Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1725466
It’s fantastic watching your progress, and amazing to see how many GA friendly countries there are out there.

The pictures as usual are brilliant to, it’s one of those trips I'd love to do, particularly in a vintage aircraft...that said its probably far safer and has much less of an uncertainty factor in a modern GA type.
#1725469
Most countries will send the flight permit, if it is required, days or even weeks in advance. Not so with Indonesia. I received the permit at 9pm the evening before the flight and I was told by my contact at Wings of Asia that this was considered early; usually, they come in the early hours of the morning on the day of departure! I like to have everything ready in advance so this had been rather stressful, with me checking my email every half hour or so over dinner. In the end, though, all was good. The only complication was that Indonesia issue a permit for a maximum of 5 days, so I’d need to have another permit in order to leave on day 7!

One of the fanciest airside transports yet
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Juvy and I left the hotel a little after 7, and were back at Seletar in good time. For a giant city, we’d found the traffic in Singapore to be remarkably light. Wings over Asia met us at the Business Aviation Center and sped us through the formalities and out to the aircraft, where I busied myself figuring out how to fit Juvy’s luggage in. The fuel truck from Shell arrived shortly after and I topped off the wing tanks, and added a few hours of fuel to the ferry tank as well. AVGAS would not be available at our first stop, so it would be over 1,000 nautical miles until we next had fuel. Do-able with the wing tanks, but not with any sense of comfort.

Fueling all 5 tanks, ready for a long trek through Indonesia
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IFR traffic to and from Seletar is a little strange, with no actual instrument approaches despite its status as a major private jet base. Departing to the south, as we were, it is at the mercy of traffic from Changi. We received our ATC clearance and taxied to the runway, then having to hold for nearly half an hour while ATC waited for a gap to slot us through and get us away to Indonesia. As we waited, a flight of 5 or so Diamond DA40 trainers took off for training; they were from the Singapore Air Force. Eventually, we were released, and directed to fly runway heading far out from the airport until turning south.

Departure from Seletar
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Crossing Singapore in the haze
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Passing Bukom Refinery
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Since my arrival the haze had worsened considerably, and above about 4,000ft it was difficult to make out much of anything on the ground. This was terribly frustrating for Juvy and her professional level camera! It didn’t take long before we had left Singapore and crossed into Indonesian airspace, although the Singapore controller held on to us until we were 100 miles or so out.

Happy aviators!
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Our assigned route was about 100 miles longer than a direct route would have been, but kept us mostly over land instead of striking out over the sea. Even so, there were a number of long sea crossings, and even over the islands we were often out of radio range with ATC. This was no problem, and whenever we could we’d check in via relay from an airliner. Our planned route took us directly over Jakarta which sadly was not to be, with ATC directing us east of the city as we arrived over the island of Java, and headed inland over the city of Bandung.

Our route through Indonesia
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The haze starts to improve
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This leg held another major milestone for the flight; the first crossing of the equator! We watched as the coordinates on the GPS counted down towards 0 degrees north, and then switched to “south”. We celebrated, raucously, with a high five.

Hello, southern hemisphere!
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Crossing the sea north of Java
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Gratuitous cockpit shot
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Indonesia’s volcanic heritage was clear as we crossed Java. On both sides, mountain ranges rose to and above our level. It was nice to see some hills after hours of flatness, even if it did require slightly more attention paid to ensure airplane and hill did not meet! Turbulence picked up, most likely due to wind over the mountains, but luckily never enough to be uncomfortable. After a while, we approached the southern shore of Java and turned onto the final airway that would take us towards Yogyakarta.

Approaching Java
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Crossing Java
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The first volcano we'd spotted in Indonesia!
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Passing Bandung
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Southern coast of Java
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Yogyakarta
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Final approach to Yogya
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Yogyakarta turned out to be a busy airport, shared between civilians and the military. There were a number of incoming flights stacked up, and we were given one turn around the hold as we approached to wait for other traffic. ATC then cleared us on to the downwind leg for a visual landing, and we touched down and taxied to parking to be met by a small army of people; police, customs, immigration, and handling. All were friendly and helpful and before long we had our bags out, the aircraft covered, and were escorted into the “VIP terminal”. Off we went to a taxi, and our hotel.

