It is now time to move the plane from Chania (west of Crete) to Sitia (east of Crete) where the rally departs. Cedric and I had found a little room in a wonderful house with a beautiful view over the harbour. The old town of Chania is so lovely. This was the view we had from the breakfast room:
The big question of the day was not so much how to fly the airplane to Sitia (the easy part) but how to bring our luggage there! Sitia is approximately 400 kms away from Chania! We travel with two big black suitcases, each weighing 20kg since we have an allowance of 40kg for the whole trip (6 weeks). The organizers are going to be very strict on that, so they said, during the scrutineering process today! No extra pound will be allowed! It was impossible to put the luggage in the Stampe, of course 😉 We asked how much it would cost to take a taxi to drive Frog there, while Kiwi would fly the Stampe on his own: 280€. Way too expensive. What about the train? There is none. What about the bus? Possible, but it takes 8 hours in total, with one stop in Heraklion, between Chania and Sitia. Here is when our friend Kosmas comes in again! We bumped into him in the streets of Chania on Wednesday night, shared a strong raki with him in a typical Cretan restaurant, and he came up with a brilliant idea: “send the luggage by bus, and fly together in the Stampe to Sitia!”. Cost is only 15€. It sounds a bit risky but hey! It is an adventure after all! So here are our two big suitcases in the storage office of the bus station of Chania:
Once this is done, the next question is how to find AVGAS for the Stampe? There is none in Chania airport (LGSA) and Cedric is not sure we can reach to Sitia with what is left in the wings. If we want to fuel the Stampe with AVGAS, we have to stop in Heraklion and we will lose several hours of time. But we have to find fuel, better be safe than sorry. We decide to mix a few liters of MOGAS with AVGAS. Kosmas can find MOGAS for us here in Chania and it saves us a stop in Heraklion. Very kindly Kosmas drives us to the airport with his own car and gives us a big can for us to get MOGAS. We arrive at the airport and guess what….Frog has forgotten her pillow in the taxi…. The taxi needs to come back to the airport! This pillow will soon become the most expensive pillow in the world…. But it’s worth it 😉
Anyway, we are a little bit in the rush because it is winter and sunset is in 2 hrs….
Time to say goodbye to Kosmas:
And to get some fresh air because we are far too warm in our flying suits here in Chania!
Along the taxiway, we see this strange bird from the US Air Force:
And Kosmas took this picture just after we took off from runway 29:
The flight to Sitia has been very easy, just following the northern coastline of Crete, passing overhead the capital of Heraklion and enjoying a beautiful scenery:
Arrival in Sitia (LGST)….
Arrival in Sitia was a piece of cake, we got cleared for a direct approach to final nr 23. Actually the zone was reserved for the historic airplanes of the rally, thanks to the NOTAM below:
We are welcome by a little group of aficionados….and guess what? Team Canada is here!!!!!! Pedro made it, he made it!!! Less than 10 days ago he was in Cannes with a broken engine! Passion and perserverance can make miracles…. Isn’t it extraordinary?
Big thanks to Kosmas today who made our stay in Chania so enjoyable and easy! By the way, Kosmas manages a great website with lots of interesting links about aviation weather and we will certainly use it to prepare our crossing of the sea tomorrow: