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Discovering Nigeria

 

At Bata airport, ready for departure, I start taxiing when my plane bumps...


I went back to the apron and called my devoted Engeneer Raymond who reassured me explaining it is normal that my tires get a new shape after two months under the sun and african heat.

 

I start up the engine again and took off.

 

Very soon I was enjoying flying again in the african sky, free, at 1500 ft above the deep jungle following the Cameroon coast line.

 

I took some nice pictures but had some problems with my 2 cameras... 😤

 

I reached the entrance of Douala and told them my intentions when they taught me about a prohibited area west of Mont Cameroun and I had no other choice to fly in the middle of this famous Guinea Golf !

 

Luckily the weather and visibility were good and I started this long flight above the ocean...
The island of Malabo at my left and the Cameroon Mountain at my right !
What a beautiful moment... long moment but still beautiful 😃

 

The Guinea Golf is quite busy with many oil wells, cargo boats, fishermen’s boats, helicopters flying from one plateforme to another...
The air controllers are good.

 

Eventually I distinguished the Nigerian coast line and a very busy fishermen port with dugout canoes sailing in all directions.

 

Above the ground the air was bumpy and the clouds low, the visibility not too bad but my GS was slow and I found it very long to reach Port Harcourt.

 

The air controler wanted to send me to the military base because my aircraft is N registered...

 

I finally got the airfield insight and made a nice approach and landing in a very hot atmosphere.

 

Then, started a very long procedure.

 

I had to taxi up “to the end of the street” said the air controler speaking about the runway 😊

 

Then vacate and taxi up to the other end to the new terminal...

 

When I stoped the engine after this long flight, I felt released and happy.

 

Suddenly many people came to me to welcome me !
Such warm welcome was unexpected and very nice !

 

Unfortunately we had to wait for my handler, then wait for my drum to be delivered.
A strong sun, no breeze, I secured the plane, took off the mogas from my right tank, scotched some tape somewhere... and finally the drum arrives.
I built up my fuel pomp, took my tolls to unscele the drum and I climbed on a table (no steps available) to refuel while one of my assistant started pumping.

 

Left tank full, we started the right one, the strong sun on me, lack of air, no fresh water, I started feeling dizzy...

 

Right tank full ! Let start the extra tank... the vapour of the avgas, the heat, lack of fresh air, I had to stop and seat down for a while...

 

We put the cover and once all tidy, we left but the door of the terminal were locked...
We had to wait... again...
Then the immigration procedure...
Then wait for the car...

 

I finally arrived at the hotel exhausted at 5 pm, 12 hours after I woke up with only one cup of tea and 2 small bottles of warm water in my stomach, when my handler offers me a fresh Sprite, it was the best gift I’ve never received !

 

I felt exhausted but I was invited for dinner at my handler’s family.


Nice people and good time at their place.

 

I decided to wait one day because I didn’t have my flight permit to Cotonou, because the weather doesn’t look good and because I need to rest !

 

While writing this text, a violent african storm arised... Sometimes it is good to feel on the ground...

 

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