The ostentatious, but inexpensive, Hotel Lafayette
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I had chosen Yogyakarta as a stop because of an Indonesian friend I had made through the Cessna 182 Facebook group. She had been helpful in offering some tips about organising the flying, so I thought that her home city would be as good a place as any for one of our stops, especially as it had many interesting tourist attractions. We stayed in one of her suggested hotels, the LaFayette. It stood proud, 8 stories tall, in the middle of a low rise neighbourhood, looking rather out of place. Walking in to the lobby, it can only be described as “oppressively French” – but was clean, luxurious, and ended up being a fantastic place to stay for a few nights! After complimentary high tea on the rooftop, we headed out to find some traditional Indonesian food for Juvy, and something far more boring for me, before turning in for the night, overlooked in both rooms by pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

Evening on the roof
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kanga, Dman, Charles Hunt and 1 others liked this
#1725471
Melanie Moxon wrote:It’s fantastic watching your progress, and amazing to see how many GA friendly countries there are out there.


I'm glad you are enjoying it!

I would not count many of these places as "GA friendly", sadly. Huge amounts of paperwork hassle, mandatory handling (always a complete racket), permits, and high costs. For example, a 3 night stop in Yogyakarta cost us $1,700 in fees alone.

Malaysia was a very welcome exception among a horde of rip-offs.
#1725650
I skipped breakfast, although Juvy reported that it was delicious. Our first stop for the day was to be the Palace of Yogyakarta. This palace was constructed in 1756 and is the seat of the Sultan of Yogyakarta, who rules the special region of Yogyakarta as the only recognised monarchy in Indonesia. We were shown around by what seemed to be a semi-mandatory tour guide, who explained some of the history of the previous Sultans (all of whom, before the present Sultan, had many many wives) and also the function of the various ceremonial pagodas and other structures around the large, open palace area.

The Palace of Yogyakarta
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Traditional dress at the Palace
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A gift to the Sultan, from the US
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During the visit, Juvy got chatting to a lady from China; both of them had fancy cameras. She was out exploring South East Asia, and joined us for lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Central Yogyakarta
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Lunch in Yogyakarta
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We didn’t have much in the way of afternoon plans yet, so we decided to team up and the three of us set off in a Grab to visit the Pinus Pengger. This hilltop pine forest, about an hour outside of the city, is renowned for the elaborate sculptures that the resident artists create primarily out of the pine boughs themselves. While limited in number, the sculptures were certainly impressive with the more renowned ones having their own small entry fee and queue of people waiting for their turn to take another identical photo for Instagram!

"Hanging out" at Pinus Pengger
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"I am Groot"
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We had some drinks in one of numerous identical cafes overlooking the valley, before walking back to the entrance and trying to get a ride back to the city. After half an hour things were starting to look a little desperate; the location was a bit more remote than we’d realised; but finally somebody accepted our ride request and off we went. He earned himself a large tip, given how thankful we were to be finding our way home!

Sun setting over Pinus Pengger
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After a brief stop at the hotel to relax we headed for the largest mall in the city for a meal, as it was close to where our new friend Jia had left her rented scooter. A post-dinner search for the scooter revealed that the scooter parking area she’d left it in turned into a market at dark, and it had been moved away to parts unknown. A lengthy search eventually located it, remarkably far from where it had been parked, and that was the excitement done for the day.

Dinner in the main mall in Yogyakarta
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We left the hotel at 3:30am. I didn’t regard this as a terribly good idea, but Juvy was adamant that the only way to see the Temple of Borobudur was as the sun rose over it. The hot and humid conditions of Malaysia and Singapore had gone, and it was surprisingly cool at this time of the morning. I hadn’t thought to bring warm clothing! The temple was about an hour’s drive away, and on arrival we were given tickets and torches (“flashlights” for any confused Americans reading this; we didn’t wander around with flaming sticks, although that would have added to the experience). We set off to follow the sporadic trail of tourists heading in the direction of the temple.

