Gabon to Poland

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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:48 am

Thank you!

I'm thinking a lot of these work better in B&W....

https://picasaweb.google.com/116188736389762953183/TravelsInBW

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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:03 am

B/W is great. Where are pics 5 and 9 in your last post taken?
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:36 am

I wish my camera had the GPS stamp with the photos but they don't offer that option on my Sony NEX-7, supposed in an effort to improve battery life.

Photos 1, 2 , 4 and 12 were taken between El Aaiun, Western Sahara and Agadir, Morocco.

Photo 3 is from the lobby of the new Sofitel in Agadir, Morocco. We are still "stuck" here....headed to the sauna now....

Photo 5 was taken just North of Dakhla, Western Sahara. Tons of people kite surfing just North of town and there were huge surf shops in the tiny town. We all liked Dakhla...

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Photo 6 was taken at our hotel in Dakhla.

Photos 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 are all from Dakar, Senegal and the immediate area.
9 was from the base of the big statue in Dakar, looking the opposite way from the photo below.....

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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:03 pm

Blog now up to date should any one wish for more details;

http://darcyandhelicopters.blogspot.com

Spent the day poolside writing.....
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:00 am

Still stuck in Morocco. We actually broke down in the Western Sahara but pushed through to somewhere we could easily get parts brought in. Staying at a 5 Star on the beach! Got a bunch of quad bikes booked for later today to go play in the dunes.

Bureaucracy here is pretty thick, and we may be delayed further just getting permits to continue. We had VISAs for most of the sub-Sahara bit but no one even asked us, not one passport check or security to clear from Nigeria all the way to Morocco! I was kind of hoping for some cool stamps.
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby nowonmai » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:28 am

Enjoying reading this, thanks.

Hope journey's end isn't journey's end.
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:48 am

Sounds like it will be. We all got the call that we'd be laid off once we hit Poland. There's motivation for you!

The company is in dire straits, actually it was hurting before oil crashed, got bought out by an American banking institution and the Harvard grads applied their business model and took the company from $10 a share to below $0.15 in just a few years. They tried a bunch of reverse splits but it's done. We saw the change when they brought in a bunch of Brit North Sea oversight for the flying end of things, and trust me, flying anywhere but the North Sea is nothing like flying in the North Sea, but they don't get that, plus they brought in all these ex-American Airlines folk to run the admin end of everything. All us old timers just watch and shake our heads. They don't have a clue how things work outside of the US. It's all about compliance and dotting the "i'"s now, not about keeping the customer happy and moving their people when they needed to be moved. Us old school guys don't fit in.

I've got 18 years with these guys, sim instructor and check pilot on three major types, managed and set up operations all over the globe, and am a SAR Pilot instructor and SAR check pilot to boot, and there's still guys offering a lot more than me getting laid off.

The President of the company is a friend, there might be some hope, and I've got job offers in China and Oman, and a dicey one in Azerbaijan just landed on my plate, so all is not lost. I live frugally and don't have any debt so I'll be okay.

We're having fun on this one. The guy I'm flying with has tagged something in EVERY COUNTRY we've overnighted in, even Dakhla! I barely managed a third.....
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:01 am

Scratch that, $10 down to 0.03 now, prior to all the reverse splits.....
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby nowonmai » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:04 am

Sorry to hear that but Oman wouldn't be a bad stop.
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:17 pm

Well, I had forgotten how bad bureaucracy is in Morocco. Having filled out the landing forms four times for four different set of folk every time we land, even though we went through the whole immigration and landing shit the first time we set foot in country, we spent HOURS trying to get airside so our engineers could fix our snags, and had to fill out landing cards yet again, just to get airside to perform some maintenance. Fucking insane. But, since we had an aircraft unserviceability, the Moroccan's require proof of maintenance performed prior to allowing us to leave, which our Engineers provided yesterday, but heh, that's a Sunday, and it took all day today for them to get around to it. Maybe we have approval tomorrow, maybe not. In the meantime, we rented some Rhino buggies and headed into the hills.....

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Got stuck...

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Chased by wild dogs...

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Met some friendly locals....

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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:25 pm

A few more from our Agadir layover....

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GQ'n....

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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:27 pm

We didn't get our permits until late afternoon, so we'll be on our way first thing tomorrow.

I really wanted to "breakdown" in Tangiers and see the old city but everyone is restless from sitting here for almost a week and they want to push on through to Poland. Mad dash to lay off! I hope the old birds hold up.

There was a bunch of cash left in an account here from operations in 2014 I had managed, so spent most of today trying to get that out of the bank.

Ready to get flying again!
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:54 pm

Fun last night in Agadir, seems the hotel singer is from Toronto and was quite happy to find some fellow Canucks. I requested some Pixies and they nailed it. In my drunken stupor I pointed to a bottle behind the bar and said make it a double, whatever it was came to $130.....

Finally got our permits and after filling out yet more landing cards (I'm thinking they get a bonus or points for every landing card they get some foreigner to fill out, as I'm probably over twenty just this week) we were off into the skies of Morocco yet again...

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Strong headwinds made a stop in Casablanca unavoidable, and then the low lever routing North to Tangiers was brutal with all the restricted airspace so we just filed IFR and went up high and direct. Cops were jumping up and down that our permit was for the day prior, not today, and we told them that the permits were good for 72 hours. They had somehow secured a copy of said permit and viola, it was expired the same day it was issued. Nasty phone calls to the company we hire to provide our permits, and we may just be a few days in Tangiers....running low on cash....going to see if any old William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac or Allen Ginsberg haunts still exists, and I found a cab driver who knows the restaurant from Inception so headed there for a coffee bright and early!
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:28 am

Welcome to the Interzone. Great pics yet again.
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Re: Gabon to Poland

Postby Darcy » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:02 pm

Thanks!

Finally got things sorted even though the cops seemed right pissed off over our outdated permits, but that was offset by thee cutest little Moroccan ground handler any if us had every seen! Unfortunately she was "busy" and couldn't join me for drinks at the El Minzah hotel, but she did set me up with her Uncle for a tour of Tangers, and I found the "Inception" bar, but it was closed....

Some shots from Tangers;

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and I don't really like cats but they kind of made these two photos work....

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Eventually we got going and flew by Gibraltar....

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then into Algeria, Spain, where all our tomatoes come from...

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Checked into the hotel by 1800 and headed out for a much needed bite, but no restaurants are open before 2030, so we ended up at Burger King in a swanky mall food court. We could be in Anytown, Europe and I'm already suffering from Africa withdrawal.....Tangers, Monrovia, Libreville, Mombasa, I want to go back....
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