17 July 2011

Dubai to Seattle with Al Hepburn Part 12

We had one full day in Harbin, during which the only activity of note was a visit to the Siberian tiger park, a safari park where view the tigers from the safety of buses. Two or three chickens and a couple of ducks were not so lucky. There must have been at least a hundred tigers in the park.

I tried to have our flight plan brought forward an hour next morning, but as this would have involved a change in permits via Moscow, I decided it was not worth the risk and we left our departure at noon local time. We finally got the nod at 1:30. The delay was blamed on military activity, but Wei says he thinks they were waiting for a bribe to speed things up.

We had a few build-ups to dodge on the way to Khabarovsk, but on arrival the weather was severe clear. We were in our hotel with refuelling complete within an hour of touchdown, so if we have an equally efficient start, things look good for tomorrow. Khabarovsk has a pleasant park with fountains in the middle of town, and an impressive Russian Orthodox cathedral.

A long day is planned tomorrow, from here to Anadyr, with a fuel stop and Magadan. The weather looks good, however.


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