September 24, 2006
Greetings from Timbuktu (Toubouctou in French).
I am on another of my flying around the world legs. This time from South Africa up thru central and western Africa and hopefully over the south Atlantic to South America, in particular, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The attached photo is of Lucky Lady Too, Mohamed, Ayouba (Tuareg nomads) and I in front of the new terminal at Timbuktu. I am the one without the turban.
Timbuktu is located in sub-Sahara at the top of the Niger River bend. It is the terminus of a camel caravan route that has linked West Africa and the Mediterranean since midieval times. Between 1588 and 1853 at least 43 Europeans tried to reach this fabled city; only four made it. The Tuareg nomads are highly individualistic and distinctly different in both cultural and racial terms from the majority of Malians. They established Timbuktu in the early 1000's.
Speaking of Timbuktu, there is the story of two poets who died and went to heaven. At the Pearly Gates they meet St. Peter who states that unfortunately heaven was quite full and there was room for only one poet. He said that which ever of the poets came up with the best four verse poem could enter... then on second thought ... and because they were professional poets ... St. Peter said that they had to use the word 'Timbuktu' in their poem.
After some thought the first poet said he had one.
"I gaze upon the desert sands,
And dream of far off foreign lands,
A caravan comes into view,
Lovely says St. Peter.
But the second poet said he thought he had a better one.
"Tim and I a hunting went,
spied three maidens in a tent,
Since they were three and we were two,
I bucked one and Tim bucked two"
Which do you think got in?
All the Best,
Claude and Margi,
I see on the Earthrounders web site a question as to whether I am still on my around the world flight.
The answer is YES
Just landed in Nairobi, Kenya in late November where I parked the airplane for the 14th time in 4 years. This last leg took 2 1/2 months.
Left northern Thailand, (Ban Thi) to Chaing Mai; to Mandalay and Bagan, Myanmar; to Patna, India; to Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal
(hiked to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pathar and solo paraglided in Annapurnas) then back to Patna, Varanasi, New Delhi, Khajuraho,
Mumbai and Cochin, India then to Colombo, Sri Lanka: Male and Gan Island, Maldives (I can burn car gas in my old geezer 1968 Cessna 182
and the Gan Islands has the cheapest car gas I have experienced on the trip so far... less than $1.75 per gallon), Seychelles and onto
Nairobi where I have parked the airplane and returned to USA till mid-February when I shall return to do Kenya and Uganda then wait till
July to come down over the wildebeast migration toward Tanzania, Madagascar and into South Africa.
Getting back to Nairobi is a landmark for me as it is where I crashed the first time I tried going around the world. In 1992 I learned to fly and
4 months after my first lesson, with 140 hours in my log book, two days after passing my instrument flying exam I departed San Diego in a
Cherokee 6 for Paris, France to attend a Harvard Business Class reunion. I ended up landing in 75 different cities in 20 different countries before
crashing on take-off from Nairobi. I had 295 hours in my log book when I crashed. So, technically speaking I have flown a single engine aircraft
around the world... it has just taken me two different airplanes and two different directions. I have landed 3 times in Nairobi but have yet to take
off successfully. Does this count for a rounder? It doesn't matter as the journey is what I am most excited about. As long as I don't crash
somewhere and the money holds out it will probably take me another 4 years to get back to the USA. I plan it will take at least 3 legs to do Africa and then on to South America.
I keep saying I will put up a web site but it has yet to happen.
Anyway, thanks for the posting that I am out here doing this in a bit of a different way... more like Margi and Gerard, except I don't stay with
the plane. Hope this explains my long journey. And the answer is YES, I am still on my around the world flight.
Following are a couple of articles from newspapers along the last route.
from the Seychelles News
Around the world in eight years
American aviator Robert Gannon touched down in Seychelles this week making the latest stop over in an epic round the world single-handed,
single-engine flight. Mr Gannon's journey started in September 2000, in his home city of San Diego, California, aboard his single-engine Cessna 182, which
has since carried him across Australasia and the Indian sub-continent.And after a three-day lay over, he set out this morning for another mammoth 12-hour
flight to Nairobi. The Cessna 182, which is being used for the intended eight-year circumnavigation, has had the back two of its four seats ripped out
to make room for an extra large fuel tank.
Published in Seychelles Nation
- Indexed on Nov 18, 2004 Relevance:
Round the world with one engine - 18.11.04
American aviator Robert Gannon touched down in Seychelles this week making the latest stop over in an epic round the world single-handed
single-engine flight. Mr Gannon's journey started in September 2000, in his home city of San Diego, California, aboard his single-engine Cessna 182,
which has since carried him across Australasia and the Indian sub-continent. After flying first to Australia he set off north to Myanmar, Nepal, India,
Sri Lanka and down to the Maldives, before a long hop of twelve and half hours from the southern Maldivian island, Gan, saw him touch down in
Seychelles on Monday.