Sunrise at Borobudur
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Borobudur
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The Temple of Borobudur dates back to the 9th century, and is the world’s largest Buddhist temple. It consists of nine stacked platforms, with no fewer than 504 Buddha statues. I left Juvy to scramble around preparing photograph angles, and made my way to the top level on the east side, to await the dawn. Soon, a glow appeared in the night sky behind the volcanoes in that direction, and the sun gradually hauled itself into the sky. There was no denying that it was a beautiful sight! As the sun rose, the throng of tourists milled about taking Instagram selfies, all wearing the same identical loose trousers with elephants on that they’d bought in some market. Being a tourist myself, I couldn’t be too critical.

Temple of Borobudur
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After touring the temple, we treated ourselves to the breakfast that was included in the ticket price, and returned to the car. Joan, the driver who was looking after us for the day, was waiting and we set off for stop number two, a Jeep tour on the lower slopes of Mount Merapi. This volcano, the most active in Indonesia, has regularly erupted since the mid-1500s. I crossed my fingers that today would not be the day; and thanks to the thorough monitoring that the Indonesians now carry out on the volcano, our chances of making it through alive were good. As we neared the volcano, the varied businesses along the streets seemed to give way to nothing but a mass of Jeep tour companies. The one that Joan took us to had vintage Toyota Landcruisers, and we organised one for a couple of hours and set off.

Landcruising at Mt Merapi
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Given that the price was for one vehicle, we asked Joan if he’d join us in the extra seat. The three of us, plus our driver, stopped first at the home of Mbah Maridjan. He was the spiritual guardian, or “gatekeeper” of Mt Merapi, and was killed at the age of 83 by the pyroclastic flow during the 2010 eruption. His home can now be visited on tours, and has a number of displays of the devastation caused by the eruption.

Destroyed items at Merapi
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From here we visited an emergency bunker that had been built on the slopes of Mt Merapi, to try and provide protection to people during an eruption. In the 2006 eruption, this bunker was covered with over 6 feet of hot volcanic ash and rock; tragically, two volunteers who’d been helping evacuate people became trapped there and died from the heat before they could be rescued. Today the bunker is on display as part of the mountains history, no longer used for a refuge.

The bunker at Mt Merapi
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Our driver stopped the Landcruiser at an overlook, above a quarry on the lower slopes. The rock that had been deposited from the eruption was apparently in great demand, and a flourishing industry had developed in mining and selling it. A long queue of trucks snaked up to the excavator; something like a giant sieve was placed over each truck as it arrived to eliminate the largest rocks, and the excavator then loaded them through the sieve. Even the worst disasters usually leave an opportunity for someone; as well as the quarry, local people had set up little toll booths on their land to collect a fee from each jeep as it went past, touring the volcanic landscape.

Quarrying the volcanic rock
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The final stops were varied. The first was another overlook of the mountain; featuring a large rock that if you squinted just right had a face on it, and a man offering photographs with owls for $1. The next, a small museum showing some of the ruined vehicles and other items from the 2010 eruption, as well as photographs of the devastation and aftermath. The region had been battered by the eruption, the pyroclastic flow, ash fall, and mudflows; it was incredible how well it had bounced back since then. In 2006, a major earthquake had killed 5,000 people in the region, and the 2010 eruption killed more than 350. Still, people came back; many perhaps having little choice.

The final stop was to a river near the Landcruiser business. This was just an opportunity to drive around fast in the water and splash everywhere. Great fun!

From the Jeep tour, we headed on to the Temple of Prambanan, and ate lunch at a lovely restaurant overlooking the site. This 9th century complex is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia. The central of the towers is 47m high, incredibly impressive for such a stone structure. The complex was abandoned in roughly the year 930, most likely due to an eruption from Mt Merapi (as you’ll be starting to realise, the mountain has been one of the strongest factors affecting the region throughout the centuries!)

Lunch overlooking Prambanan
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Prambanan Temple
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The locals, of course, knew all about the temple through the years, but its western “rediscovery” came in 1811 when it was chanced upon by a surveyor in the employ of Sir Stamford Raffles. Proper restoration did not start until 1930, and continues to this day. The site is also home to a variety of smaller temples, in various stages of restoration themselves, and an easy walk from the main temple. Other attractions include a small petting zoo!

