Zruda From Czech Republic, joined May 2006, 784 posts, RR: 30 Posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6691 times:
Hey folks, the continuation of PRG-NYC-SXM-ATL-PRG NON-REV ... Nyc Part (by Zruda May 3 2007 in Trip Reports) is here!
Don't worry, I slowly keep going through my diary once again and remembering those wonderful days. If only there were more hours per a day, that would be fantastic and would greatly improve my progress on the tripreport! Let's see what we have here:
28apr07 – Friendly island welcomes ya
i believe we were quite lucky to arrive among the first “big” planes today, Theres only a AA 757, so the immigration process is quite fast, we got out stamps and process to the baggage belt. Our bags had already been offloaded, which is very good as we need our summer clothes!
Quick change of image in the bathroom and there we go, dragging our suitcases along the road connecting the apt and THE place, aka Maho Beach. We are supposed to meet a friend and colleague of us there. The weather was cloudy, but definitely hot, at least for me The good thing about islands is that there's fresh wind blowing all the time, making the heat bearable. First visited facility besides the apt is the food shop, which later shows to be a real haven for spotters, supplying good food, water and batteries.
Our friend Roman is going to arrive within two hours and pick up us with a rented car, so we just settle down at Maho and enjoy the very feeling of it. In a short time we get our first treat today, a CO 737 and then its just great fun, as there are more 757 and the AF340. Plus the omnipresent Islanders and Cessnas, and AA Eagle ATRs occasionally.
It started blowing!
I really felt the poetry (airline geek wise) of the place, especially for me being the inlander such a place is a dream that came true. I also tried a little blow by the 757 and I must say that sand being blown into one's body HURTS! I immidiatelly gave up the silly idea of going to “blow my hair up” as its really a brutal force. During the stay at the island, we had a good portion of laughing every time we saw some unaware tourist first being bravely walking behind the plane, then rolling down the beach with head covered in a couple of seconds
here they are
Which one of you, guys??????
Our friend arrives aboard on of the US Airways thin babies from a spotters convention taking place in CLT and we share our memories from previous trips, while sitting at Sunset Bar, listening to the approach radio mess. The famous board was somehow not really correct airimp-wise, as CDG was coded as PCG etc etc. We sat there for a couple of hours, watching planes obviously and even enjoyed one t/o from the opposite direction, I believe it was a US A319. After former Bwia - now bearing Carribean Airlines title – had arrived, we decided to find our hotel, which is situated on the French side, so we board our KIA 727 (it was the Picante model but the plate said 727, suited just for us) and enjoy bumpy island roads. We're going to meet some abandoned houses as well as golf course and some condos and hotels on our journey.
Meeting at Sunset
319 in the opposite direction, wth?
Food store mana
As we settle down we decide to have a drink at a marvellous, almost a kitsch-like beach behind the hotel. The sea there is the inner lake of the island, very still and warm water, so the night swimming was pleasant, as well as the bottle of wine and a french-carribean band playing various hits. It was real fun, especially the last song, In The Name Of Love, played in a two times slower tempo than it was written for, sort of ragga version haha.
Zruda From Czech Republic, joined May 2006, 784 posts, RR: 30 Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4963 times:
Slowpoke strikes again! Don't worry, I keep moving, only have my own tempo
Our hormonal systems seem to be totally in agreement with western time, 'cause we sleep soundly until nine (or similar normal time of getting up). A long day was ahead, so we took our time with preparations and packing things necessary for the all-day spotting. Then we hopped into our 727 and headed to Maho, taking the other side of the “lake”, so that we got into Marigod, crossed the french-dutch border and emerged at the 27 end of SXM rwy. First steps lead into the food store again, where we get fueled, Yirina by her standard dose of yoghurt, Roman and me with english type of breakfast, eggs, sausages and white bread. In front of the shop we are going to meet a czech guy, apparently recovering from a hungover, but he still managed to greet us in czech language He seems interested in today's plane scheduling, so we part with “seeya later” and rush for the beach, as the first heavies had already landed.
A czech guy and me
Having settled down at the picnic tables belonging to Sunset, we enjoy the view and finish our journals from previous day.
The we decide to take a good bath, just in time, for as soon as we get in the waves, the CO757 is going for landing. It's the very flight we arrived by yesterday, and it's soo nice taking bath in lukewarm and colored-like-smaragd sea and having such a beast so low above my head. One of the bathers cried “Oh my, you don't get this every day!” Well, I must have added to myself, that you do, at least here at Maho
I'm one of the small dots in the sea
Home-made plane with musical reg
Then the real first heavy, the A340 is coming. We don't want to miss the opportunity to take a good picture. Unfortunately a nasty guy went there at the last moment, so we had to take another one with the AA757.
Several more approaches, with a couple of walks to the food store for water as well as batteries (in my case), and we meet the second Czech bunch today. As they are very much similar to what can be called “a typical Czech tourist”, I rather stay away with loud “Dobry den!”, but Yirina is brave and goes for some investigation. She finds out that they are leaving onboard the Corsair jumbo which is just about to come. One guy tried to invite her for a drink, which was the typical Czech home-made plum brandy, about 50% of alcohol. How can they drink that in the heat I do not understand. I even didn't understand how could all the Americans drink gallons of beer the whole day in the bar, and that's something considering I'm Czech.
A little more of running between the food store and Sunset toilets, with occasional stop at our car (which keeps making the terrible alarm sound whenever opened), and the 747 is already visible. This time it's Romans turn. Notice that the plane looks like a KLM, but is definitely Corsair in blue TUI c/s. Does anyone know the reg coming that day? As we were underneath, we had hardly any time to get it, and we unfortunately didn't catch it on departure.
Good lunch is a necessity (never mind the sweat)
There's one heavy on the list for today, the blue trijet. We decide to take this one from different angle, but honestly, for me, the shade was more important then some angles I already started to feel the sunburn. We hid ourselves under the Sonesta terrace (dunno how to call it), and wait. It takes some time, and as we're leaving tomorrow, we decide to have one more bath, which is funny, as every time a plane is coming, we rush out from water to get our cameras, trying to dry our hands on the route.
Departure of the A340. Notice the fence. Aparently a lot of folks needed a hairdo
RUTACA! Second time this day, nice oldie she is.
And finally we got that one... notice Yirina in the white shirt, Roman taking pic of her
After the blue one came, none of us pale europeans didn't want to catch more sun then necessary, as we all really felt sunburnt. We decided to switch the view and get above the airport, just next to the ATC tower. Yirina's reckoning it look similar to the radar the US are about to drop near Prague We drive up a very steep hill, dive into bushes just to find a nice view on the rocks. Roman apparently knows this place from the previous visit. Seated there, we watch Rutaca taxiing as well as incredibly short landings of those Islanders. Then the mighty trijet comes and we watch the impressive departure toward the mountain, it's such classics! You know how it looks like from numerous pics, but here it's alive.
The view. Nice jungle
And the lady of the jungle
Good bye heavy
Ready for action
And a skewy “american radar”
In order to finish our evening properly, we roll the KIA727 down the hill straight to the bar to have a drink. Really funny thing, we have a Pina Colada, watch the sunset, dancing girls and other people. But after a long and hot day, we soon feel like sucked out, so we just packed ourselves and cleared us to land in BED.
Wants2fly From United States of America, joined Oct 2002, 84 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4237 times:
I visited SXM for few hours last year and it was great. I was on a cruise so we did not have that much time (about 2 hours) at the airport or at the beach.
I really enjoyed the pictures. Thanks!