Been a while since I updated this, so here goes….
My Last post left me arriving in Saudi Arabia, nice country but real hard to find a bar!
Saudi Arabia, like Kuwait was heavy with ground fog in the morning, I topped off my tanks and got the small cargo job I had found strapped into the back seats. After a quick breakfast I found the fog to of lifted enough to Cancel my IFR flight plan and fly VFR for the 1 hour flight to Qatar. The flight was uneventful and I grabbed another quick turn around and headed to the United Arab Emirates with 3 Airmen onboard looking for a cheap ride.
By the end of the day I only had less than 3 hours in the air but had made some good money! I tied down for the night at OMSJ, Sharjah International Airport is located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, is the second largest Middle East Airfreight Hub in terms of cargo tonnage, according to official 2009 statistics from Airports Council International. On My way in I flew over a couple of golf courses and a Hotel I recognized from watching the tournaments on TV.
The next day saw me headed into Oman, and then an Offer I wanted to refuse came along…. 4 Guys in fatigues carrying AK’s offered me a few hundred US dollars to fly them into Iran, somewhere I had plans NOT to visit this trip. I politely declined, they not so politely stuffed the money in my pocket and climbed onboard.
4 hours later I was very relived to be setting down on Pakistani soil after my trip into and out of Iran, I didn’t even set the parking break for more than a few seconds!
3 stops in Pakistan and a record 5 in India and I was growing tired of the constant flights, time to take a few days off, I was in Bakshi Ka Talab, an area just north of Lucknow, India. I found a paint shop in a corner of the airfield and asked what they could do in 48 hours. I was tired of the tired beige colors and wanted to brighten the plane up some… they said in 48 hours my plane would be “as if the gods descended from heaven and granted my wishes”.. I paid more than I thought I should up front and went to find a hotel, sleeping on the floors of Hangers and the floor of the Piper was getting old! While I didn’t expect my wishes granted, I was hoping for a white base coat and a pin stripe.
I spent two days eating wonderful curries and visiting the ancient temples around the lake before returning to my plane, I was very pleasantly surprised with what I found there.
I found 4 airmen on the base wanting a ride into the foothills of the Himalayas for some R&R, our destination Pokhara in Nepal. Much to my embarrassment I missed the tricky approach into the airport and had to perform a go around not once, but twice… Nothing like screwing up with a cabin full of aircrew!
20 Countries, 2 Continents, 6236 nm’s and 46 hours, 27 minutes in the air! (Not going to be done in time but also have $2.45 / seat / nm flown.