Sewu Temple
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Juvy met up with Jia, and the two of them attended the Prambanan ballet. I went my own way, taking a car to the town of Klaten nearby, to meet up with my friend Viana. I’d met her through the Cessna 182 Facebook group, and she had been very helpful in offering tips about flying in Indonesia, as well as where to stay and what to do in the Yogyakarta region. We had tea at her house, where it was fascinating to meet and talk with her father, before heading into the center of town for a great dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner we walked around the town for a while, before taking a car for a short tour of the city, seeing a couple of the impressive mosques. After a great evening I said goodbye, and headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow, another flight!

Dinner with Viana
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Lockhaven, Charles Hunt, mick w and 3 others liked this
#1725653
Didn't have malls like that in 1983! Borobodur looks pretty much the same. Sally and I made it to the tree line on Merapi but I wasn't feeling great so we waited while two companions made it higher up. We were just starting to worry about them when they reappeared and we all set off down again.
Katamarino liked this
#1725727
There was no fuel available at Yogyakarta, and this next leg would be a domestic flight. All paperwork and fees were being taken care of by the handling agent. All we had to do was turn up, stroll through security, and get going. It slightly made up for the enormous costs of flying in Indonesia (around $1,500 in fees for a 3 night stop) – but only slightly. Now much lighter in fuel load, we shot off the runway and climbed hard to reach a safe altitude for our flight along Java.

Walking back to the aircraft in Yogyakarta
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Pre-flighting
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Taxiing out at Yogya
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Route loaded and ready to go; 416nm
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Departure from Yogya
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The area directly between Yogyakarta and our destination of Lombok is largely restricted airspace so our route took us northwest initially, close to the other side of the island. From here we turned east across the city of Surabaya and out across the bay between Java and Madura Island. The haze was not bad, and the air was smooth, about as good as we could ask for!

Cruising over Yogya
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Mt Merapi and friend
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Got to get some good photos!
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A couple of hours in we reached the eastern end of Java. Monitoring the emergency frequency, I started to pick up an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), a kind of beacon designed to automatically go off in the event of an aircraft crash. My first thought was that maybe mine had gone off somehow in error, given that the frequency of air traffic that would carry such a beacon around here was probably low. The signal came and went as we flew, however, so that seemed unlikely. I reported it to air traffic control, and although it took a while for them to understand what I was trying to tell them, our report was eventually acknowledged.

Crossing Surabaya
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Volcanos on eastern Java
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Java coast
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Our route to Lombok
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ATC offered me a shortcut but I elected to stay on the flight planned route and turn right across Bali; we wanted to see something of the island! We climbed a couple of thousand feet higher to ensure proper terrain clearance, and made our way across Bali. The top of the hills were smothered by cloud, which continued up a little above our altitude, so we delayed our turn back to the east until we were clear of this; even though we could fly in the cloud quite legally, it’s nicer to have a view!

Leaving the end of Bali
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Crossing Bali
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We were number 2 out of 3 on the arrival to Lombok, and were sent directly to the final approach fix with instructions to make “best possible speed”. For a C182 this meant about 150kts ground speed down approach, with a slightly tetchy airline pilot in the hold above us regularly inquiring about where the Cessna was now. I pulled the power on short final and fed in flaps, dropping from 150 down to 70, and we turned off at the first taxiway and headed for the ramp. We were directed in to park next to a Cessna 172 that, as we shut down, started up and taxied out. This left a gap between us and the King Air at the end of the row that clearly displeased the self-important man directing operations, so we had to get the tow bar out and move Planey over a space. Well pleased, the self-important man departed.

Arriving at Lombok
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Following my “fuel on arrival” rule, the ground handlers brought out 2 barrels of avgas on a trailer for us. That was all that was provided; 2 barrels, no pump, hoses or tools. We rummaged around in the back of the airplane for the hand-pump and fuel hoses, last used in Egypt, and then managed to open the drums up through use of a large spanner. With the help of the excellent ground crew, we slowly pumped the fuel through my filter and into the various tanks, only having to stop once to wash avgas out of my eyes after a particularly over-enthusiastic pump.

