So I now find myself leaving Papua on yet another Garuda flight, but this time in daylight and so infinitely safer! (I hope!) Writing this after the first landing of 3 and so far, so good.. Fingers crossed! (If you're reading this then I made it, so the story doesn't really have a cliff-hanger!)
Papua was a lot of fun again, not quite so many hours, but I'm not complaining at the ones I did get in. As I mentioned before, this whole industry is a numbers game and generally the higher the number, the more comes your way.
Not really much to report from Papua that I didn't mention earlier, but a few really bad weather days and the usual company politics kept both my skills up and my ears open. There's no way I will indulge you all in the company stuff - I have no idea who reads this!
The flying was again on the more spectacular side and I did manage to get into a few more mountain strips than on my previous tour. It really is a different sort of flying when you descend into a 'bowl' surrounded by towering granite; your senses really sharpen up. The flying generally has to be a lot more accurate and the decision making a lot further ahead than is critical when you are over the ocean.
Indonesians have this wonderful affinity to lighting fires that smoke nearly half the country out. Malaysia actually calls them their 'disgusting cousin'! Good reputation eh!
My last day flying in Papua however was from a place called Jayapura and it just so happened that some big-shot (With his personal collection of medals, badges, gold ribbon and other formal accessories) decided he needed two aircraft to fly formation over the whole of central Papua and the North coastline. I managed to get in one of the aircraft and so was treated to 3.5 hours of low level sight seeing over mountains, lakes, rivers, and the islands close to the shoreline. Not bad when you broke through the company normal hours-per-month and are therefore getting paid extra for every hour you do! So in essence I got paid to sightsee. Now aren't you all jealous!
I left there with a pretty high satisfaction level needless to say!
So then, to the future. I am merrily looking forward to a friend of mine who has just arrived in Jakarta. I will hang out with her and her friends for the best part of two weeks before I have to go on my 60 day recurring visa run, likely to be to Kuala Lumpur (See new blog for that trip which has just happened! There wasn't much room on here for the whole epic story). Then back to Medan for a week before I head to Thailand to visit my parents. Haven't seen them for a year almost and so I'm sure there is enough to talk about in a week!
I'm then supposed to be Medan bound again for 3 weeks before being shoved somewhere else. No idea where that will be, but I have a sneaky suspicion that a Captains course may not be too far off after that move. But whatever will be will be. I just have to start revising all my stuff again.
So I will love you and leave you on that one as I have, quite frankly, a ridiculous task ahead of me when it comes to writing the next blog!
Take care and see some of you soon. x
Oh, and if any of you ever find yourself in a Papuan airport then remember, coughing up blood is prohibited..... I will never forget this place! (This sign actually means something else, but I prefer my explanation!)