Jumping from 1. Praia, Cabo Verde, to Laáyoune (El Aáiun), Maroc 2. Laáyoune to Marrakesh 3. Marrakesh to Lisboa

December 16, 2011

The trip will come very soon to an end.

Last week I realized that the world keeps turning. Happy and unhappy events interchanged: my grandson Theun appeared on Dutch TV in the Junior Master Cook Competition, my friend/Master of the Zebráky Hounds had a very bad accident with his horse and is now in coma in a hospital in Pilsen, my friend/ex Transportation Manager of Akzo died at high age, DSK went into hiding in Israël, my nephew Michiel de Ru became father after Koosje delivered a healthy baby by the name of Boris, the € finally lost some ground to the $ meaning Pilatypus gained value being paid and valued in $, whilst my dog Jimmy may never want to leave Yvonne anymore.

Laáyoune was uneventfull, except for the administrative chaos at the airport not used to receive any private aircraft at their place in the desert. Four Russian Antonov’s under UN Flag, one Air Moroc arrival and two wrecks of helicopters at the end the runway was all what we can report. We finally borrowed a ladder from one of the Antonov’s enabling Urs to put our 2nd Qt of BP lubricating in the beautiful and reliable Pratt & Whitney engine (895kW Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A67B turboprop driving a four blade constant speed). It is really a beauty and we continue to listen to the music coming out of it endlessly. With all parameters always in the green the pilots feel happy like children.

on course to Marrakesh


Marrakesh was quite interesting, though dirty. Margharita Lanfranconi and Bettina Arbenz waited us in the hotel (though not at the airport as we had expected, so they may now expect some penalty points at Aerolocarno). We had to pass very narrow streets to reach the hotel in a 10 minute walk. Margharita really made a very good choice. A very nice and tidy hotel called Riad Kharradine with excellent service; very friendly Italian owners, not expensive. We could recommend it to anyone who wants to visit Marrakesh one day. Free laundry service ánd free WIFI.

welcome to Marrakesh


Bettina, Margherita, Sophie, Harry


database upload at Marrakesh


Our flight to Lisboa was nice and without any hassle. Only changes in the approach caused us to operate the Apex fast and efficiently. Well you understand, it was a piece of cake for Urs. For me it still would have been a big chocolate cake with hills and holes. Lisboa is a very busy airport but thanks to our excellent Handling Agent Safeport, we had no problems of whatever kind.

leaving Maroc abeam Casablanca


approaching Portugal from South


Today is sight seeing in Lisboa. The first time, 20 years ago perhaps, I was here was with Hubert [✝] and Wilma van der Lugt, Piet Vroon and Patricia during a BIMCO Meeting. The second time, three years ago or so, for a fox hunt with Splinther van Everdingen, Relinde and Geert.

The hotel here is also a pearl (not Steinbeck’s): Palacio Ramalhete. It is a big old (1785) house transformed into a small hotel. Extremely nice, clean, pleasant, not expensive ánd again free WIFI with strong connection.

Our next flight will be to Cherbourg, then Budel. We smell our stables already, every day a bit stronger.

I call my 89 years young mother regularly by Iridium Satelite phone from the air. She hardly seems surprised, but every time she starts by saying that I must enjoy my life. She is right of course.

Will be continued.

Post by Harry Heijst | December 16, 2011 |


  1. Harry and crew, great stuff what a trip. Welcome to Europe. Watch the next flight the weather in the bay of Biscay seems to be terrible but perhaps at FL300 you’ll be fine. Sophie I see that you will be brought to your doorstep. It was great to meet you and share Argentina together. Urs you to great flying super landings give my regards to Maggie. Harry bedankt, geweldig, zal nooit deze reis vergeten.Un abrazo a todos. Alex

    by Alex Bisi | 16 Dec 2011 | 16:30
  2. Harry, you missed one stop in Lisboa, 22 years back, on our way to Ponte Delgado to sail Hestia back from the Acores to Holland and our luggage was left behind in Lisboa !!

    by tiburon | 17 Dec 2011 | 19:24
  3. Hello Harry,

    nice trip, good fun reading your stories and nice closing words of your mother over the satellite phone! You will need some time on the home flight to prepare yourself mentally for the Dutch winter. Regards, Pieter.

    by Pieter Joosse | 19 Dec 2011 | 11:22