fifth leg of my trip to Belize

This page is all about the fifth leg of my trip to Belize

As forecast, the weather to the south was terrible but only to the mountains. After that it was severe clear, and thank God because now I was in the LA basin at rush hour and you wouldn’t believe the traffic. There were jumbos everywhere, up, down on each side going every which way to one or another of the 54 airports and air bases in the LA area.

Because LA approach and center were so busy my flight following was dropped 3 times. But I begged and got I back just before the MOA (military operating area) directly south. I was really concerned cause this MOA was “hot” and I hate it when I get shot down.

This controller was really helpful and told me to turn left 30 degrees, intercept Victor 107 and then turn inbound on that airway to Imperial and then direct Puerto Penasco.

He said he would deliver me to the border but he would lose me there and I would be on my own. That was great because once past the border there was 0 traffic, nada, zilch. It was like someone flipped a switch.

Time now to calm down and collect my thoughts before landing and clearing customs in Mexico.

The sea of Cortez or Gulf of California is now sliding by on the right and does it ever look inviting.

The terrain below looks like a moonscape for a while and then suddenly there are signs of life. Not much but some.

30 miles ahead I can see the outline of Punta Penasco just like the gps indicates. A few minutes later I cross mid field east to west to join a left downwind for a northbound landing. The approach and landing was flawless which was surprising considering the number of people watching. What was coming next I never contemplated.

I had been told by everyone I asked that one must land before dark unless on an IFR flight plan. Nowhere is it published that the airport closes at 5:00pm.

The commandant is fuming. I’m being severely chastised for landing 20 minutes after the airport is closed. In fact he will not listen to reason.

Finally he says to come back the next day and he calls me a cab. He doesn’t look at my passport or anything.

There are 3 well-dressed gentlemen standing in the aircraft parking area not 50 feet from my airplane. I’m kind of rattled because this is a foreign country and I don’t know what they might do to me if I get uppity.

I walked over to the 3 and said, wow this guy is coming unglued because I didn’t know the airport was closed and it’s not published anywhere.

One was the airport administrator who was doing his best to promote the airport and the other 2 were an owner and general manager of the Mayan Palace. I found out later the Mayan Palace either owns or operates the airport.

They invited me to go there for the night and gave me a great rate. I went over to pay the taxi that had come to pick me up and he was talking to the Commandant who was complaining to the driver about me.

I made a hasty exit and after a long drive we rolled up to the most beautiful resort I can ever remember seeing. I was simply astounded that a place as gorgeous and elaborate as this could be sitting in the middle of nowhere.

I check in, put my stuff in the room and head for the bar after another tough day.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I decide this is a great place to spend it, so I plan for another night.

Besides Katrina still was in the Belize area so there was no rush, and who knows what she might do next.

Click here for the sixth leg of my trip to Belize

2 Responses to “fifth leg of my trip to Belize”

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