Chiang Mai to Kolkata, India to Nagpur, India to Ahmedabad, India

Yeah, I know that’s a long title but it’s been too long since I’ve updated this blog.  And now it’s late in the evening here in Ahmedabad and I have an early call for the flight on Monday, 20 Dec to Muscat, Oman. Can’t seem to get it all done during these layovers.

The flight from Chiang Mai to Kolkata got a late start due to a Holiday that nobody could identify. Got away at the last moment of my clearance limit, flew along the required airway to the south, then turned west to enter Myanmar. I had actually wanted to land there but with the recent elections it was to be very difficult. But their ATC folks gave me a shortcut up to the northwest towards Dhaka, Bangladesh to shorten the flight a bit. The downside of that was some LBPC’s…Little Black Puffy Clouds…rain clouds that looked quite menacing. Skirted most of them and washed the aircraft in the rest. No cockpit leaks so that test is now complete.

Arrived at Kolkata in hazy conditions about half an hour after darkness fell. It was actually quite pretty from the air. Then I landed. Big, busy international airport but had a grand welcoming committee from the Taj Hotel Group and AirTaj catering folks. Wow…great folks and a most magnificent hotel–the Taj Bengal. 3 nights there in splendor, everything very first class. There is more to this story but that will come later.

After the 3 nights it was off to Nagpur, the orange growing capital of India. I chose it because it is in the center of India and had AVGAS, which is not found everywhere anymore. 3 nights there as well and off to Ahmedabad to another wonderful welcome from the Taj hotel folks. The hotel manager had organized a press conference. The Red Rockette is a rock star! I’m just a camp follower wandering around with her. Many photos and interviews,  plus TV stuff as well. Numerous articles appeared the next morning and she made the TV news that evening. Another 3 nights here in Ahmedabad, the home of Ghandi. Getting away rather late in the morning due to a runway closure which I cannot avoid. We will fly up over Karachi and westward along the Pakistan coast, then turn southwest to avoid Iranian airspace direct to Muscat, Oman. I’ll be spending nearly a week there with old friends who have a daughter working on the organizing committee of the Muscat Asian Beach Games. They are visiting her at the same time as my visit…amazing how things work out. All this known only because of the internet. A wonderful thing to make my journey more interesting all the time.

After Christmas it will be off to Bahrain for a few days, then across Saudi Arabia to Amman, Jordan. I’ll spend nearly a week there in order to do some touring down Petra way and other interesting places.  Then finally off to Cyprus, exact time unknown at the moment.  And so it goes.

Wandering Windsock 

PS: Remember, all who wander are not lost.  An old friend reminded me of that today.

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