Manual refueling in Lombok
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We put the cover on and two of the ground handlers escorted us across the ramp and through immigration; I called a “Grab” to take us to the Sheraton Senggigi that Juvy had organised for the next few nights. This stop was intended as a lazy, relaxing break near the end of the trip with no real plans other than hanging around the resort and taking a boat trip or two! It was an hour’s drive to the resort, and we checked in to our rooms before wandering down to the restaurant for dinner and Pina Coladas.

Lombok traffic
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The lovely Sheraton
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The energetic Jia, who me’d met in Lombok, had wanted to fly with us; with only 2 seats in the plane, that hadn’t been an option. Not to be deterred, however, she’d booked a cheap airline flight from Yogyakarta – I received a message after dinner telling me she was in the lobby! I wandered down to say hello. She had checked in to the hotel next door and would join us for the next two days! We planned a time to meet the following morning, and said our goodnights.
Lockhaven, mick w, Dave W and 4 others liked this
#1725958
The next day was a remarkably lazy one. I made it downstairs about 5 minutes before breakfast closed at 11am, and dined on a rather disappointing crepe with Nutella; who knew it was possible to get that wrong? I headed out to the beach to join the girls, who had laid claim to a kind of gazebo on the beach, and relaxed in the shade reading and working on the website as Juvy floated around in her lifejacket, and Jia ran screaming from a kind of small lobster that a local gentleman had just caught for his lunch.

Hanging out at the beach
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Lunch!
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Relaxing by the pool
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Essential brownie
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The lazy afternoon drew on, and Jia and I elected to see what was on offer in the way of watersports. Sadly no small sailing dinghies were available, so we ended up renting a double kayak for an hour and paddling off around the bay, exploring around the small lighthouse and taking it in turns to jump into the water and use our one mask and snorkel. As the end of our hour drew near, Jia had the bright idea of swimming in to our gazebo (at one end of the beach) to grab the money needed for the bill, before swimming back out and paddling to the other end to return the kayak. She had failed to reckon with what was, at low tide, now a very shallow reef between us and the shore, and swam straight over it scratching up her stomach and foot.

Cruising along the beach
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She vanished up the beach wailing loudly and did not reappear, so I returned the kayak solo and went in search of her. I found her in one of the hotel restaurants near the beachfront with the hotel nurse attending her injuries. She was still in good form, despite occasional dramatics, and had been thoughtful enough to collar a waiter and have him deliver the payment to the kayak rental! Her swift recovery was heralded by her concern switching over to whether or not we had missed 2-for-1 cocktail happy hour; happily, we had not, and we enjoyed drinks and dinner by the hotel pool.

The invalid
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Evening on Lombok
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On our final day in Lombok, we had arranged a boat to take us to the Gili islands for the day. These three islands form a small archipelago off the coast of Lombok and are known for their idyllic beaches and snorkeling, as well as the party lifestyle at nights on one or two of the islands. Given that ours was a day trip, we wouldn’t be partaking of the latter. Under the skillful care of our Captain, the journey to the islands from the hotel’s beach took around 40 minutes.

Off to the islands!
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Arriving at Gili Trawangan
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Our vessel
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Marketing genius
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Our first destination was the island of Gili Trawangan, the largest and most developed of the trio. Our Captain dropped us on the beach and we set out to explore the main street, which was lined with tourist shops, restaurants, and dive centers. No cars are allowed on the islands, and horse-drawn carts were everywhere. Juvy stopped in at a store to buy a small dry-bag for her camera and other gear; Jia insisted on taking on the position of lead negotiator, and drove a hard bargain. We decided that things were a bit too busy and bustling here, so returned to the boat and set off for the middle island, Gili Meno.

The main transport on the Gili islands
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Our destination soon became obvious, as a swarm of boats hung loosely around a mass of swimmers in the water. We jumped in, masks at the ready, and went over to take a look. What we saw was the underwater sculpture “Nest”, consisting of 48 human figures placed here to create an artificial reef. Sadly my lack of waterproof camera meant that I couldn’t capture the view; I had left it in the aircraft! Foolish. Jia made friends with some Scandinavian tourists who took photos for us and promised to send them on, but alas, we never heard from them.

