Mike's Log

99-08-28

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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

We sat in the restaurant and drank coffee and waited...

I looked out of my sleeping bag to discover that the trike and all our equipment had been stolen in the night. Just kidding! Well, at first I couldn't see anything because the mist was so thick and because I was looking in the wrong direction completely. Of course no one would steal anything from Greg and I .well, not in Belgium, anyway.

We sat in the restaurant and drank coffee and waited for the mist to clear. At one point during the morning the Information ATC called Xavier to say that Gerhardt Berger would be arriving in his jet in a few minutes. I wandered outside to see a Lear Jet on finals. After he had signed a few autographs, I wandered over to him and we chatted for a few minutes.

Once the mist cleared at about 11 am Greg and I flew over the racetrack at Spa and watched the official timed practice of the Formula 1 cars. There were a lot of helicopters below us and 2 helicopters circling above us. I had to be very careful to stay away from the helicopters because to be caught in strong downwash could be very dangerous.

When I took Xavier for a flight later in the afternoon, we were able to watch the start of the Formula 3000 race and the first few laps. At the chicane there was a nice little crash on the second lap.

In the evening we were invited to join Xavier and his family for dinner in the restaurant. We had a great evening. We also met John and his girlfriend Marilyn who invited us to stay the night at their home. John and Marilyn had travelled many times, to north and southern Africa and during their travels had often been shown great hospitality by complete strangers so, they was very happy to host us as their way of repaying the generosity he had been shown during his travels.

That's one thing we have come across quite a few times during our trip strangers (who quickly become friends) offering us accommodation, food and even paying some of our expenses purely because they have travelled themselves and been shown hospitality by strangers and want to repay those people that helped them the only way is by then showing other travellers hospitality. Olivier and I have a lot of hospitality to repay!

 


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