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Olivier's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

Soon leaving South America...

The weather is getting better right now and Mike is busy completing some work on his trike. Tomorrow morning we will take off and cross the Andes again and reach the coast of Pacific.

Some nice guys invited us somewhere along the coast, 300km North where they flew their families with a Cessna for an extended weekend. We'll meet and share Sunday evening with them.

The cumulus build up into Cumulo-Nimbus at fast speed here. Nothing like in Southern Africa where I'm used to flying. These are the tropics and Colombia is right in the rainy season now. We checked our two Rotax engines carefully before going over the Jungle and the dangerous terrain that awaits us almost all the way from the mountains surrounding Cali to Panama City. We did the 100 hour oil and filter change. Some guerrillas apparently kidnapped three young travellers some days ago, a Swiss girl and 2 guys from Israel and Germany. Kidnapping became the second most important "underground" industry in Colombia after Cocaine.  They take you and hide you in jungle for some weeks, and call your embassies for ransom. Well if they catch us, I might be safe by telling them that Mike is the wealthy one that owns a microlight factory in South Africa. They won't get anything from my side that is sure and would probably release me, keeping their hopes on Mike's assets…

Colombia has everything you can think about. A very rich country. Everything grows here. Access to the Pacific and Atlantic, plenty fish, forest, water from the mountain and plenty rain. There is even oil. And fantastic music... In spite of all of this, the economy sounds very bad with 25% unemployment. Colombia has a great potential, but again selfish and greedy politics has ruined all good hopes for a bright future, nesting misery and guerrillas. Shame... Sometimes I really hope that some wise Aliens would come and colonise the whole planet Earth with their flying saucers, once and for all neutralising our armies and corrupt leaders and making the world safe and fair for everyone including animals. Nice to dream, hey!

Colombia will be the last country we fly across in South America. In 3 days we will be in Central America, starting with Panama. We have covered over 8000 kilometres so far. And what a great experience! But let's pack all our gear, there is a mess waiting in our room. Ciao!


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