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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

Some police arrived and asked us for our papers.

We decided to stay most of the day where we were and move on later in the afternoon. At about 10 am the Dutch people arrived and we took two of them for a quick flight when a National Parks official arrived and told us to stop flying. We filled the tanks right up.

I had a shower and did some washing under a natural little waterfall on the beach. Tanned a bit. Planned the next few flights. Updated some of my log.

Some police arrived and asked us for our papers. Olivier handed them one of our expedition brochures and they left after a few minutes, quite happy.

At about 2 pm I returned to the top of the cliff where the trikes were parked. There was a white haired man with a long ponytail prancing around the trikes with a huge camera and positioning a girl in a short dress here and there around the trikes. Apparently she was a model in training. Olivier whispered in my ear that she had no panties on. I thought that he was just telling me these stories to crash my hormones, when the photographer told her to take her dress first half off and then off completely. I saw veins stand out of Olivier's neck when this happened. Greg's eyes bulged. And then, just as quickly as they had arrived, they said thanks, goodbye, got into their car and drove off. Such is life on the road…..

We packed and took off at about 4 pm to fly further down the coast. We had programmed some small microlight airfields in to the GPS's. If the airfields were not nice, we would find a spot on the beach instead.

This time we had a few naked girls wave very enthusiastically to us. I take back what I said earlier.

After one and half-hours we flew passed the airport of Faro. I had lost sight of Olivier who was about 5 km ahead of me, when he called me on the chat frequency to say that he was at 4,000 ft trying to avoid the turbulence. I was at 2,000 ft, staying just under the TMA, but he was well into controlled airspace, so I suggested he advise the ATC where he is. As he started talking to the ATC, a Virgin Air Boeing passed about 1 km in front of him. Another airliner was taking off and heading to where I guessed he was. The next minute I heard him telling the ATC that he was at 1,000 ft and north of the airport. The ATC sent me up to 4,000 ft (being able to track me on radar because of the transponder) and around the south of the airport over the beach. He sent the 3 airliners coming in to land underneath us. Greg watched the activity with fascination.

Being so heavy, both Olivier and I were unhappy to fly into strong turbulence. We passed the areas on the coast where the turbulence was strong and then started to investigate some spots on the coast where there were bars and shops, eventually deciding on a great little spot on a kind of island with restaurants and a camp site right on the beach. Problem was, we couldn't find a good place to land. I attempted to land in a little clearing near the beach, but changed my mind at the last moment, because it was a bit too marginal for safety.

We eventually landed on the beach where the sand looked quite hard. We taxied nearer to the bars and umbrellas and people. I got stuck in the sand just at the spot where we had decided to stop.

We ate in one of the restaurants, had a few beers and headed back to the trikes to sleep under the stars at about 11 pm.

At about 2 am, about six of the young locals, who also usually sleep on the beach, came staggering up to the trikes chatting and laughing loudly. They were in need of our company, but we continued to sleep, so they moved off about 50 metres and sat there and chatted and played on some bongo drums.


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