Another flight day, up early…bags ready and off to the airport. 3 hours flight time today.
The holding was necessary because of ground work (closed taxiway & section of apron). Airplanes landing needed a long taxi to position and take-off traffic required a long back taxi on the runway to take-off. The four Air Journey planes were part of stack up…..and only one runway.
One day tour for the highlights of Singapore: tour guide transported us to the largest display of orchards in the world! Then an hour floating boat tour.
Singapore Marina Bay water front offered a unique view of the city. We boarded the Bumboat (battery operated) which decreases polution of motor boats on the Singapore river. In 2008 the government created a new method of providing drinking water: a “Marina Barrage” to hold the conservation of recycled rainwater. Currently, Singapore has a water supply agreement with Malaysia which ends 2060. Fresh water is a valued and limited commodity which drives the government research for plausable solutions.
Singapore Flyer: each capsule holds 28 people with full capacity of 784 total. A full circuit is completed in 32 minutes and gives amazing views of the city.
Our Buddhist Temple visit in China Town…was most colorful and a peaceful conclusion of touring on this very hot and humid day.
Early rise, breakfast and off for a 5K trekking experience. This was a very beautiful trek which involved several hills, rice fields and a rocket-river bed. We visited an isolated and “time forgotten” village, the village of Tengarian where we had the opportunity to bargain for exquisite basketry and prized Geringing ikat cloth.
After the trek we were ready for lunch and resting near the beach side pool…
Saying goodbye to this peaceful place, one recognizes how the building designer (Edward Tuttle, California) incorporated Borobudur Temple aspects to be reflected in the resort structure.
Travel Day: Yogyakarta airport to Bali, Indonesia 1 hr. 20 minutes. Crossing the equator…moving south….when it is less humid and a little cooler (winter). Photo just before (N) and just after (S) crossing equator.
A short flight brought us to Bali and a long transfer 1 hour + to our hotel the Amankila, a magical Oasis. Amankila (which means peaceful hill) opened in 1992 set on a cliffside overlooking the Lombok Strait in East Bali. Below the resort is its private stretch of sand and beach club. The sand is black (volcanic) sand.
0415 wake-up call to transfer to the world’s largest Buddhist Temple: Borobudur. Awaiting sunrise, taking photos of the multiple reliefs which tell the story of Buddhist philosophy and principles, and the amazing engineering of this 9th century temple. This is considered one of the world’s seven wonders! The Temple was built during the 9th century during the reign of Sailendra Dynasty. This is a monument (not a temple you go inside). 504 Buddha statues are part of the Temple. A shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. This is Indonesia’s single most tourist attraction.
Evidence suggests that Borobudur was abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam.
Two amazing facts: This Buddhist Monument/Temple was overgrown with vegetation significantly damaged with sunken portions when re-discovered. Sir Thomas Raffles 1814 — first sparked world wild knowledge of its existence. It took years to discover and reconstruct this Temple…no blue prints were available– a huge puzzle to put together. The largest restoration was done between 1975 -1982.
Second amazing fact: Diann made it up the 99 steps! The beginning step is taller in each section (one must work harder in beginning of controlling desires) — gradually the step is less steep.
With head winds and over water route to Bali — we opted for a technical, fuel stop in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Maylasia. First leg: Langkawi to Kaula Lumpur 225 NM –
Many building projects seen as we made our approach …looked for, but missed seeing the second tallest building in the world: the Petronas Twin Towers (1483 feet). (We did see the highest in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai…earlier on the journey.)
Second leg: Yogyakarta, Indonesia 895 NM 3 hr. 48 minutes.
One + hour tranfer to hotel Amanjiwo (Peaceful Soul). Greeted by two young girls sprinkling rose petals in our path we were amazed at the beauty of this place.
June 19, day’s plan: total relaxation. No re-packing, no flight briefing, no scheduled event–it was great to linger our wonderful villa hearing the birds, roosters, monkeys and variety of animals. Our long beach walk was exhilarating and we started lunch with our new favorite refreshing drink: cold coconut milk right from the nut itself!
Next destination/relaxation — the adult infinity pool (55 meters long), complete with tasty “adult” beverages.
Day 41…June 20th we were awakened by a blowing stormy rain. Our 0900 Mangrove boat tour delayed!
Finally, quieter skies and calmer seas allowed us to launch about 3 pm to the Kilim Geoforest Park.
Amazing mangroves with their adaptation to the salt water sea setting…actually excreting the salt through the top portion of leaves….the film protects the plant….and we are grateful for the oozing of solution which creates an amazing hazy “goop” on surface of water (no mosquito is able to break through surface tension to lay eggs). No need for bug spray on our 2.5 hour discovery cruise!
Did I mention the monkeys? The snake. Kite eagles and brown eagles….
Last evening walk to dinner…..a large group of wild monkeys climg up tree next to walkway.
0730 morning pick up and transfer to the Agra airport took us through the city streets with less hectic traffic but busy industrious Indian people with trading in the streets.
Agra Airport serves as the Indian Airforce Training Base and appropriately requires a security check in for our driver. We noticed the armed guard on duty.
The Baumann’s TBM N850TD was airbourne at 0851 anticipating ATC challenges as we had on our arrival. It was a relief to experience a smooth transition with ATC. One variation which is important: you must report back to Agra departure confirming that you have made contact with Dehli control. To omit this would leave our commrades grounded, not released to depart. This is an example of kind of details important for each pilot to know and comply which are part of the pre-flight briefing the evening before each flight. Two hours and 20 minutes over India to Kolkata.
Second leg: Flight over Bangladesh we talked with Daaka Control (VERY challenging to understand)….where we think the spoke into a tin can! There was a true IFR meterological flight with rain and clouds. We flew over the Bay of Bengal and experienced major deviations around storm cloud build ups. The lush green fields along the lower mountainous terrain was a welcoming sight as we approached (right on the glide-slope) for a challenging cross-wind landing.