We are finally sitting by the pool with another day in paradise!!! Woke up early this morning and Chris was already at the computer working, looking at maps and figuring our next pit stop and adventure. He was working out our flight time and estimated fuel requirements for the next leg. He was also downloading pictures and updating his Facebook log. I did not want to disturb his flow of "doing computer stuff", and decided that after taking a brisk walk along the beach at sunset solo last night, it is pretty safe to walk around alone as woman . So instead of going to the gym as planned, I decided to walk up to the top of the hill behind our hotel to get some long needed exercise, explore the local area, and work off the delicious seafood au gratin that we had last night for dinner.
I saw a man walking his goats on ropes like one would do with dogs on a leash, and trees covered in huge cotton wool balls growing out of them as though someone had stuck them on. After walking for about 15 minutes up the hill I was beginning to wonder if I was more unfit than I realized. I was a sweating more than usual and my head was spinning. It was only once I climbed to the top of this huge hill (bigger of course than I figured from the bottom) that I remembered that we are very near the equator and of course its hotter than an oven even at 9.30 am.
On my return to our hotel room Chris was still working hard at his computer, replying to emails, arranging pictures, and contacting the company Air Journey, who have a helped us with getting paperwork such as visas, general declaration forms and informing us about customs and immigration at each leg of our journey.
I was really proud of Chris today as he gave a great interview for a podcast for AVweb, telling his story about being given a second chance through his liver transplant and stressing the importance of organ donation, how it can save many lives, and how one needs only to tick that box on our driving licence.
Laid in a lovely hammock and dreamed about a beautiful island with sunshine, amazing beaches,exotic flowers, and palm trees everywhere, hang on a minute that was not a dream I am doing this for real!!!!
I forgot to say check out the pictures,that Chris has posted on his Face book page and on the main page
As some of you may have gathered by reading Chris Facebook logs our adventure has stalled a little bit, due to complications with our super dooper mega camera system that was especially mounted on the outside of our airplane !! Chris searched for a long time to find a camera system suitable to deliver HD pictures of all our flights on this journey so we could both enjoy the flying without either of us having to hangout the window filming, and also have top quality films to share with our friends, and family after we have completed our trip. But unfortunately this system has some major glitches in which we have had to resolve alone, on the ramp, with a manual, and guy on the phone.
I am trying to stay positive as the images of hot South American beaches keep running through my mind as we stick our heads under the instrument panel looking at plugs and wires, and I can also almost taste the Caipirinhas(local cocktails) as I gulp down our tepid plane water as we try to decipher the camera system manual.
But to be quite honest it is not exactly torture staying in North Palm Beach where the temperature is 70 degrees and we can wear shorts, and we still have over a month and half to enjoy the rest of our adventure.
So I am hoping this is just a little bump in the road which will we work out. I have my fingers crossed for tomorrow:)
It started nicely with some dear friends coming to say farewell at the Naples Airport. We launched into a blue sky, complete with zoomy takeoff and headed for Fort Lauderdale to get a GPS antenna to power the Ipad GPS programs that will get us there and back. After about 20 minutes, we looked at the still malfunctioning and improperly set video system and noticed that the whole thing had frozen up. Power off, then on, then nothing. Dead. Upon landing, we called for what seemed like the 100th time and found out that we needed a whole new recorder so on we went to North Palm Beach County to meet with Thierry, Guillaume and the team at Air Journey in order to pick up our flight planning stuff that they helped us with. With 11 countries and a very uncertain fuel supply along the way, we needed their expertise to smooth our passage and a 2 hour meeting turned into a further 2 night delay as we waited yet again for the Datatoys delivery from FedEx. It has now come but the settings are of course still wrong but whatever happens, we are off tomorrow come hell or high water.
It's 5am as we sit here in the La Quinta Inn in Naples, FL. Only a couple of hours to go now before we get going on this trip of a lifetime as the Naples Daily News called it yesterday. The last few weeks have been frantic with much of it spent in the UK. The incision from the transplant has "popped" open or herniated so I had a three day stint in King's College Hospital expecting to have it fixed but the operation was cancelled. Then, it was a week in Nantucket and the holidays and now, a week here in Naples trying to get everything ready.
The airplane has been getting worked on for much of this month and is now in great shape. There wer some calibration issues with the Datatoys video system but we hope those are now sorted out so at 9am, we head for Jupiter, FL to meet with Thierry and the gang at Air Journey who have our permissions, flight plans, and other such documentation. They have also sourced fuel along the way which will be critical as we have only 5 hours of fuel on board to begin with.
The final piece of the puzzle dropped into place yesterday with the arrival of the permission from the Argentine Government to fly out to the Falkland Islands, aka, Islas Malvinas. This has long been a dream of mine and to do it in our own plane was something that I had never even considered until a few weeks ago. Here we go.