Wednesday April 16 – Again, perfect weather conditions for this last Rally flight to Puerto Plata. We had a long journey ahead with a stop in Aguadilla (TJBQ) PR, a 316 NM flight. Luckily, we were the only plane there and since we only made a fuel stop, customs officers made it easy fast and trouble free.
Wheels up again, another 209 NM flight to reach Puerto Plata. Could not explain why we were in the last to land. the only plane left was the C182. A delegation of airport officials and media was waiting to have a few words with the organisers.
When we arrived everyone was comfortably settled in the VIP lounge and bar, having a great time. This was our third experience in Puerto Plata. Must say, the hospitality and reception there is always outstanding.
Photo 2011 Rally
The hotel Barceló Puerto Plata is only a 20 minute bus ride. Ramona, our guide, gave us a brief description of Puerto Plata and surroundings. After we got settled, Puerto Plata tourism representative proposed a tour of the Town.
The city of Puerto Plata is on the oceanfront. the Malecon (broadwalk) is the place to go to find terrace restaurants, shops, and nightlife. As in Santo Domingo, we found the remnants of 17th century fortifications and couldn’t miss the massive walls of Castillo de San Felipe, oldest military fort in the Americas. (Below)
We were surprised to find out that the Puerto Plata amber museum holds samples of ancient fossils, one was apparently used in the film Jurassic Park. There is plenty to do and see ! Time was short and our group was mostly interested in the Hand Rolled Cigars !
Back to the hotel to celebrate the end of this 12 day adventure. The Barcelo Puerta Plata all inclusive resort is located on Playa Dorada, famous for its blue and calm waters and has everything for everyone including golf, tennis, diving, beautiful Golden Beach, 8 specialty restaurants, 5 bars and entertainment.
For once in 12 days, weather conditions on our path back to Florida looked bad and we had to depart fast if we wanted to avoid the nasty front. Dave and Steve Piper Seneca was off the ground at 9:30 AM heading to Exuma for fuel. We stopped at our favorite FBO, odyssey which makes things so easy for pilots: Immigration and customs right there in the premises at their facility, lunch delivered, flight planning, DONE !.
We made it early afternoon into Fort Lauderdale, back to where the adventure starts every year since 2010, at Banyan, favorite FBO.
The 5th edition of the Caribbean Air Rally was one of the most dynamic of all. The participants this year where ready for pretty much everything and more !
Michael and Tera from Williamsport, PA, USA flying a Cirrus- SR 22 . Third time participants of the Caribbean Air Rally. Michael co-founded of fast-growing pilot club in Williamsport, PA
They say that the Rally destinations are only exceeded by the company of their fellow flyers!”
Burt & Maria Kincardine, ON cessna C-182 (middle sitting next to Lucia and Darrell. a wonderful couple who dared the adventure of the Caribbean. they live on farm near Lake Huron. It was the first time they ventured outside of Canada.
Seen here sitting where Christopher Columbus landed (San Salvador land Fall)
Brian &Sherry from Georgetown, Prince Edward Island flying a Cessna 340A.
Second Rally timers. Brian is the president of the PEI Flying Association and COPA Flight 57. Brian has been pretty much all over Canada. Sherry and Brian celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary with this Caribbean adventure and lots of friends !!!
Donald and Patricia, from Encino, California – fly a Cessna T 210-Pat and Don are an incredible pair. They do not hesitate to jump onboard any kind of adventure no matter how far it takes them. They have participated to numerous rallies since 2005. The Cree Challenge–Diamond Challenge- Challenge of the Flags – McKenzie River Challenge. 2010 & 2013 Caribbean Air Challenge – Don is a lucky man! Pat is always ready to go ! They both organised a couple of group flights to Alaska for members of their Flying Club – Pat and Don make great friends every year during the air rally.
Richard and Trisha, Scottsdale, Arizona USA. They fly a Baron B55 Richard just retired. Means that now he has time to do what he enjoys most and that seems to keep him very busy while Trisha is running her business. he is the Flight formation Expert and is the Bonanza society Staff member and Baron group leader for 6 years. Richard holds FFI certification as a Lead and Wing pilot for waivered airshow airspace, and has twice flown in the B2Osh Bonanza/Baron Formation Showcase flight at EAA Airventure. Richard is also Director of the Deer Valley Pilot’s Association, a FAASTeam representative, a member of the Arizona Aviation Safety Advisory Group, and a member of EAA Chapter 538 here in the valley. This is his third trip with the Caribbean Air Rally, and Trisha’s first. Richard accepted to be Ben’s Mentor during the air rally (middle)
Raj, & Avni, and children Anisha & Roshan from Princeton, New Jersey flying Beech F33A What a nice family !!! too bad Avni and the kids only joined us in Martinique. Would have been fantastic to get to know them more. Raj has participated to 4 Caribbean Air Rallies. This is the first time he joined with his family.
David & Lynn, Burlington Ontario, flying Lake 250 Renegade.David met Chris Harmon who participated to the 2009 and 2012 Air Rallies and got interested in the adventure. They decided it would be a great adventurous way to celebrate their 25th anniversary!
A wonderful couple who had just one thing in mind ENJOY EVERY MOMENT and they lived magic moments
James & Gerald, Woodhaven, MI Piper PA24
Peter , Venice, FL Diamond DA42 Peter is Pilot Mentor to Thomas, Michigan
Marc & Cher North Bay, Ontario Beech Bonanza BE36
Sam & Donna, Wyandotte, MI.
John & Jennifer Cirrus SR 22 Caledon, Ontario
Raymond & Sue Cessna 182 Cody, Wyoming
Matthew & Emily, Greer, South Carolina, USA
Cameron & Katrin Greenville South Carolina, Piper PA-24
David & Steve, Michigan Piper Seneca
Frank & Camil jr, Montreal, Canada