What a great day it was today. Our super keen taxi driver was waiting for us outside the hotel and literally raced us to the private aircraft side of Acapulco Aeropeurto. At 5.30 am it was still 2 hours until sunrise – enough time for us to get through the paperwork. It works like this in Mexico: Fill in the flight plan which the briefing officer then checks. He sends you to the cashier to pay landing and parking fees (not bad at all … $16.00 for 2 days). All the copies get stamped. You then go to Immigration who do the passport thing which is quite a process and they then also stamp the flight plan. Then you walk around the corner to el Commandant who checked the stamps are all done correctly and then also checks the flight plan and then stamps it himself and keeps a copy. Off to Customs who search your bags and then stamp the flight plan as well. Jean stays with the Customs ladies chatting about our flight .. I can see he is in need of female company! Back at the briefing office the Briefing officer checks all the stamps and says you are free to leave. But that is not really true – the security police arrived at the Bullet to also check the flight plan and then after checking licences and passports wave you on your way. Luckily at that time of the morning there was no one else also trying to get out of there so it only took an hour and a quarter.
The flight today was really great … we had good weather for most of the flight with some tail and quite a few hours of headwinds. Jean and I were well rested after our stop in Acapulco and felt good and really enjoyed the flying. Although this is a hot part of the world I can tell you it is very beautiful. Flying along as we do above some of the world’s best eyecandy is a very special privilege and we know it.
A few times today Sias sent us a message via the tracker to advise us of weather ahead which was a great help .. And it was instrumental in us diverting to the alternate airport of Liberia at the last minute. Ahead of us lay mountains and after flying through quite a lot of rain and banging into clouds that jumped into our path we made a very quick about face and headed to the safety of Liberia. The ATC actually said to us …” please sir, it is much safer to land here and stay tonight and then go early tomorrow to San Jose. There is very high ground and more bad weather ahead.” We didn’t need persuading – we did an immediate 180 turn and landed on a dry and very visible 07 at Liberia.
We were greeted with friendly smiles and lots of help and within 30 minutes we had refuelled and done customs and immigration and were on a bus to a hotel right opposite the airport.
Today’s flight was 9.1 hours … tomorrow’s flight is only 8 hours but we are flying
1. Into Colombia which is kidnap country2. Over the Andes mountains3. Over serious forests4. Into some iffy weather5. That’s all.
So we have only taken on 250 litres so that we can climb over the mountains and hopefully dodge the weather.
Right, Jean is waiting downstairs for me to join him for dinner, then it is back to the room for flight planning, writing out the flight plan, checking the weather, doing some washing (ja, we are keeping clean like good boys) and sleep. The hotel driver is not happy about taking us to the airport at 5.30 but that is his problem – let’s see if he even pitches up.
CiaoM & J