What? Why? How?
A while ago I talked to an old colleague that life sucks and I am not happy how things are. His answer was quite a good one: “Well, if you do not like your life at the moment, change it! Many people complain about how bad their job is or how little money they have. But very few do have the courage to step out of their usual environment and change their lives!”
Up to that point I definitely was part of the first, big group of people. But after our talk an idea started to grow:
Project Discovering Eagle
I always wanted to travel. So should I break out and do a Round-The-World trip? What about exploring America? Should I go backpacking or driving a camper? What should I do with Hugo in the meantime?
Wait a second! My passion is aviation! What can I do with N1990B? But still where to go in a small single engine airplane which was designed between the two world wars? It can’t go far, it can’t fly high. It can’t even go fast. So perhaps, it is the wrong plane…
Wrong! Let’s fly to Africa! Almost no open water passages from or to Europe, beautiful and divers landscape and perhaps many friendly people. Also, speaking english and a little french, I will have a good chance to communicate.
It will be a journey one will do only once in a life time.
But still, what about Hugo? He will join me!
How long will it take?
Well, that question is hard to answer! First, let’s take it from a mathematical standpoint. The whole route will be about 15.000 nautical miles long, N1990B flies 85 knots. That makes in total almost 180 hours in the air. So that makes at least 25 days.
But the truth does lie somewhere else! Fist of all the will be problems with visas and their validity. And after all, we want to explore country and people!
So, how long will it take? I still can’t answer that. But I will take at least a year of from work to do this! If we like it somewhere, we’ll stay there a bit longer. If we don’t, we head on.
Where do we go?
The starting point of this epic journey will be our home airport in Celle/Germany (EDVC). From there on we will fly all the way through France and along the Spanish Mediterranean coast.
The last stop on the European continent and stepping stone on the way to Africa will be Gibraltar. Why? Well, it is a very unique airport which is build right across the only access road to and from Spain and due to its rock it is really challenging for pilots. In my opinion it is just one of these airports you simply have to have in your logbook!
Once arrived in the Land of Upright Man we plan to track towards Casablanca and Marrakesh.
If you look at the map close enough, you’ll see, it is not as far to the Canary Islands as commonly believed. So I decided to fly a little detour and to discover the beauty of Fuerteventura. Who can claim to have been there in a single engine airplane?
Thereafter the plan is not quite finished, yet. But what is for sure is that we want to track the coast further south. The only problem: German authorities are warning currently the there is a chance to get kidnapped in Mauritania. So I am looking for a way that I don’t need to land and refuel over there.
If we would eventually make it down to Dakar, the next problem lies just around the corner. Going further and further south, we will approach the inter tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) around the equator. So we have to find a way to sneak through in between the thunderstorms.
Bear in mind, we will still fly under visual flight rules (VFR)!
One stop I definitely wanna make is the Kruger National Park in northern Namibia. Hopefully we will see a lot of animals there.
Another similar stop will be the Okavango Delta in Botswana, just north of Maun. There are plenty of little landing strips all over the delta. So it should be possible to get a close look.
So far south? What’s next? Well, you don’t fly 7000 nautical miles to the south without visiting the most southern point of Africa: Cape of Good Hope
On our way back home, we will make a detour to Madagascar and the Victoria Falls. After visiting Kenya we will follow the River Nil to the Mediterranean Sea.
During the last part of this journey we will hop over to Greece and follow the Adriatic Coastline before crossing the Alps back into Germany.
How do we finance such a journey?
Saving, selling old stuff and again saving!
The vast majority will come from saving enough money. But on the other hand, we are still looking for sponsors or supporters. If you like to donate a little bit, feel free to do so. If you own a company, get in touch with us to discuss, what we can offer as return for sponsoring.
When do we start?
That depends on how fast we can collect the needed money. So far we are looking towards 2023…
Can you follow the journey?
Yes, absolutely! Just subscribe to this blog. We will post all our adventures! Even better, while saving money, we will do smaller trips around Europe we also post here.