liberia, Costa Rica - Oaxaca, Mexico. 2 flights: VFR 12 minutes, IFR 5:20 hours. Happy to visit charming colonial Oaxaca again and to see our Earthrounder friend CarolAnn from Florida again.
19 November. San Blas Island - Panama City - Liberia, Costa Rica - Tamarindo, Costa Rica. 3 flights: VFR/IFR 43 minutes, IFR 3:00 hours, VFR 18 minutes. In spite of an early start, we only arrived in Tamarindo about an hour before sunset as we were not allowed to park overnight in Liberia, and a permit for Tamarindo had to be obtained.
16 - 18 November. Panama City to San Blas Islands, IFR/VFR 0:45 hours. Major rainshower and low clouds near our destination Playon Chico.
15 November. Cartagena to Panama City, Panama, IFR 2:00 hours. Major buildups on the infrared satellite image forced us to deviate to the north of our route. Again anti-drug police reception in Panama City.
13 November. Barcelona to Cartagena, IFR 5:00 hours. Minor CB detour over Venezuela. Impressive anti-drug police reception including drug-sniffing dogs.
11 November. Cayenne to Barcelona, Venezuela, IFR 5:30 hours. Just minor deviations around isolated CB's. Hector's friend Jesus was there to smooth our arrival. First 50 hour maintenance done here.
9 November. São Luis to Cayenne, French Guyana, IFR 4:50 hours. Fine weather, but departure again delay by Brazilian red tape. No significant activity in the intertropical convergence zone. All hotels fully booked in Cayenne!!
8 November. Recife to São Luis, Brazil, IFR 5 hours. The Brazilian temporary import red tape ordeal lasted 4 hours, so we landed just after sunset.
6 November. Sal, Cape Verde Islands to Recife, Brazil, IFR 13:06 hours. Challenging and difficult crossing of the intertropical convergence zone. Detours due to CB's added 1 1/2 hours to the flight, but we still managed to land in Recife with 3 hours fuel remaining.
4 - 5 November. Relaxing days in Boavista. Boavista to Sal, Cape Verde Islands, VFR 20 minutes
3 November. Tenerife North to Sal, Cape Verde Islands, IFR 6:10 hours. As expected fine weather except for headwinds the first half of the flight. Sal to Boavista, VFR 20 minutes. Landed 8 minutes before sunset!
2 November. Lisbon to Tenerife North, IFR 5:50 hours. Fine flying weather except for headwinds until Madeira, so we landed again after dark very tired...
1 November 2005. Finally left Geneva for Lisbon (Cascais) via Annecy 3 days later than scheduled. Fine flying weather except for strong headwind so it took more than 7 1/2 hours from Annecy to Cascais and we landed several hours after dark in Cascais very tired