Swimming at the "Nest"
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We returned to the boat, and were taken up to the head of the island before getting back in the water. Here, deep waters butted up to a shallow reef (not quite shallow enough to repeat the previous days injuries, happily), and in the deeper sections several sea turtles were lazily gliding around. They seemed un-bothered by the swimmers, and could clearly outrun them if they felt like it! People kept a respectful distance, and it was fantastic to watch them in their natural habitat after seeing them many times at turtle rescue and rehabilitation centers.

Heading to see the turtles
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Gracefully boarding
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Our captain plucked us from the waters one last time, and we made for the final island, Gili Air. The water became choppy, and by the time we reached the beach and a lunch restaurant, the girls were both feeling rather the worse for wear. A small amount of vomiting later, we sat around a table on the beach and enjoyed a meal of satay and coconuts before boarding our vessel and cruising back to the hotel. On the way we came across another boat, clearly having engine trouble. After a discussion between captains, in the local language, we departed for the hotel; I assume that help must have been already on the way, or perhaps they didn’t like each other!

Our excellent captain
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Under construction
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We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the pool (with a slight bias towards the in-pool bar!) before an early dinner, and early bed. Our time in Lombok was at an end, and I’d be up early the next day to continue alone.

Happy hour!
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The view over the beach
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Lockhaven, kanga, Steve J and 3 others liked this
#1726044
I had arranged with the water-sports crew for a ride to the airport; they offered many services. The price mysteriously quadrupled between the original agreement and the pick-up, but I managed to negotiate it down again. I arrived at the airport at 0730, for my 0800 take-off; this was in line with the suggestions of my handling agent given that fueling was done. Unfortunately, the agent didn’t appear until 0800, and then immigration were nowhere to be found. They took my passport off to try and find someone to deal with it, while I prepared the airplane.

Waiting for return of the passport
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Flying to Australia requires a few strict procedures around bio-security. They are very, very serious about keeping unwanted pests out of the country. I had made sure that no disallowed food items were in the aircraft (the “Scooby Snacks” that Jason had given me before departure were OK), and then sprayed the inside of the aircraft generously with a special pre-departure insecticide. I had obtained this Australia-approved can, as well as the second “top-of-descent” can, from the Wings Over Asia FBO in Singapore. I closed the aircraft up for the prescribed 5 minutes, to let the insecticide do its job. A little before 0900 one of the agents came wobbling across the apron on a bicycle, passport in hand, and I was good to go.

With my handling agents
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I was given a backtrack to the end of the southerly facing runway. Near the threshold I came across a large snake, which was suspiciously flat in the middle; it seemed to have been run over by the airline that landed a few minutes before, and large birds were already here and feasting on it. I reported it to ATC, given that hitting dead snakes and large birds can be a risk for aircraft, and they had me hold position while they called a team to remove it. It was taking a while so I reassured them I could take off without risk, and they sent me on my way.

Climbing out from Lombok
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Beautiful water off of Lombok
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End of the island
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I climbed out, and a slight turn to the right put me on course direct for Broome, Australia. Ahead of me, more than 700 miles of nothing but open ocean. I had my lifejacket on, survival gear stashed on and within it, and the life-raft on the seat next to me. I hoped very strongly that I would need none of it! About 50 miles out, Lombok tried to put me onto an HF channel for crossing the ocean; given my lack of HF radio, this wasn’t going to happen, and I headed out into radio silence on the long crossing, alone over the Timor Sea.

Lots of water ahead of me...
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Final sight of land
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The skies were almost clear, with just the occasional fluffy cloud slipping past below me. I didn’t see a single ship; this was seriously empty ocean. Every now and then I’d call on the emergency frequency and try for a message relay, to let Bali and then Broome know that I was still in the air. Jetstar 110 was the first to help me out, and as I approached halfway Air New Zealand 281 stepped up and passed messages for me. A few miles further on, and “Border Force 11” called me up on frequency. Try as I might, despite being able to hear them, they were not able to hear my responses; eventually NZ281 stepped in to let Border Force know that I could hear them. It turned out they’d just been wanting to give me a courtesy call to say welcome!

