Monday, May 01, 2006

A flight to Labasa

From Wendy

excerpt from a travel diary

We have a long wait at Nausori airport as we arrive before 9 am. The plane has been delayed until 10 45 a.m. though it was meant to leave at 10. It's a twelve seater and I have a panic attack when we are allocated two small seats right at the back. I rave on a bit. Peceli puts his arm around me and three Indian men seem very concerned and talk incessantly with Peceli because they can't understand my claustrophobia. They lean over me, making it even worse. I belt up. One says to pray to God but he doesn't belt up or shut up. One offers me some Wrigley's chewing gum and I attack that with gusto.

Two pilots are there so my discomfort eases. The noisy plane fires up along the runway and takes off. I can get out soon. Underneath us are small farms and the Rewa River delta curling itself towards the sea and islands emerge and then clouds for fifteen minutes then it is a total fog/whiteout.

My ears are hurting as the plane bobs and rises and descends. The cloud cover clears and I see hills, cane fields farm houses, a saw mill, Vorovoro and Mali Islands then the Labasa river delta. The plan turns right around and we fly back over the coast. Peceli points out a strip that is Nukutatava beach so we know we are home, soon see the airport and the small plane bumps a little on the runway before jamming on the brakes.

It is a safe landing and I can breathe fresh air. We grab our numerous bags and a taxi takes us for a ride to Tuatua housing and to my sister-in-law's house, passing goats and one white woolly sheep grazing beside the road.

It is still Sunday and there will be a church service at Vatuadova village later on. We had a little family worship back at our eldest son's flat in Suva, so I feel that I've done by bit for Sunday! My sister-in-law cries and cries as she hugs me. We are home, or at least, at one of our homes.

1 comment:

Pandabonium said...

That looks like a DeHavilland Dove. It's an old design, going back to 1945 I think, but a good one that was produced for many years. Just as fast as the planes flown around Fiji today, or faster - though with half the capacity for passengers. I've never had a ride in one, but I'd bet it was as noisy as you say.

As a private pilot I like riding in smaller aircraft. I feel more connected to the plane and the environment than I do when riding in one of the giant jet powered "aluminum tubes". In those I just feel like "spam in a can".

Thanks for sharing this travel diary entry.