May 8th- Iraklion, Crete
to Luxor, Egypt
5hrs 11 mins
An early start
to the day was required for the departure from Iraklion for two
reasons. Firstly high temperatures were forecast for early afternoon
and more importantly once the airport becomes busy with departing
holiday charter traffic, WF2003 would have to wait.
agent, Olympic Airways were very efficient in meeting us at security
to take us to the aircraft. We uplifted enough fuel for the flight
to Luxor. Avgas here was the most expensive to date and there
was no point in taking any more than we required. There was a
slight delay caused by our flight plan, despite being faxed the
previous evening, not being submitted in time by the control tower.
on the westerly facing runway with a right 180 degree turn to
fly coastal offshore until we had reached a safe level to cross
over the high mountainous terrain on the island. We then took
up a south easterly heading that we would remain on till El Alamain.
Radio communication over the south Mediterrian Sea is very poor
and at 9000 feet we had to rely on overflying traffic at higher
levels to make contact with Cairo Control. Thanks to two aircraft
who were particularly helpful, Reach 93Y and G-PHFG. Our first
sighting of Egypt meant we had finally left Europe behind us.
Due to military restrictions over Cairo we had to accept a re
route via El Kharga (south west of Luxor) adding about 100 miles
to this leg.
On opening the
aircraft door the heat of 40 degrees centigrade hit us. Greeted
by Mr Anwar, traffic officer for AN Aviation we were swiftly processed
through the terminal and within 20 minutes we were in a taxi on
our way to The Sheraton Hotel. Our driver, Asfraf also acted as
a good tour guide. Driving here is a very interesting experience
with the purpose of the white line is unsure. Our hotel room offers
a view of the Nile river.