Scattered cloud over the Timor Sea
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The route
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A couple of hours later, and I was in radio contact of Brisbane control. Despite Brisbane being clear across the other side of the continent, they apparently still control this part of the airspace! They gave me a new IFR clearance, directly to Broome, which was handy as that’s what I’d been flying anyway. As I drew closer I was handed over to Broome, and began my descent; spraying the second can of insecticide, the “top of descent” can, in the cabin in accordance with the instructions. I had noted down the details of the spraying, and the can serial numbers, on the special form that’s designed this.

Australia! Continent number 5 of this trip.
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Beautiful beaches
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Broome, dead ahead
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Inviting waters for a swim
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Coasting in
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Weather conditions were perfect, and the water off the beaches north of Broome was clear and sparkling. It looked idyllic! I was given a visual approach, flying a right downwind and turning back towards the northwest for my landing. A “follow-me” truck was waiting, and led me to the international arrivals pad where immigration were waiting; bio-security, however, were not. Opening the doors or windows of an aircraft is not permitted without clearance from bio-security, and it was very hot; luckily, immigration took initiative and after I held up the insecticide cans and completed form to show them, signaled that I could open up.

Downwind to land
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Coming in to land in Broome
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Base leg at Broome
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They had a quick look through the aircraft, showing interest only in the “Pilot’s nut powder” that Tom Claytor had given me in Thailand. It does not contain any nut products… We then retired to a nearby table under some shade and they had me fill in numerous forms, and chatted a little bit about my trip and my visit to Australia. They were very warm and welcoming, and before too long I was free to proceed. The follow-me truck returned and led me to a parking space, after which I decided to organise some fuel. This is where the trouble began…

Australian soil at last!
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Some rather over-zealous interpretation of sanctions law by the man in the BP office meant that they, the only AVGAS supplier, would not sell fuel to a foreign aircraft without clearance from head office. Head office was, at this time of day (and a couple of time zones ahead), closed. They took my details and promised to email the out of hours service, in the hope that they might be able to fuel me the following morning. This was a bit of a nonsense, and I still had a lot of fuel, so I phone up the fueler at Halls Creek. This location was also BP, and about 3 hours flight east of Broome; they reported that of course they could fill me up, no worries, too easy! With Plan B in hand, I set off to walk to the nearby “Maccas” to enjoy some wifi and a bite to eat.

Over a cheeseburger, I got the laptop out and managed to secure the last remaining private room at the nearby Kimberley Travelers Lodge, a backpacker place near the airport. After settling in to my room I hung out in the common area, planning my upcoming crossing of the Australian continent, and chatting to a few of the other guests about our travels and the best places to see. One of the guys, a french tourist, had just crossed about half of the continent on dirt roads only, which sounded like quite an adventure! Another, a Japanese lady on a long term working holiday, wanted to go to Sydney, and was quick to claim my spare copilot seat. We had the hostel arrange a taxi for the following morning (she had more luggage than I wanted to try and carry), and settled in before yet another early start the following day.
Lockhaven, Dave W, kanga and 1 others liked this
#1726081
Did Tom manage to put any of his stickers on your aeroplane?
Nut Powder... Never tried it though I know Tom quite well. I did my first flying in Thailand with him.

Some Australians have gone overboard with their interpretation of apparent regulations of which there are (too) many.
Lovely place but perhaps ‘can’t live there’.

Excellent read.
Katamarino liked this
#1726101
As I'm sure many Forumites are aware, Broome has its own place in aviation history as the scene of one of the deadliest air attacks on Australian soil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Broome

After that attack, the BOAC/Imperial/Qantas round-the-world commercial route, kept open not only for mail and important civilians but also as a propaganda message especially in US, went on a more Southerly route between Perth and Ceylon. Catalinas were used, with some flights taking >24hours.

</nerd>
mick w, Katamarino liked this
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