Friday, June 18, 2010


June 16 to June 18 - Agra, India.

After 7 hours of flying, two hours of fueling, and a few hours transfers to and from airport, we arrived the “East” from the Middle East. Stopped at Ahmedabad (Gandhi’s birth place) for fueling and as port of entrance. It was hot but fortunately we have some clouds. Agra is of course, the town houses Taj Mahal. Since the airport code for Agra is VIAG, the teenagers of the group start calling the airport “Viagra”. Not all radar controllers have sense of humor, they found out.

Oberoi hotel has a great view of the Taj Mahal and a tour of 2 hours is not too difficult. We get to talk to some locals and start to take a few pictures with them. They gathered more and more and all want to take pictures with us. make no mistake, they have bigger and nicer cameras. It took a whole 30 minutes to finish this "encounter". We will depart to Thailand tomorrow. The weather is not very favorable. Seems that there is a big system in Bangladesh and Myanmar Pilots are talking about detour or delay.

At Ahmedabad for refueling. Drums of AV-Gas which is not seen in U.S. AV-Gas is used mostly for general aviation airplanes and is readily available in the U.S. But in the rest of the world where private recreational aviation is not popular, AV-gas is hard to find. . Part of the challenge of this trip is to find AV-Gas and use the airport strategically. Our Malibu is the only one using AV-Gas, other 3 are all Jets.

Sampling the Gas.

Verifying fuel.

Tansfer bus alll to my self.

Street of India.

Morning commute.

View of Taj Mahal from Hotel.

Oberoi Hotel with Taj Mahal at far background.

The look of it is tranquil, isn't it. Just ignore the tourists.

This day visitors are mostly locals. They have summer vacation for May and June. Too hot for regular tourists.

Jeffrey with local kids.

Somehow, we became the "attraction".

Beautiful India young bride.

More and more people. Notice the hand on my shoulder.

Talking to locals made Jeffrey's day.

Dubai and Oman

June 11 - 16 Dubai-Oman (阿曼)

Dubai and Oman are not far from each other and both are real real “hot’. Landing in Dubai International was hard enough since the tower and ground controllers are talking non-stop plus the temperature were grueling 112 Degree F. Once I opened the cabin door, a heat wave came in even warmer then the inside cabin. On the way to hotel , I felt we were cooked medium rare. Oman was worse, not only hot, but humid. Camera fogged up right away. Impossible to take a photo outdoors. Some pictures I took in the hotel were right after wiping off the lense but still foggy. Not a time to visit these places now, I guess.

Sand dune bashing was arranged for us in Dubai. It was in the afternoon and the sunset Champagne toasting was pretty nice. By the way, shopping is over rated. The Hermes stores (2 of them) only have about 10 bags, no comparison to stores in Paris.

Oman was a very conservative Islamic country until about 20 years ago. The current Sudan ordered beautifying and modernizing the country. The Chedi is first class and beach front. But because it was so hot, I did not go to the beach nor the pool. It has beautiful Mosque and indoor souk. Famous for their ceremonial knifes and swords. Of course, we bought some. Leaving Oman airport was hard again. India will be hot again. Reporting at 46 degree C. Challenging.

One thing we realized is that airport handling should be a good business. We were charged for everything at a good price. All the radar communications, landing permits, process for landing permits, bag handling, customs clearance, fuels, fueling….. All that you can think of. General aviation in U.S. is really a good deal.

Approaching Dubai.

Inside suite of Burj Al Arab Hotel (meaning, Tower of Arab).

View from suite noting a tall niddle image is the tallest building in the world. Burj Khalifa. (again, Khalifa Tower).

View from room.

Ready for Dune Bashing.

No, he is not praying. This is our tour director taking picture.

Openning a bottle of Champagne.

Toasting to a beautiful sunset.

After a few drinks, they thought they have seen airplanes.

The plane, the plane..... These are the teenagers of our group.

Somewhere in Oman. Renee did not go to avoid the heat. The Chedi in Muscat, Oman.

The two want-to-be Omani Ministers.

Traditional living room settings. Again, hotel staff were amused by Jeffrey.