Last day of our Back from Africa adventure. I flew both flights yesterday, so Fred was Pilot-in-command today. He had prepped a nice detour from Bordeaux,over the Medoc wine region and the oyster bay of Oléron.
But first we had to cater for the paperwork at Aviapartner. We did pay a lot of handling money this time… yes we are back in Europe.
Luckily no flight plan to be filed. Fred took off from runway 23 from Bordeaux -Mérignac and flew to point N so we could follow the Gironde over the Médoc wine region towards Soulac.
Our cockpit windows quickly filled with the green of the vines below us.
Great wine vilages such as Paulliac, and my favourite Saint-Estèphe were very visible from the air.
We crossed the Gironde towards the oyster-growing bay of Oléron wit its island and la Rochelle,as main city.
We truely enjpyed our scenic detour. It worth coming back to this area. Plenty of airportns in the neighbourhooud too.
We checked the weather online while flying by connecting our 3G phone with the ipad running the Aeroplus weather app. We saw some showers around Le Mans in our path towards Rouen and detoured them: all conveniently uneventful.
After Rouen we turned towatds Lille, for our last stretch from Dakar. Soon we saw our familiar field passing under our familiar right wing…
And Fred put Papie Charlie down gently on runway 19. Our other co-owners and flying buddies were waiting for our return.
We were happy to be back after about 22 hours of flying the 2500 nautical miles from Dakar along the Aeropostale route. Thinking back to what de Saint-Exupéry and Mermoz did when they flew the Aeropostale routes: that must have been really risky with their fickle planes. One thing, however, now feels easy: navigation! They just followed the coast line: sand left, water right when flying to Dakar; water left, sand right as we have done.
Our best friend turned out to be Papie Charlie: he was economical, flawless, gentle and reliable. We should repair its landing light, but otherwise, our 38 years old friend is good to go on many more adventures!
I would like to thank Fred and Bruno for the nice friendship on the route, for sharing pics, stories and jokes. Thanks to Luc and Fanfan to getting Papa Charlie safely in Dakar.
I would like to thank my family for their patience with this crazy hobby.
I would like thank you for reading this stories and reacting to it.