Santorini, the Respite

By Tracy on (with 0 comments)

Just like the postcards Eight countries, over seven thousand flight miles, and less than a third of the way around the world; we reach the island of Santorini_, off the southern coast of Greece. Famous for its beautiful Mediterranean vistas, blue and white architecture, the donkey trail leading to the main town of Fira, and as a magnet for cruise ships and honeymooners, for us, Santorini is a place we can all finally get in a full day's rest. At this point, we really need it. Goose Bay seems like such a long time ago, back then we were fresh and ready to take on any challenge- eight countries later we're less energetic and certainly less healthy. A variety of illnesses, from allergic reactions, and viral infections, to colds and old fashioned food poisoning- each has taken its toll beginning in Paris. Nearly half of us have been ill during the past week. Fortunately, all of the aircraft and crew are still together, although, with some late arrivals. No matter how well we plan, how carefully we watch what we eat, who we sit next to on a bus or in a cab; the uncertainties of travel are always present.

Wine and water It's popular these days to avoid the word [tourist" and instead define one's self as a "traveler"- it somehow sounds more dignified, more serious. What we're attempting truly is a journey, and we are travelers, but however romantically we try to describe ourselves, we are still foreigners passing through foreign lands- reaping the rewards of adventure and accepting the risks. Those glamorous travel logs on TV rarely show the whole truth behind travel- especially traveling great distances; the fatigue, the careful planning going haywire, the delays, the weather- all play a factor constantly. Sitting on a hot ramp for hours waiting for a take off clearance from Euro Control hardly seems like a great time but it's what we signed up for- this is a flight around the world after all.

We're seeking to accomplish this in our own aircraft- still a feat that relatively few people have done. If it was an easy passage, it wouldn't be notable. The fact is, this is an enormous undertaking- now I have an idea of how those people feel- the ones who sign up to do Everest; it seems almost easy on paper, your guides and handlers assure you that all of the details have been arranged, then you find your self at camp two, huddled inside a tent, waiting for a blizzard to pass, and you wonder how the hell you got yourself here. We got ourselves here in our PC-12 aircraft- like it or not, we're out here; home is long behind us and even longer in front of us and just like that guy at camp two- we push on.

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